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What’s Gasket & Seal

What is a Gasket?

Gaskets seal a connection between two components or flanges that have flat surfaces, while seals are used between engine parts, pumps, and shafts that rotate. Gaskets are used wherever a union or flange is required to prevent leaking. Gaskets are most commonly used as static seals.

What are gaskets made of?

Gaskets are manufactured using many different materials. Viton, Neoprene, Nitrile, Pure Gum Rubber, EPDM Butyl, and SBR are just a sampling of the most common rubber or elastomeric materials commonly used to manufacture gaskets. Gaskets can be manufactured from many more diverse products including treated fiber (vegetable Fiber), Cork, Cork and Rubber, Non-asbestos (Aramid fiber), Graphite, PTFE or closed cell sponge when a highly compressible gasket is required.

What industries use gaskets?

Gaskets are used in many industries including oil and gas, pulp and paper, electric generation and transportation.

What is a Seal?

As already mentioned, seals are used between engine parts, pumps, and shafts that rotate rather than those that are static. This type of seal is generally a molded or machined product. Seals tend to be flat and round, while gaskets are often cut into different shapes so that they fit the components. Most seals are made of an outer ring that is metal and nests over an inner surface that is often made of rubber. The inner circle is tilted just a bit, which creates a lip for the seal. The lip is designed as a second barrier against any drops that manage to get past the first edge of the seal. It is essential that seals be installed correctly because, if it’s installed backward, you could end up with a leaky mess on your hands.

What are seals used for?

Common uses for seals include keeping leaks from occurring at the end of the shaft where it comes out of the cover and sealing hydraulic lines. This type of seal is generally a molded or machined product. Seals are often used in bearings, which is basically just a ball bearing surrounded by a rubber seal, which keeps it from leaking and sometimes reduces the amount of noise that occurs during operation.

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