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A gasket is a mechanical seal which fills the space between two or more mating surfaces, generally

to prevent leakage from or into the joined objects while under compression.
Gaskets allow for "less-than-perfect" mating surfaces on machine parts where they can fill
irregularities. Gaskets are commonly produced by cutting from sheet materials.
Gaskets for specific applications, such as high pressure steam systems, may contain asbestos.
However, due to health hazards associated with asbestos exposure, non-asbestos gasket materials
are used when practical.[1]
It is usually desirable that the gasket be made from a material that is to some degree yielding such
that it is able to deform and tightly fill the space it is designed for, including any slight irregularities. A
few gaskets require an application of sealant directly to the gasket surface to function properly.
Some (piping) gaskets are made entirely of metal and rely on a seating surface to accomplish the
seal; the metal's own spring characteristics are utilized (up to but not passing σ y, the material's yield
strength). This is typical of some "ring joints" (RTJ) or some other metal gasket systems. These
joints are known as R-con and E-con compressive type joints. [2]

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) gasket

Contents

 1Properties
o 1.1Gasket design

o 1.2Sheet gaskets

o 1.3Solid material gaskets

o 1.4Spiral-wound gaskets

o 1.5Constant seating stress gaskets

o 1.6Double-jacketed gaskets

o 1.7Kammprofile gaskets

o 1.8Fishbone Gaskets

o 1.9Flange gasket
 2Improvements

 3Reasons for failure

o 3.1Uneven distributed pressing force

o 3.2Stress relaxation and torque loss

o 3.3Surface not smooth

 4See also

 5References

 6Sources

Properties[edit]

Compressed fiber gasket

Gaskets are normally made from a flat material, a sheet such


as paper, rubber, silicone, metal, cork, felt, neoprene, nitrile
rubber, fiberglass, polytetrafluoroethylene (otherwise known as PTFE or Teflon) or
a plastic polymer (such as polychlorotrifluoroethylene).
One of the more desirable properties of an effective gasket in industrial applications
for compressed fiber gasket material is the ability to withstand high compressive loads. Most
industrial gasket applications involve bolts exerting compression well into the 14 MPa (2000 psi)
range or higher. Generally speaking, there are several truisms that allow for better gasket
performance. One of the more tried and tested is: "The more compressive load exerted on the
gasket, the longer it will last".
There are several ways to measure a gasket material's ability to withstand compressive loading. The
"hot compression test" is probably the most accepted of these tests. Most manufacturers of gasket
materials will provide or publish the results of these tests.

Gasket design[edit]
Gaskets come in many different designs based on industrial usage, budget, chemical contact and
physical parameters:

Sheet gaskets[edit]
When a sheet of material has the gasket shape "punched out" of it, it is a sheet gasket. This can
lead to a crude, fast and cheap gasket. In previous times the material was compressed asbestos,
but in modern times a fibrous material or matted graphite is used. These gaskets can fill various
different chemical requirements based on the inertness of the material used. Non-asbestos gasket
sheet is durable, of multiple materials, and thick in nature. Material examples are mineral, carbon or
nitrile synthetic rubber. Applications using sheet gaskets involve acids, corrosive chemicals, steam or
mild caustics. Flexibility and good recovery prevent breakage during installation of a sheet gasket. [3]

Solid material gaskets[edit]


The idea behind solid material is to use metals which cannot be punched out of sheets but are still
cheap to produce. These gaskets generally have a much higher level of quality control than sheet
gaskets and generally can withstand much higher temperatures and pressures. The key downside is
that a solid metal must be greatly compressed in order to become flush with the flange head and
prevent leakage. The material choice is more difficult; because metals are primarily used, process
contamination and oxidation are risks. An additional downside is that the metal used must be softer
than the flange — in order to ensure that the flange does not warp and thereby prevent sealing with
future gaskets. Even so, these gaskets have found a niche in industry.

Spiral-wound gaskets[edit]
Spiral-wound gaskets comprise a mix of metallic and filler material. [4] Generally, the gasket has a
metal (normally carbon rich or stainless steel) wound outwards in a circular spiral (other shapes are
possible) with the filler material (generally a flexible graphite) wound in the same manner but starting
from the opposing side. This results in alternating layers of filler and metal. The filler material in
these gaskets acts as the sealing element, with the metal providing structural support.
These gaskets have proven to be reliable in most applications, and allow lower clamping forces than
solid gaskets, albeit with a higher cost. [1]

Constant seating stress gaskets[edit]


The constant seating stress gasket consists of two components; a solid carrier ring of a suitable
material, such as stainless steel, and two sealing elements of some compressible material installed
within two opposing channels, one channel on either side of the carrier ring. The sealing elements
are typically made from a material (expanded graphite, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE),
vermiculite, etc.) suitable to the process fluid and application.
Constant seating stress gaskets derive their name from the fact that the carrier ring profile takes
flange rotation (deflection under bolt preload) into consideration. With all other conventional gaskets,
as the flange fasteners are tightened, the flange deflects radially under load, resulting in the greatest
gasket compression, and highest gasket stress, at the outer gasket edge.
Since the carrier ring used in constant seating stress gaskets take this deflection into account when
creating the carrier ring for a given flange size, pressure class, and material, the carrier ring profile
can be adjusted to enable the gasket seating stress to be radially uniform across the entire sealing
area. Further, because the sealing elements are fully confined by the flange faces in opposing
channels on the carrier ring, any in-service compressive forces acting on the gasket are transmitted
through the carrier ring and avoid any further compression of the sealing elements, thus maintaining
a 'constant' gasket seating stress while in-service. Thus, the gasket is immune to common gasket
failure modes that include creep relaxation, high system vibration, or system thermal cycles.
The fundamental concept underlying the improved sealability for constant seating stress gaskets are
that (i) if the flange sealing surfaces are capable of attaining a seal, (ii) the sealing elements are
compatible with the process fluid and application, and (iii) the sufficient gasket seating stress is
achieved on installation necessary to affect a seal, then the possibility of the gasket leaking in-
service is greatly reduced or eliminated altogether.
Double-jacketed gaskets[edit]
Double-jacketed gaskets are another combination of filler material and metallic materials. In this
application, a tube with ends that resemble a "C" is made of the metal with an additional piece made
to fit inside of the "C" making the tube thickest at the meeting points. The filler is pumped between
the shell and piece. When in use, the compressed gasket has a larger amount of metal at the two
tips where contact is made (due to the shell/piece interaction) and these two places bear the burden
of sealing the process. Since all that is needed is a shell and piece, these gaskets can be made from
almost any material that can be made into a sheet and a filler can then be inserted. [5]

Kammprofile gaskets[edit]
Kammprofile gaskets are used in many older seals since they have both a flexible nature and
reliable performance. Kammprofiles work by having a solid corrugated core with a flexible covering
layer. This arrangement allows for very high compression and an extremely tight seal along the
ridges of the gasket. Since generally the graphite will fail instead of the metal core, Kammprofile can
be repaired during later inactivity. Kammprofile has a high capital cost for most applications but this
is countered by long life and increased reliability.

Fishbone Gaskets[edit]
Fishbone Gaskets are direct replacements for Kammprofile and Spiralwound gaskets. They are fully
CNC machine manufactured from similar materials but the design of the gaskets has eliminated
inherent short comings. Fishbone gaskets do not unwind in storage or in the plant. The rounded
edges do not cause flange damage. The added "Stop Step" prevents the Fishbone gaskets from
being over compressed/crushed, often caused by hot torque techniques on plant start up. The bones
of the gasket remain ductile and adjust to thermal cycling and system pressure spikes resulting is a
durable and reliable flange seal that out performs all other gaskets of this nature significantly.

Flange gasket[edit]

Copper flange gaskets used for ultra-high vacuum systems

A flange gasket is a type of gasket made to fit between two sections of pipe that are flared to
provide higher surface area.
Flange gaskets come in a variety of sizes and are categorized by their inside diameter and their
outside diameter.
There are many standards in gasket for flanges of pipes. The gaskets for flanges can be divided in
major 4 different categories:

1. Sheet gaskets
2. Corrugated metal gaskets

3. Ring gaskets

4. Spiral wound gaskets


Sheet gaskets are simple, they are cut to size either with bolt holes or without holes for standard
sizes with various thickness and material suitable to media and temperature pressure of pipeline.
Ring gaskets also known as RTJ. They are mostly used in offshore oil- and gas pipelines and are
designed to work under extremely high pressure. They are solid rings of metal in different cross
sections like oval, round, octagonal etc. Sometimes they come with hole in center for pressure .
Spiral wound gaskets are also used in high pressure pipelines and are made with stainless
steel outer and inner rings and a center filled with spirally wound stainless steel tape wound together
with graphite and PTFE, formed in V shape. Internal pressure acts upon the faces of the V, forcing
the gasket to seal against the flange faces. Most spiral wound gasket applications will use two
standard gasket thicknesses: 1/8 inch and 3/16 inch. With 1/8 inch thick gaskets, compression to a
0.100 inch thickness is recommended. For 3/16 inches, compress to a 0.13 inch thickness [6].

Improvements[edit]
Many gaskets contain minor improvements to increase or infer acceptable operating conditions:

 A common improvement is an inner compression ring. A compression ring allows for higher
flange compression while preventing gasket failure. The effects of a compression ring are
minimal and generally are just used when the standard design experiences a high rate of failure.
 A common improvement is an outer guiding ring. A guiding ring allows for easier installation
and serves as a minor compression inhibitor. In some alkylation uses these can be modified on
Double Jacketed gaskets to show when the first seal has failed through an inner lining system
coupled with alkylation paint.

Reasons for failure[edit]


Uneven distributed pressing force[edit]
Uneven pressure can be caused by a variety of factors. First is the human factor: asymmetric
application of the bolt preload, this can cause uneven pressure. Theoretically when the flanges are
pressed, the sealing surfaces are absolutely parallel, in practice however, the centerline of a pipeline
cannot be absolutely concentric, and tightening the bolts on the flange moment makes the flange a
discontinuity. With asymmetric connections, the seal surfaces will be more or less deformed and the
pressure reduced, the running load, prone to leakage. Third, the density of bolt arrangement has an
obvious impact on the pressure distribution, the closer the bolts, the more uniform the pressure.

Stress relaxation and torque loss[edit]


Tighten the bolts on the flange. Due to vibration, temperature changes, and other factors such as
spiral wound gasket stress relaxation, the bolt tension will gradually decrease, resulting in loss of
torque, causing a leak. In general longer bolts and smaller diameters of bolt are better at preventing
the loss of torque. A long thin bolt is an effective way to prevent torque loss. Heating for a certain
period of time to stretch the bolt, and then maintaining a given torque, is very effective in preventing
the loss of torque. When the gasket is thinner and smaller there will be a greater loss of torque. In
addition, prevent strong vibration of the machine and the pipe itself, and isolate them from adjacent
equipment vibration. Impacts on the sealing surface are not meaningless. Not impacting the
tightened bolts can prevent the loss of torque.

Surface not smooth[edit]


It is important to make the sealing finish properly otherwise it will cause leakage. A surface that is too
smooth can allow your gasket material to blow out under pressure. A surface that is not machined
flat can provide leak paths. A good rule of thumb is a machined surface to 32RMS. This insures the
surface is flat, but with enough surface finish to bite into the gasket under compression.