An Introduction to Gaskets

Gaskets are a type of mechanical seal that provides a mating surface and removes space between two or more components in order to prevent leakage. They can be made from a variety of materials including sheet metal or other materials that are designed to allow for deformation and can also be engineered and designed into any number of shapes and sizes to suit a given application. Designs of gaskets include sheet, solid material, spiral, constant-seating, and more.

For sealing flanges, there are two types of gaskets: ring gaskets and face gaskets. Ring gaskets are placed between the pipe bore and flange bolts. This type of gasket does not require total disassembly of a component for it to be properly installed. Before installing ring gaskets, it’s important to know what substances will be in contact with the gasket, and what temperatures or conditions the gasket will be exposed to. Face gaskets feature holes that allow bolts to pass through them. This type of gasket has the same outer diameter as the flange, and requires full disassembly ahead of installation.

When installing a gasket, it’s important to know what to do - and perhaps more importantly - not do. First, never reuse an old gasket. It may seem like a convenient cost-saver, but it will not work the same and will eventually need to be replaced. Reusing an old gasket is only delaying the inevitable. Once you have a new gasket, clean the mating faces thoroughly. This will eliminate any debris, ensuring a tighter seal. Also be sure to select a gasket that is appropriate for the temperature, environment, media, and pressure in the area it will be applied. Finally, do not over tighten a gasket. This can crush the seal and lead to leaks. Following these guidelines will ensure a satisfactory service life for all your gaskets.

Even if you take great care while installing a gasket, it can still be subject to a catastrophic failure called a blowout. A blowout occurs when the gasket is resisting an internal load and the pressure exceeds the strength of the gasket. Blowouts can be very dangerous, so preventing them is critical. There are six simple steps you can take to prevent blowouts.

1. Follow protocol while bolting flanged joints together, always using the recommended tightening pattern.
2. Do not overtighten the gasket. This causes the flange to rotate which compresses the gasket and compromises its seal.
3. Minimize vibration along the joint.
4. Use gasket materials with low creep, like silicone and nitrile rubber.
5. Consider conditions such as temperature that the gasket will be exposed to before selecting the gasket material.
6. Use the thinnest gasket possible to minimize unevenness in the flange faces.

While gaskets are a small device, their role in the safe operation of other components cannot be overstated. At ASAP Aerospace, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the flange gaskets and sealing flange components for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-714-705-4780. Our team of dedicated account managers is standing by and will respond to you in 15 minutes or less.


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