Getting the most out of flange gasket materials and ensuring the performance of the gasket is not affected when you come to use it, means several things must be taken into consideration.
For example, factors such as their design, how they’re manufactured, installed, the process conditions, and how they are stored all play a role and have an impact on the final product.
Storage is the one factor, however, which is a lot lower down on the priority list than what it necessarily should be. Unfortunately, what we tend to find is that we store gaskets for more extended periods than necessary and often in places which aren’t always ideal.
In this post, we look at the best storage situations for flange gasket materials and spiral wound gaskets, to help preserve their performance and capabilities.
Gasket materials will fall into one of three categories. These include: –
- Non-metallic gaskets
- Semi-metallic gaskets
- Metallic gaskets
Non-metallic gaskets can also be known as soft gaskets and are fabricated from rubber, fibre, PTFE, and graphite.
Metallic gaskets are manufactured from one or a combination of different metals.
Leaving semi-metallic gaskets to be made up of both metal and non-metallic materials.
Spiral wound gaskets are the most commonly found and used semi-metallic gasket; where the metal provides the strength and the non-metallic elements provide the sealability and conformability.
Making sure these gaskets are stored correctly and in the right environment is critical to ensuring their overall end performance.
Impact of the environment on materials
Gasket materials which include elastomeric binders will inevitably deteriorate over time. This is because the fibre materials themselves are made up of complex materials.
The materials used in these types of gaskets are often susceptible to deterioration from extreme ambient temperatures, which can often mean that degradation can also occur when they are exposed to direct sunlight.
Ultimately, it is often the filler components within gaskets that cause the most significant deterioration to the gasket itself. Of course, this does all depend on the composition of the material used, as well as its quality and how it is stored. (A professional gasket manufacturer will be able to provide you with the right filler materials for your gasket and all to suit your requirements).
The good news is, there are gasket materials which are entirely unaffected by storage periods.
PTFE and graphite are two such materials that contain no binders and virtually have an indefinite shelf-life.
However, be aware that for metallic and semi-metallic gaskets that use such materials, excessive dust can cause issues when it comes to compatibility, while exposure to moisture and humidity can cause oxidation of the metal components.
Check out our blog post on OPTIMUM STORAGE CONDITIONS FOR GASKETS to find out how to prevent a reduction in quality in your gaskets.
As flange gaskets are used to create a static seal between two flange faces, they must perform to a high standard. Working in varying conditions, with fluctuations in temperature and pressure, these seals are used to keep liquids and gases in place.
Making sure they’re stored correctly and understanding how storage can affect shelf-life helps maintain materials for longer and avoid complications such as installation difficulties and damage to the overall seal.
At Specialist Sealing Products, we can provide a range of gaskets suitable for a multitude of purposes. We can also give more information on the optimal storage conditions as well as update you on shelf-life for gaskets and the materials used within the gaskets we currently stock.
To find out more, contact us at 01535 274 776