Using the latest technology and equipment, gasket cutting today offers incredible precision.
Achieving customised gaskets that meet your sealing requirements, today we’re now seeing various gasket cutting techniques used as we move away from the standard dimensions and specifications of gaskets to meet the growing demand for more bespoke materials and sizes.
As a leading spiral wound gasket supplier at Specialist Sealing Products, we stock gasket materials to suit all requirements and specifications. However, it’s always good to know how gaskets are cut and the pros and cons of each technique, as these can affect your application.
Read on below to find out more.
Custom Gasket Cutting
We use gaskets in various applications to help prevent leaks. Often placed between two static parts typically, gaskets are manufactured from silicone, rubber, foam, synthetic rubber, plastic, and more.
Some of the most popular gasket-cutting techniques and their pros and cons include:
Manual Cutting – this is a very common technique and is used if you need a custom gasket there and then on the job. You can use utility knives, scissors, or shears for this technique. Ideally, tolerance for hand-cut gaskets would be greater than 1/8 of an inch. The downside to this technique is it can leave jagged edges or nicks in the gasket, weakening the seal. This process is also slow, tedious, and you run the bigger risk of increasing waste.
Die Cutting – a popular option when working with soft material. Here the cutting process can involve using a rotating hydraulic press, where the rotating cylinder creates contact with the sheet material, cutting the gasket as it goes. This tool is shaped and set to your specific requirements making it great for batch work, reducing the overall cost of the gasket.
Flatbed Die Cutting – unlike a rotating die cut, here sheets are laid flat with the gasket punched out. This process suits larger gaskets for bigger applications that require a thicker material for sealing. However, it’s important to be aware that this gasket fabrication process is slower than other methods.
Clicker Press – used on higher production runs, rolled steel die is placed through a pneumatic press achieving large gasket quantities with a good yield. This process is not recommended for larger gaskets or custom gaskets that require small quantities.
Knife Cutting – a cost-effective process of gasket fabrication that is ideal for small production runs. In these instances, high-speed computer-programming tools and equipment will cut the sheet metal using a series of blades to cut your spiral wound gasket perfectly. This particular process delivers high accuracy and can be used for engraving and shaving. This process avoids distortion, is more precise, and is suitable for soft and thicker materials.
CNC Cutting – a 3-axis cutting head that cuts the material. This process involves converting the gasket dimensions to CAD drawing files, which are then uploaded to the machine, where the machine will get started and begin to cut. The pros of this approach include speed, high accuracy, savings (as sheets can be placed together), and your production team can simply hit start and walk away.
Water Jet Cutting – a newer method of custom gasket cutting, where fluid is used to shape the gasket. The fluid in use is a mix of water and a more abrasive liquid compressed and then released with force onto the sheet. This particular technique is accurate and cost-effective, can help avoid deformation and discolouration, you can achieve tight cuts, and reduce error. Water jet cutting can cut paper, metal, and even ceramics.
Log and Strip Cutting – log stripping involves keeping gasket rolls intact and cutting them into smaller rolls. Strip cutting follows a similar process, but the sheet is unrolled and then stripped into sections.
Compression Moulded – this technique is mainly used for rubber gaskets as we use a heat mould to create the shape of the gasket; then, it is compressed and cured, where you can open the mould to get the final product. This technique is suitable for low production, low volume, and less intricate gaskets.
Injection Moulded Gaskets – a quick method and great for batch work, injection moulded gaskets involve melting down the material and placing it in the injection machinery, where the material is injected into the open mould and left to cool. When the gasket comes out of the mould, there is no flash meaning there is no need for additional trimming. This method is good for intricate gaskets or those that require high precision.
Spiral Wound Gasket UK Supplier
Fabricating gaskets means working to your schedule and testing to make all the necessary adjustments ensuring the gasket you need is the gasket you get.
It’s important that you find the right cutting technique suitable for your spiral wound gasket—considering the material, quantity, cost/budget, and time.
For quality gaskets you can trust, contact us today and see how we can help you.
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