A gasket is a very simple item that is reasonably inexpensive. Considering how gaskets work, you may be facing a costly bill should a gasket fail. Choosing a quality gasket from Specialist Sealing Products helps to create a seal that will last until well after the next round of maintenance. As a result, you can rest assured that the seal will hold. The consequences of using cheap spiral wound gaskets from the cheapest gasket manufacturer you can find could be dire. What if you’re working with chemicals and a contaminant leaks in because the gasket has started to leak? Or the seal fails to hold due to the rubber breaking down and the product leaks out? Choosing a lower-quality, cheaper option on something this important doesn’t make much sense at all. The question then becomes, how do you choose the right quality option? For the rest of this post, we’ll go through what to look for to find a quality gasket.
How Was the Item Shipped?
Technically speaking, your standard models can take a pretty good beating. Still, you want to check how carefully they were packed when they came to you. Look for any signs of damage. Some light bending is not likely to break a good gasket, but it is going to weaken it. It’s important that the packaging protects the items inside and provides enough space so that they’re not compressed.
Was it Exposed to the Sun?
When you take it out of the packet, does it look faded? This is more of an issue with a nitrile or SBR gasket. Those made from silicone or neoprene are not as badly affected by exposure to UV rays.
How Clean Does It Look?
This one may sound a little strange. After all, what’s the harm of the actual ring being a little dusty? The harm is that it indicates that the manufacturer may not have been scrupulous about cleaning. Now, a little dust that settles after the manufacturing is over is not a big deal. Where it becomes problematic, though, is during cutting. If there is debris on the blades or surface, there’s a chance that particles can become lodged in the gasket. Either that or they could create leak paths by gouging lines in the sides.
What Material is Being Used?
Don’t assume that the manufacturer has used the type of material that you were expecting. Double check everything.
Some companies make pretty good lookalikes using cheaper materials. The replica is almost identical, but it will never last as long. If you’re having a specialist model made, make sure that your contract specifies that materials to be used.
The Edge Quality
This will depend on the process used during cutting. It also depends on the condition of the equipment and tooling. While that outer edge of the gasket has little to do with how well it works, a shoddy finish should give you pause. After all, if the manufacturer couldn’t be bothered to finish things off just a little more neatly, how much care have they taken with the important things? The inner edge is an important piece to inspect. Is it smooth or are there strings left behind? How evenly has it been cut? Even a small cut-out as a result of uneven tooling could result in a cavity that ends up causing noise, turbulence and gets in the way of the flow.
A gasket is a small piece of a larger puzzle, but it plays a vital role. Choosing quality can make a world of difference to your production processes. Opting for the cheapest model of spiral wound gaskets may seem enticing, but you may pay more in the long run.
Reference Video: MAHLE Aftermarket NA