There are a handful of gasket materials and technologies that are acceptable for a variety of conditions within an application. However, as you venture into specific conditions, those options start to narrow – especially as you get into higher temperature and higher pressure applications.
As an experienced materials manufacturer, when we hear a customer or potential customer start talking about gasketing needs, there are certain applications where we know immediately that metal reinforced composite laminates are a great option. To help you in your planning process, we decided to put together a list of the top applications where these types of gaskets excel (in no particular order).
Look to Composites
1. Exhaust system gaskets – Composite laminates work well in exhaust systems because they tolerate heat and distortion of the flanges. They can also be made with a stainless steel core to resist corrosion and provide long term performance.
2. Aftertreatment system gaskets (DPR, EGR, etc.) – Composite materials perform well here with the rigidity of the steel core for strength and the sealability of the facing material in aftertreatment joints.
3. Manifold gaskets (exhaust/intake) – Graphite laminates are one example of a composite laminate that works well in exhaust manifold gaskets. The material helps to manage heat flow while maintaining a seal.
4. Collector gaskets – Collector gaskets are generally high temperature flanged joints that require a compressible material to seal the joint. Often, composite materials are the first choice here due to their economic advantage and compressible nature.
5. Cylinder head gaskets – Head gaskets have been successfully made from graphite composite laminates since the mid 1980’s. These gaskets perform well as they seal a variety of surfaces while managing heat and providing long-term service.
6. Aftermarket/replacement gaskets (head, exhaust, and intake applications) – Composite laminates are by far the best choice in aftermarket/replacement applications. They provide additional compressibility and conformance to seal against less-than-ideal flange surfaces while compensating for removed material such as surfaces that are refinished. Composites also provide lasting service with their ability to compress and recover in these applications.
Materials that Survive
If you’re dealing with applications that meet any of these conditions, it is important to be aware of the types of materials that are known for successfully sealing them. Once you have an awareness of the general direction you should be going in, talk to a gasket material supplier that specializes in that type of material. Then, you can narrow down your choices to the one material that is best suited for the conditions it will need to withstand.
What are the other applications where you prefer metal reinforced composites?