We’re going to shoot you straight…you may never be in need of a metal reinforced gasket. There. We said it. You could call us up tomorrow and ask for gasket material for XYZ application, and after telling us about your needs, we’d tell you that you would be better off spending your money elsewhere. You might be asking yourself “what kind of sales pitch is that”? Well, it’s an honest one.
Gaskets cut from metal reinforced gasket material is a perfect solution for many applications out there. Just take a look at our blog post, “Why Would I Use Composite Gasket Material When I Can Use MLS?” However, you may not need what it has to offer for your application, and we don’t want to help you place a material for a gasket that isn’t right.
You Might Not Need One If….
1. Load is too light.
Soft rubber or foam applications are used where light loading is available.
2. Internal pressure is minimal.
Fiber products, sheet rubber, or other homogeneous materials are used when internal pressures are minimal.
3. Internal pressure is too high.
For pressure vessels, engineered seals can be required (as opposed to a cut gasket). These might include specialty metallic seals, channeled O-ring joints, and other sophisticated designs.
4. Temperatures are not severe.
For exhaust joints without high heat, a metal-reinforced joint may not be required. The issue quickly becomes a factor of handling (see #5).
If there is no issue of time or handling to get the gasket into the application, a metal-reinforced gasket may not be required. Most engine or industrial exhaust joint applications are robust, and benefit greatly from metal-reinforcement to provide structure and rigidity to aid in both installation, and long term performance.
Find the Right Material
Since we potentially know what material you don’t need, now it is time to find the right material for your application. Using the wrong type of gasket material for your gaskets could cost you money and/or sacrifice performance. Choose wisely!
A trusted gasket material supplier, while they may not offer what you exactly need, should be able to help you get pointed in the right direction. Talking to your supplier is the best way to figure out what you need or don’t need. Even if you know that you don’t need metal reinforced material for your current application, it doesn’t hurt to educate yourself on the products…you never know when you’ll have an application that is right for it!