Uneven Temperature Exposure – Is There A Solution?

We have recently been looking at applications that have uneven temperature exposure around the perimeter of gaskets. In some cases, one side sees more heat than the other. From the material manufacturing side, there are a number of things we can do.

First of all, it is important to understand why you are seeing uneven temperature exposure. Unfortunately, this happens most of the time during testing (or even field use) as opposed to the design phase. Due to this, you need to sometimes design a material after the fact.

Whether your application was designed that way, or if it is a function of the application running under normal (or sometimes abnormal) operating conditions, your trusted gasket material supplier can help you find a material that will meet your requirements.

 

Drilling Down

Once you understand why you are seeing the uneven temperature exposure, it is time to find a material that can handle it. When you are dealing with composites, the success or failure of your material is going to be in the facings. Here are some conditions that you may be working with:

1. Insulative Issues – In these situations, we can use insulative facings to design the gasket to resist thermal conductivity as much as possible. Not only do you want to keep the heat out, you may be designing to keep the heat in. When a heat shield isn’t practical, you can sometimes insulate with your gasket. (Link to heat shield article)

2. Peak Temperatures – We can select facings to deal with the peak temperatures in a localized area by making the entire gasket resistant to this effect. We can also work with OEM engineers to identify temperature exposure so the proper facings can be chosen.

3. Heat Soak – Sometimes, the steady state operating conditions are not the extreme. The design conditions must also incorporate “heat soak”. This happens once an engine is shut off. With the cooling system no longer operating, the heat of the engine parts flows into other parts, thus elevating the temperature of parts that were not designed for that type of heat exposure. Gaskets and seals must be designed for this. It is possible to have fluid seals like valve cover gaskets, exposed to higher temps due to this “heat soak” mechanism, thus requiring a higher temp material than originally expected.

One of the perks in working with composites in these situations is the ability to utilize two different facings to survive the conditions on each side of the joint. If you can’t find a single material to meet the requirements, work with two!

 

Challenge Accepted

As a company that engineers and manufactures gasket materials, we are always looking for opportunities to create custom solutions for gasket applications that exist in challenging conditions. Working with composites, we have the ability to manufacture exactly what is necessary to meet the requirements for your application, and we are always looking for feedback from the market on what needs are not being met. With new applications being developed every day, there will continue to be unique challenges that design engineers are trying to find a solution for. If this sounds like you, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted gasket material supplier to look for answers.

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Thinking of Using a Gasket To Insulate Against Heat? Here Are 4 Considerations.

Have you ever been in a situation where you are working in a high heat application and you need to figure out a way to insulate against the heat? One option is to look at some heat shielding. A shield can be designed to fit exactly where you need it to go, and away you go. Another option is to put your gasket to work. This is a viable option if you don’t have the space or the need for an actual heat shield.

Gasket materials that have insulative properties can be a perfect fit for your application in so many ways. Keep reading for a list of considerations if you are trying to decide if this would be the answer to your problem.

So You Think You Want To Insulate With a Gasket?

Whether you have heard of using a gasket for insulation purposes or not, here are 4 things you need to consider.

1. Do you need protection? 

You may have a sensitive component, such as an actuator, on one side of the gasket that needs protection from the hot flange on the other side.

2. Does your application have a lot of heat soak? 

Cooling systems work fine, but once the engine is off, it’s off to the races with heat soak, where cooled components can heat up. Once the cooling system is no longer running, nothing is regulating the temperatures, which over time, can cause damage in the application. It is important to identify the proper materials in the designs to tolerate the increased temperature conditions that may occur in some circumstances.

3. Do you plan to use a metal gasket? 

These have successfully sealed many newer engines, but also transfer heat from one area to another, effectively making areas hotter. If you want to use a gasket for insulation, you’ll need to stay away from metal. The best gasket materials to use for an insulative effect are metal-reinforced composite laminates.

4. Cost 

Sometimes a heat shield and gasket can be one in the same, thus reducing cost and installation issues. (For example, our HT337 can function as both the gasket and heat shield when formed to do so – and it is quite successful in the applications!)

It Works!

Over the years, we have recommended materials to many of our customers that are looking for insulative properties in their gaskets, and they have had much success with it. If you are in a similar situation, talk to a trusted gasket material supplier to see if what they have to offer will meet your requirements. If not, find someone who does, because it can be done.

Sometimes, insulation is just as important as any other material property!

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