I Need an Insulative Gasket…What Are My Options?

If you work with applications that see high or extreme temperatures, chances are, you probably need an insulative gasket somewhere in the application. Whether this is something that you have actively thought about or not, we’re here to give you the rundown about insulative gaskets and the materials they are made from.

Before we get going, we thought it would be interesting to get your thoughts on insulative gasket materials.

What type of insulative gasket material would you use?

Why Do I Need One?

Today’s engines are burning hotter than ever. With the increased temperatures, it is becoming more common to have components that must be protected from the heat. A lot of times, an easy and inexpensive way to do this is with your gasket. An insulative gasket will insulate the heat on one side of the flange, keeping the heat away from these sensitive components. You already need to invest in a gasket, and depending on the material chosen, you may also be forced to invest in a heat shield. If you make the right material selection and combine the two, you can kill two birds with one stone.

Your engine can get even hotter due to heat soak. When the engine is off, you can’t rely on the cooling systems to protect the components. Don’t fret…some gasket materials are even known for their ability to move the heat, which results in a cooling effect.

What Gasket Material Should I Select?

Let’s say that you need an insulative gasket. What material should it be made out of? There are a lot of gasket technologies out there. Which one works the best?

First, with high temperature applications, you really have two options. If we’re talking about surviving heat in general (insulation not needed), most people will select either a metal-reinforced composite laminate or embossed stainless steel (MLS/SLS). With the proper material selection, both have comparable performance levels. When you start getting more into the extreme heat (in excess of 800°F), you’ll find that you need to move more into the composites.

However, if you need an insulative gasket, your ONLY option is a metal-reinforced composite laminate, no matter what the temperature. This material is the only one with insulative properties and steel reinforcement, and the only one that can be constructed to specifically meet the needs of a particular application (if the need arises). Stainless steel shims heat up right along with everything else in the engine and won’t insulate. Composites with graphite, vermiculite, mica, and certain types of fibers are necessary to provide some heat management.

Finding the Right Composite

Talk to your trusted gasket material supplier if you are in need of an insulative gasket. Based on the requirements and the environment it will need to survive in, they should be able to give you a few options. If they can’t, keep looking until you find someone who can.

Until next time!Hi-Tex Comparison

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!

Hi-Tex Comparison