If you were in the market for a gasket, do you even know where to start? If not, check out some of our previous posts The Most Commonly Used Gasket Materials & Why You Need Them All and Why Would I Use Composite Gasket Material When I Can Use MLS? As you can see, we’ve broken down why you want to consider a composite material. Now, the big question for some of our readers may be: “What exactly is a composite gasket”?
Breaking It Down
For starters, the terms ‘metal reinforced gasket’ and ‘composite gasket’ are synonyms. The most common types of composite gaskets consist of a facing material chemically or mechanically bonded to a piece of metal (think of an oreo). Some applications actually use a one-sided configuration, but we’ll save that for another day. The possibilities are virtually endless if you start to think about what facings you could combine with the metals. However, feasibility and practicality tend to narrow your gasket material options when it comes to the application. Even so, you are in control of the materials and the thickness to specifically meet your needs.
Some of the more popular facings are: graphites, fiber blends, graphite/fiber blends, vermiculite, mica, beater-addition fiber sheet, compressed sheet material, just to name a few.
The facings are most often bonded to steel. This produces the most cost-effective, strongest, and durable solution. Other core options are: stainless steels, aluminum alloys, expanded metals, wire mesh, thin foils, among others.
Your application will lead you to specific facings and metals depending on what your requirements are. Whether you are looking for a material for a new application, or looking to replace a material that isn’t working for your current application, a good gasket material supplier will be able to walk you through the process of selecting what you need. There’s no need to try to figure it out on your own!
Ok, So Why Do I Need One?
Now that we’ve been through what exactly a metal reinforced gasket is, let’s talk about why you need one.
1. It is stronger than a “homogeneous” gasket material, to resist blowout and retain the internal pressure of the joint.
2. It is dimensionally stable; will not shrink or grow like some products.
3. It has stiffness for better handling and assembly.
4. It has resistance to crushing or splitting.
5. It has no potential for center leak path with solid core items.
So Now What?
Depending on the reason that you landed on this blog, you may be ready to find some composite material to test in your application, or maybe this is just information you are going to tuck away for a future application. Whatever the reason, hopefully this helped to educate (or reeducate) you on metal reinforced gasket material.
What other questions do you have about metal reinforced materials?