Gaskets are critical sealing devices that occupy space between two or more surfaces to prevent leaks. They are available in a wide range of designs and materials, depending on the intended use. Metal gaskets are a specific subcategory that is effective for applications with extreme temperatures, high pressure, and chemical exposure where elastomeric and other materials will not work effectively.
Metal gaskets come in several shapes, sizes, and configurations. Each design offers unique benefits for particular applications and operating conditions where other non-metallic materials will not work.
A spiral wound gasket consists of a V-shaped stainless steel strip spiraled around a non-metallic filler. Common fillers include flexible graphite or PTFE. A solid outer ring ensures optimal pressure distribution and reduces the potential for creep.
Metal jacketed gaskets are metal outer shells containing filler material, which is typically soft graphite, PTFE, or composite fibers. The filler material provides flexibility for an effective seal, while the metal jacket offers protection from corrosion, high pressure, and extreme temperatures.
Ring type joint (RTJ) gaskets are designed specifically for high-pressure, high-temperature operations. Composed of solid machined metal, RTJ gaskets are exceptionally durable, with outstanding seal integrity. They are preferred for the oil and gas industry, especially for wellheads, drilling, and other extraction operations.
Kammprofile gaskets feature a unique design: a solid metal core with serrated edges and covered with a soft sealing material. These gaskets are ideal for applications that require low-stress seating. The alternating soft and hard materials establish a strong seal and prevent lateral flow, without placing excess pressure on the substrate.
Corrugated metal gaskets (CMGs) are made of a solid metal core and can also be covered with flexible graphite or PTFE. The core features concentric grooves on both sides, and the coating aides in sealing the joined materials from pressure as the gasket tightens. CMGs are effective in low-pressure applications, while retaining resilience and flexibility at high temperatures.
Metal gaskets are produced from various materials that can meet the needs of a broad range of applications. The most common metal gasket materials include:
- Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is prized for its high strength and exceptional corrosion resistance. It is highly effective against blowouts, making it the material of choice for applications involving high pressure, high temperatures, moisture, and corrosive elements.
- Copper: Copper is thermally and electrically conductive, which also makes it resistant to blowouts. Copper gaskets usually go into high-performance street engines.
- Monel: Monel offers the perfect blend of flexibility and strength for extreme temperature operations, such as cryogenics and industrial furnaces. The ductility of Monel at extreme temperatures significantly reduces the potential for damage caused by overtightening.
- Inconel: Inconel is a highly corrosion-resistant material that repels well fluids like oil, gas, and water. Thus, inconel gaskets are preferred by the oil and gas industries.
- Brass: An alloy of copper and zinc, brass is highly versatile and ductile. It is particularly resistant to alkaline, non-oxidizing acids, and salt solutions. Brass gaskets are an excellent option for marine applications.
- Bronze: Bronze is another copper alloy with excellent corrosion resistance, durability, and non-magnetic properties. Bronze performs well under high pressure and is often used in gaskets for plumbing, fuel, medical, chemical, and other critical applications.
At Master Packing & Rubber Company, we are committed to producing and representing quality sealing solutions that meet and exceed rigorous performance requirements, and Made in the USA. To learn more about our extensive selection of metal gaskets and other sealing solutions, Contact us or request a quote today.