How many times have you been working with a gasket (by itself or in an application) and wondered if you could change something about it to make it work a little better? Sometimes the options in the market don’t quite meet all of your needs, and you have an idea that just might work! Now, if there was only a way to bring it to fruition…
Did you know that there are some gasket material manufacturers that design and engineer new materials, and that you can reach out to one to vet out this idea? Depending on your level of experience with the various material constructions, maybe there is already something out there to fit your need. If not, material manufacturers (especially those that work with composites) have a lot of options.
If you proceed down the path of working with a materials manufacturer to design a material, or requesting that a materials manufacturer figure out if they can design something to meet your needs, you’ll most likely need to be ready with answers to these six questions.
What To Be Prepared For
1. What type(s) of applications are we looking at, and what does it need to seal?
2. What are the operating conditions and temperatures?
3. What do you like/not like about what is currently being used/proposed?
4. What are the flange conditions? Is there sufficient flange load available?
5. What is the design life of the joint? How long does the gasket need to last?
6. What is the target price range? Are we basing on price or performance?
The more detailed answers you can give, the easier it will be to take a look at your needs and figure out if something can be designed to meet them (or like we mentioned earlier, maybe something exists that you weren’t familiar with). There are a lot of options out there, especially when working with composites, and raw material improvements over the last few years continue to advance the capabilities and performance of composite gaskets.
Pick Up The Phone
Gasket material manufacturers, especially ones that offer engineering and design support, are always ready for the next challenge. Continuous improvement of gasket materials and their abilities is a goal that everyone should be striving to reach, because we all will benefit. Don’t be satisfied with a material that works “ok” – if there’s room to improve something or if there a need to be met, pick up the phone and start investigating whether there might be a solution out there.
What innovations would you like to see?