Every market has its own set of preferences and needs as it applies to gaskets and the materials they are made from. High performance applications are no exception. Obviously, everyone needs gaskets that meet the requirements of the application, effectively seal and have value. However, there are some different considerations that you will need to pay attention to if you work or desire to work in high performance applications.
Below you will, find four things that you should be aware of when dealing with gaskets in high performance applications.
What You Should Know
1. Machining makes a difference in the gaskets used.
This is true in any application, but you do see a wide spectrum of machining in high performance. The time (and money) spent on flange surfaces has a direct correlation with your gasket choice. On rough and uneven flanges, composite materials are the best choice. They can fill in surface imperfections and achieve a seal where other materials will not. Other types of gasket designs require costly machining to achieve the smooth finishes that are necessary.
2. Clean teardown is important.
When you think of high performance, you think of quick and efficient turnovers. Gaskets that come apart cleanly without sticking are desired. What should you look for in gaskets to achieve this? First, an anti-stick coating gives you the ability to remove your gaskets without much scraping or peeling. Second, utilizing “armor” type materials (metal on the outside) provides the same benefit in exhaust applications.
With the clean teardown comes the expectation to reuse a gasket. This is especially true in high performance applications. While it isn’t recommended to even reuse a gasket, you can get away with it under certain conditions. Review our blog post The Great Gasket Debate: To Reuse or Not To Reuse.
4. Material Quality
Generally, materials used in “high performance” applications are a better grade than the standard product. It might be a better polymer system, a higher grade of graphite for longer life, an aramid fiber vs a cellulose fiber, etc. Also, gaskets may feature higher density materials for better recovery properties and low creep. A simple change such as using a better base material for a gasket might offer significant benefits to a part and elevate it to “high performance” status.
Find What Works for You
If you are unsure whether or not a specific material will meet the needs of your high performance application, don’t hesitate to talk to your trusted gasket material supplier. Identifying the right materials to meet the requirements of your application can sometimes be difficult.
What material features are important to you in your high performance work?
Metal Tech Industries offers such grades as AR400, SB582, HT337, HT959 and others for this level of performance.