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.
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!)
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!