I Need a Round Gasket with Holes In It?

Like any service oriented business, fluid sealing companies, which include your local gasket shops, work hard to provide great customer service, professional fluid sealing advice and “right-now” gasket fabrication. Taken as a whole service package, this is one of the top advantages of having a great working relationship with your local gasket shop.

The variety of fluid sealing problems that customers bring into a gasket shop cover a wide range of gasket materials, shapes, sizes and applications. On a regular basis a customer will walk in and ask if we can make them a gasket for a piece of equipment immediately. When asked about the dimensions or for more information on the gasket they need they’ll say something like, “you know,” “it is a round gasket with holes in it.” Since there are many gaskets that are round with holes in them, that description doesn’t help. Everyone ends up frustrated.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need a gasket made, before you walk into your local gasket shop it helps if you have the information needed to fabricate or select the right gasket for you. A simple way to gather the info needed is to follow The S.T.A.M.P. method.

The S.T.A.M.P. Method

S. – Size. What are the physical dimensions of the gasket you require. If the gasket is an odd shape, bringing in a sample is helpful. In addition, knowing what thickness of! material you need would help too.

T. – Temperature. What is the minimum and maximum temperatures the gasket will have to withstand.

A. – Application. What type of equipment will the gasket go on. I.E., pumps, valves, mixers, vessels, engines, dehydrators, etc.

M. – Media What are you trying seal? If you guess at this one your gasket provider will be guessing as to what will work for you.

P. – Pressure. What is the operating pressure you expect the gasket to hold up to?

S. – Speed. This applies to rotating equipment. What is the shaft speed in fpm?

If you have the answers to the above applicable questions for your needs, your gasket provider has everything they’ll need to supply you with the right gasket for the job.

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Over the years, metal gaskets have become one of the most popular style gaskets to be used.  Once properly installed they hold up under some of the toughest applications across a variety of industries.  They perform consistently well earning both maintenance and operating personals confidence.  Of course, all of this is determined by the proper handling of the gasket prior to installation.   Quite often when a metal gasket fails, it fails somewhere between after being purchased and at the job site before installation.

A result of Careless handling

A result of Careless handling

After hearing about and actually seeing a number of “broken” gaskets here are the top 3 ways you can destroy your spiral wound gasket before you get a chance to use them

  1. Through them in the back of your pick up right after you purchase them. This always seems to surprise people when they show up at their job site and the gasket windings are all over the back of the truck looking like a giant slinky.
  2. Loosely package them for a long journey in a makeshift card board box. Yep, they can only take a certain amount of bouncing, pounding, and jostling around before the windings come undone.  Surprise!
  3. Lastly and I’m sure it’s not the least, bang them around your shop or work site. Even though these gaskets are made out of metal, they weren’t meant to be carelessly handled.  I recently received a call from a somewhat panicked mechanic whose last metal gasket sprung.   Miss handling the gasket in the shop was the culprit.

Avoid handling spiral wound gaskets like I mention above and you stand a great chance of actually using them as intended.

What work practice have you implemented to avoid damaging spiral wound gaskets before you get a chance to install them?

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Silicon – The Other High Temperature Elastomer

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Low Emissions Sealing Solutions

Valve image 2Colorado has recently adopted some of the toughest fugitive emissions standards in the country.  Operators and maintenance personnel are being challenged to increase maintenance programs, and develop preventive measures to minimize the potential for fugitive emissions. In addition many operators are implementing equipment monitoring plans and systems.  Plus, the new rules require existing storage tanks comply with pollution limits that only apply to new tanks under federal law. Challenging to say the least.

Anticipating the new fugitive emission requirements, researchers and product developers within the fluid sealing industry have develop a full line of Low Emission fluid sealing products.   These fluid sealing Low Emission technologies are made from improved materials and improved gasket designs.   Selecting which product is appropriate for a given application is key.  The acronym STAMP—can serve as a general guide to ensure correct gasket selection. The initial S stands for the size of the flanges to be sealed; T stands for temperature; A is for the actual application (flanges, bolts, equipment, etc.); M is for media (liquids, gases, chemicals, water, steam, etc.); and P is for pressure. Once this information is gathered a proper fluid sealing solution can be used.

With the proper fluid sealing solution every flanged joint, valve bonnet, packing gland, threaded fitting can meet or exceed the new fugitive emissions standards.

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Do I a Really Need a To Use A Torque Wrench



Gaskets form a mechanical seal which fills the space between two or more mating surfaces, to prevent leakage from or into the joined objects while under compression. The amount of force or torque needed to compress the gasket between two flanges is specified by the gasket manufacturer.  When that torque is properly applied a good safe seal is achieved.  That is why a good torque wrench is needed.

For more information on the kinds and proper use of torque wrenches click here to read a Fluid Sealing Associations Article on this subject.

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