What Can Gaskets Do For You?
The most vulnerable point in any given pipeline is a connection point. Typically a connection point consists of another flange meeting another flange. It may look simple at a glance, but you may not know that simply putting a metal flange next to a metal flange will leave your system with the potential to leak severely. No matter how tightly you bolt together your flanges, high pressure will cause liquid and steam to find an exit point and cause a leak.
Thankfully, we have flange gaskets to help us prevent these leaks. A flange gasket is a ring shaped disc used to fill the gaps between your flanges. When the material is compressed, it will deform to fill all of the imperfections between the flanges. The gasket is expected to create a seal and maintain that seal over a desired length of time. There are three components to consider when creating a connection point with a gasket:
- Is there a sufficient bolt load available? The bolt load is the means of clamping the gasket between the sealing surfaces to create and maintain a sufficient seal.
- Is the piping properly supported so that the sealing surfaces are able to remain parallel?
- Is axial movement or vibration of the piping under control? Is there flexibility within the system because of temperature changes or pressure?
What Type of Gasket Do I Need?
When purchasing a gasket, it is important to look at a few things in regards to the performance of your product. The first and most important is seal-ability. Does your product seal properly and for how long is it guaranteed to hold off a leak? Next, focus on creep relaxation. Over a period of time, the components of your gasket will settle which causes creep relaxation. The product will lose its structure and “creep” into the pipeline. Other factors to pay attention to include flange rotation, blow outs, thermal stability, chemical compatibility, gas permeability and torque retention. These are all crucial in making sure you are purchasing a quality product.
To determine the type of gasket you require for your system, pay attention to the following criteria:
- Size: Pay attention to pressure as well as the actual measurement.
- Temperature: Recognize the highs and lows of your system and determine if the temperature stays at a steady degree or experiences spikes.
- Application: Understand equipment information, bolting information, clamping force, stress administered and the type of flanges being used.
- Media: Determine what will be flowing through your system.
- Pressure: Understand the highs and lows, if the pressure is surging and if thermal expansion is present.
A good way to remember the questions to ask when selecting the gasket you need is to think of the acronym “STAMP”. Size, Temperature, Application, Media and Pressure.
The World Wide Metric and Garlock Partnership
World Wide Metric is currently partnered with Garlock Sealing Technologies to provide our customers with all of their gasket needs. Garlock is a division of EnPro Corporation and has a worldwide distribution and manufacturing network. We are proud to carry a solid product that offers the qualities needed for reliable sealing.
From stock we offer Garlock’s IFG-5500 which is a gasket that is made from an inorganic fiber which offers excellent thermal stability with minimal weight loss. This also means that you will experience reduced creep relaxation and improved torque retention while maintaining your seal. These gaskets are temperature resistant due to their non-oxidizing fibers which withstand continuous operating temperatures of up to 550°F (290°C) and maximum spikes of up to 800°F (425°C). This style of gasket has passed the Garlock Fire Test and is ABS Fire Safe Type approved.
The Garlock IFG-5500 is ideal for use with oil, steam, water and high temperature applications. Applications can also include water, aliphatic hydrocarbons, oils, gasoline, saturated steam, inert gases and most refrigerants. For more information regarding this product, contact the World Wide Metric team today.