The search for the ideal Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) gasket has been elusive. Competing applications and workplace variables have led to the creation of myriad solutions, yet none that has proven fully adaptable and appropriate for universal adoption.
Garlock Sealing Technologies considered this to be a critical yet entirely solvable shortcoming. And it is against this backdrop that in 2016, they set out to compile a comprehensive list of attributes for the ideal PTFE gasket — a wish list, as it were — in order to build a better gasket.
Working with a third-party survey development company, Garlock developed an exhaustive questionnaire that probed every aspect and functionality of PTFE gaskets, testing and adjusting the questions until they had a workable, finalized version.
Using this final questionnaire, Garlock conducted extensive interviews at 15 major chemical processor companies, speaking with 20 engineers responsible for process operations, projects, maintenance and reliability. The goal was simple: to discover the ideal characteristics and their relative importance that engineers sought in a PTFE gasket.
After several months of data collection, Garlock analyzed the feedback and noted the most popular responses:
- 28% of respondents said that they struggled with how different gaskets required different compressive loads and how to ensure that those gaskets had been installed properly
- 21% expressed frustration with the creep properties of PTFE gaskets
- 21% desired a gasket that seals with less compressive load
- 14% expressed frustration at the installation inconsistencies of their fitters
- 14% expressed frustration with leaking, especially after a successful installation and start-up
From those answers, Garlock drew the following conclusions, representing the most desirable and essential PTFE gasket characteristics:
- Seal: Seals easily
- Installation and assembly: Forgiving of poor installation or assembly practices
- Forgiving: Forgiving of poor flange conditions
- Retention: Maintains a seal after installation
- Flexible: Can be used in a broad range of services to avoid user confusion and reduce inventory
Introducing: GYLON EPIX
Garlock used this feedback in developing a next generation PTFE gasket — GYLON EPIX. Featuring a hexagonal surface profile, GYLON EPIX offers superior compressibility and sealing for use in chemical processing environments. Its enhanced surface profile performs as well or better than existing 1/16″ or 1/8″ gaskets, allowing end-users and distributors to consolidate inventory, lower the risk of using incorrect gasket thicknesses and reduce stocking costs.
GYLON EPIX checks off the most desirable gasket attributes:
- Installation and assembly: Even distribution of the bolt load over the contacted area of the gasket during the assembly process
- Retention: Retention of the bolt load administered at assembly
- Seal: Efficient translation of bolt load to sealing performance
- Forgiving: The ability to perform in imperfect flanges and installation conditions
GYLON EPIX with its raised, hexagonal profile allows it to perform the job of both traditional 1/16” and 1/8” gaskets. It accomplishes this by combining the bolt retention of the former with the forgiveness for bad flange conditions of the latter, a truly innovative feature for PTFE sheet gasketing. Continue reading The Ideal PTFE Gasket for Tough Applications – GYLON EPIX