Tag Archives: gaskets

Raising the Gasket / Surface Profile in Aging Systems

Enhancing the surface profile can improve sealing capabilities, extending the functionality of aging piping systems in chemical plants.

There are many aged and aging process plants in operation today. In fact, many of the processing plants for power, chemicals, oil, etc., have been in service for more than 50 years. And while the piping itself may remain intact, their bolted flange gasket joints and connections are becoming misaligned, corroded and damaged due to repeated handling, chemical exposure and thermal cycling. This can lead to costly ruptures that may result in millions of dollars in damages, downtime, noncompliance penalties, irreparable environmental impact and litigation.

There is a solution that can extend the life of aging piping systems, preserving their functionality: raising the surface profile on polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) gaskets. This design modification can prevent leaks, spills and other releases in chemical processing plants by reducing and managing the contacted area of the gasket, thus achieving and maintaining a strong seal.

A Brief History of Gasket Technology

Traditionally, gasket thickness and sealability always involved a performance tradeoff. One could use 1/16-inch-thick (1.6 millimeter) gaskets when flanges were in good condition, achieving a tight seal with reduced creep.

However, when the flanges had bad or misaligned surfaces, the seal integrity was degraded.

In those instances when the flanges are in poor condition (or if the shape of the flange condition is unknown), one would choose a 1/8-inch-thick (3.2 mm) gasket. The reason? A user does not want to risk installing a thinner gasket and discover that it does not seal properly, which then requires a timely and costly uninstall and reinstall. However, the thicker gaskets do not seal as well as their 1/16-inch counterparts when placed under comparable load. Additionally, with the thicker gaskets, creep is higher, requiring re-torque.

To address the limitations of both gasket options, the ideal gasket should combine the creep resistance of a 1/16-inch gasket with the compressibility and conformability of a 1/8-inch gasket—easier said than done.

Historically, gaskets have not always been forgiving, easy to use or simple to remove. Yet technology has evolved, allowing sealing products to be engineered and designed to optimize the work that is put into them, delivering a tighter, more durable seal.

The approach is one that does not focus on the gasket thickness but rather its surface profile. The results produce gaskets that reduce leaks, spills and other releases from piping systems, including those of aging chemical plants.

gylon epix sheet
Gylon EPIX Sheet Material

Raising the Gasket Profile

The concept of using surface profiling to reduce area and increase stress is found in many products, such as running shoes and car tires. Reducing the contact area while maintaining a given amount of compressive force results in increased stress. In the case of shoes or tires, this stress provides traction. In the case of gaskets, traction or friction between a gasket and a flange face is critical to holding internal pressure. If the downward force created by the fasteners in a flange is evenly spread over a larger area, the created stress contributes to making a seal more effective. This approach enables the aging piping system to maximize its sealing potential.

Impact on Raising Gasket Profile

Surface profiling positively impacts gasket technology in five key areas: compressibility, pressure resistance, scalability, load retention and dimensional flexibility.

Compressibility

Compressibility is a critical functionality of gaskets, as it represents the ability of the gasket to conform to the surfaces that it seals. Adding raised features to the surface of a gasket directly impacts compressibility by reducing the contact area and increasing the resulting stress.

When flange surfaces are worn, pitted or scratched—such as those in aging piping systems in chemical plants—it can be cost prohibitive and nearly impossible to repair/replace the flange to a “good as new” condition. The more compressible the gasket, the better chance of producing an effective seal with the flanges. Continue reading Raising the Gasket / Surface Profile in Aging Systems

A Case Study: GYLON® 3504 and 3545 Gaskets

Wine Manufacturing with GYLON®

Gylon 3504

Picture of Garlock 3545The GYLON® Style 3504 gasket is made of PTFE with aluminosilicate microspheres. It is designed for use in many acids, some caustics, hydrocarbons, refrigerants, and more.

Gylon 3545

The Garlock 3545 style is a highly compressible microcellular PTFE with a rigid PTFE core for improved handlability. Garlock 3545, made with Gylon material, is designed to compress and conform to irregular or damaged surfaces, making it suitable for flanges that generate lower compressive stresses, such and glass-lined flanges and equipment.

INDUSTRY

Food & Beverage – Wine Production

CUSTOMER

An award-winning, family owned & operated winery in the heart of a major US wine-growing region.

BACKGROUND

The customer crushes, presses, ferments, bottles, and labels all of their wines at their winery, but having traditionally utilized EPDM gaskets, they faced ongoing issues with seal reliability. This was occurring during various stages of the winemaking process, but especially so during the sterilization procedures between each batch, with subsequent leaks creating issues in production reliability, housekeeping, and potential contamination.

CHALLENGES FACED

Business was growing rapidly so new equipment had been installed, but at the same time the number of maintenance windows was reducing. Therefore the customer was looking for a more reliable and sanitary product to improve efficiency and help to protect the sensitive product. As well as the need to remain absolutely compliant with industry standards, the customer also placed utmost importance on prevention of any adulteration of their award-winning wine. As well as working around limited windows of opportunity for production trials the critical and expert opinion of wine tasters was therefore essential to ensure full approval of any component change in the process.

Continue reading A Case Study: GYLON® 3504 and 3545 Gaskets

Form-in-Place Sealex® Joint Sealant

Sealex®Sealex® joint sealant, specially processed, 100% pure PTFE on a roll, provides soft, highly compressible gasketing for longer life and trouble-free sealing. Its form-in-place versatility also cuts maintenance and storage costs. The high compressibility of Sealex® enables it to effectively fill flange imperfections for a tight, leak-free seal. Under pressure, it provides a very wide, thin ribbon-like joint sealant. Unlike conventional PTFE which is prone to cold flow, Sealex® has good creep resistance and bolt torque retention properties.

Sealex® joint sealant does not support bacterial growth or cause product contamination and is FDA compliant. It has virtually no shelf-life concerns since PTFE is unaffected by normal environmental conditions.

It has excellent resistance properties to chemical attack. It is ideal for most chemical services at temperatures to 500°F (260°C) and pressure to 2,000 psi (138 bar). It is also suitable for cryogenic use to -321°F (-196°C).

Continue reading Form-in-Place Sealex® Joint Sealant

Isolation Gasket Solutions from Thermoseal

KLINGERSIL® C-7400 Isolation Gaskets

Application Overview:

Some applications in plants call out for isolation kits to maintain the integrity and reliability of a pipeline and piping system. Isolation kits are designed to work in conjunction with flanges, gaskets, and/or bolt sleeves and washers by eliminating metal-to-metal contact and halting static electric currents. At times they are relied upon for critical applications in severe temperatures and conditions.

KLINGERSIL C-7400 - Isolation Gaskets replace Isolation Kits

The Problem: 

Industry’s first choice are phenolic gaskets. They are often supplied in kits, but they are hard and typically take a lot of load to seal. And lack of load is the number one reason for gasket failure.

Continue reading Isolation Gasket Solutions from Thermoseal

Improper Gasketed Joints Can Be Deadly

Gasket FabricationGallagher Fluid Seals is the trusted supplier of MRO sealing materials – including gasketing, packing, expansion joints, etc. – to all kinds of plants and manufacturers throughout the northeast and mid-Atlantic.  At Gallagher, we take the time to specify the right gasket for every application, and we do our best to keep our customers well-informed about industry best practices and sealing safety.

The following is an article recently published in Pumps & Systems Magazine, which discusses why you should NEVER reuse a gasket.


Sealing Sense

by Jim Drago & Ron Frisard

Safety is a concern at any industrial site. An Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance specialist has stated that safety should be more than a priority: “Priorities in an organization can and usually do change. Safety and health need to be a core value of the organization.”1

Continue reading Improper Gasketed Joints Can Be Deadly

How To Choose The Right Semi-Metallic Gasket

semi-metallic gasketThere are many variations of semi-metallic gasket available in today’s market.  The combination of metal and a soft gasket material merges the sealing ability of the soft material with the structural integrity of the metal.

The most common styles of semi-metallic gasket include spiral wound gaskets, corrugated, jacketed, and kammprofile gaskets.

Pumps & Systems magazine outlined the proper way to select a semi-metallic gasket. Read on to learn more:

Continue reading How To Choose The Right Semi-Metallic Gasket

GORE® Gasket Tape Gets an Upgrade

GORE® Gasket Tape is a 100% ePTFE form-in-place gasket that delivers worry-free sealing performance for large steel flanges (Series 500) and large glass-lined steel equipment (Series 1000). While this product has a number of advantages, GORE® has now made their gasket tape line even easier to use.


Improved installation-aid adhesive.

GORE® Gasket Tape - New Backer vs. Old BackerGORE® has upgraded the removable adhesive backer on GORE® Gasket Tape Series 500 and Series 1000 to a new higher strength material. This ensures that when the backer is removed at installation, it peels away in one easy-to-remove piece.

Continue reading GORE® Gasket Tape Gets an Upgrade

Garlock Sealing Integrity for Chemical Processing Industries

Garlock sealing solutionsPersonal safety is important in every industry, but when sensitive, hazardous or unstable chemicals are involved, the need to protect employees from exposure becomes paramount. The Garlock® family of companies creates sealing solutions that resist the extreme temperatures and corrosive materials of chemical processing environments to deliver unparalleled safety, performance and reliability.

Garlock sealing solutions excel in a variety of chemical processing applications — including pumps, valves, reactors, flange joints, heat exchangers and more — through their tireless dedication to understanding their customers’ specific needs and designing highly engineered products that exceed their expectations.

Never content to rest on past achievements, Garlock’s scientists and engineers are constantly developing new and innovative sealing technologies that change the way the chemical processing industry meets its sealing requirements. By combining advanced technology products with exceptional service and environmental stewardship, Garlock delivers sealing solutions that improve personal safety and plant productivity, reduce costs and comply with increasingly stringent environmental regulations.

Continue reading Garlock Sealing Integrity for Chemical Processing Industries