News & Tech Tips

High-Temperature Gaskets and Why They’re Important — Can Your Project Stand the Heat?

When you’re working with extreme high temperatures, flames, steam, hot oils, exhaust or combustible fluids, you need a seal you can trust. Using the right gasket, tape or material can be the difference between the success or failure of your equipment.

Over time, high temperatures can gradually degrade and deteriorate some common gasket materials causing leakage which in turn can lead to downtime, and maybe even shutdowns. Expert Gasket & Seal can help you avoid these situations by finding the right material for your high temperature sealing needs.

We understand “high-temperature” is a relative term. If your application is below 500° F, there are several great rubber materials to consider, like:

Heat Resistant Gasket Materials

Silicone: With a superior temperature range from -75° F to 450° F, silicone good choice when the material will not be exposed to acids, alkalis, superheated steam (over 250 degrees F), aromatic hydrocarbons and certain fuels.

Viton®: An excellent choice for high temperature applications up to 400° F, Viton® has superior resistance to many chemicals, including acids, fuels, aromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons and not flammable hydraulic fluids.

EPDM: Considered the best rubber gasket for steam and hot water applications (up to 350° F), EPDM is capable of handling steam temperatures up to 400° F. Although EPDM is not compatible with petroleum-based fluids, it can handle many Glycol-based fluids up to 300° F.

Perfluoroelastomers: Most commonly available in O-rings, perfluoroelastomers, often known as Kalrez® or Parofluor®, are heat resistant up to 600° F and handle a wider array of chemicals than Viton®. However, they are very expensive and come in limited shapes and sizes.

If your application involves higher temperatures, up to or exceeding 750 degrees, you should consider other materials to enhance and extend your seal’s performance. Some considerations include:

Graphite: A natural mineral, graphite has thermal and electrical conductivity like metal and is resistant up to 875° F.

Compressed non-asbestos: An asbestos-free fiber made from synthetic fibers and an elastomeric binder, compressed non-asbestos gaskets provide improved torque retention, lowered emission levels and can handle temperatures up to 750° F.

Spiral wound gaskets: A low-cost solution, spiral wound gaskets are semi-metallic, consisting of multiple layers of metal and a filler that may include ceramic, graphite or PTFE. Spiral wound gaskets are suitable for temperatures up to 850° F.

PTFE: Polytetrafluoroethylene is a reliable polymer material that can resist strong industrial chemicals and withstand temperatures above 500° F for extended periods.

Commercial Grade Fabrics: For the most demanding applications with extreme high temperatures, consider premium fiberglass cloth, rope, tape, and tadpole tapes with temperature ratings up to 1000° F or ceramic fiber papers, some with temp limits of 2300° F. Used in furnace linings, casting blow off tables, molten metal or anywhere you need to protect product and parts from high temperature or molten materials.

While it is important to consider high-temperature materials, there are many other factors to consider when selecting the most suitable gasket for your application, like the medium, system pressure and exposure conditions. The experts at Expert Gasket & Seal will work with you to identify these factors and help you choose the right materials and products for your project.

To learn more about high-temperature gaskets, contact Expert Gasket & Seal today at (330) 468-0066.

Expert Gasket & Seal Helps Client Combat Equipment Failure While Maintaining FDA Compliance

At Expert Gasket & Seal, we don’t just provide sealing products, we provide sealing solutions. Our customer’s success is our priority. So, when an international food manufacturer came to us with major equipment failure of one of their cooking vessels, we tackled the challenge with open minds and ready hands.

The large steam cooking vessel was designed to go from the ambient plant temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit steam. The steam was injected through a tube that also served as the shaft to which the seal was attached. Because the shaft we were sealing was also the heating element, the axial shaft would grow .250“-.375“. This expansion was causing almost instant failure of the mechanical seal from stretching, rolling O-rings and shattering hard seal faces.

Working with Advanced Sealing International (ASI), our experts designed a custom double mechanical seal, based on ASI’s Model 600, which allowed for the necessary shaft growth without destroying seal faces or damaging plant equipment. Designing the custom mechanical seal required focus on several factors other than the equipment failure. We needed to design a seal that would address factors like minimizing the use of water being wasted as the barrier fluid, frictional heat, the set up and crystallization of the sugars in the product on seal faces during downtime, product loss and waste, product contamination and of course the safety of plant personnel — all while maintaining FDA compliance.

This new custom mechanical seal increased the life of the equipment’s seal from around 2-6 weeks to 1-4 years — that’s an average increase of nearly 3,000 percent. Considering that it takes around eight hours to replace the drive end and thrust end of the vessel seals, increasing the seal life has resulted in a reduction in downtime, increased production, increased safety and decreased collateral equipment damage.

Expert Gasket & Seal can solve your gasket and seal problems too.
Just call and expert today at 800.956.8766

A Complete Guide to Rubber Gasket Materials

In our February blog post, we shared five common materials used to make gaskets, which included three types of rubber gasket materials: Silicone, Viton® and Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM). In this blog post, we will highlight these, and other rubber materials, their applications and their uses as a guide for choosing the right rubber gasket for your next job.

Rubber gasket materials vary in composition and functionality. When choosing a rubber gasket material, several factors need to be considered including temperature range, thickness, system pressure, application, industry and FDA grade to determine the right material for your intended gasket use. While rubber gasket materials may have similar temperature ranges and thicknesses, they are constructed for different applications and purposes.

This guide for rubber gasket materials is meant to highlight important material distinctions to help you make the most informed decision.

EPDM Rubber

EPDM rubber is typically used in hot water and steam conditions. It performs well when used with glycol-based brake fluids and is known for great resistance to ozone, aging and a range of weather conditions. EPDM rubber gaskets offer great resistance to heat, which is why these types of rubber gaskets are used for caustic service and mild acids.

  • Temperature Range: -50° F – +300° F
  • Thickness: 1/16” to ¼”
  • P Max (psi): 150
  • Applications: Water, steam, animal/vegetable oils and oxygenated solvents. Excellent with acid.
  • Typical Industries: Aerospace, construction
  • FDA Approved Compounds: Yes

 Silicone Rubber

You could say that silicone rubber is built for planes, trains and automobiles. Silicone rubber is a versatile material that performs well in low and high temperatures. A silicone rubber gasket prevents oxygen from penetrating and will resist potential problems, like ozone, UV rays and inclement weather. Silicone rubber is used in FDA/food processes, high temperatures and where electrical resistance is needed.

  • Temperature Range: -75° F – +450° F
  • Thickness: 1/32” to ¼”
  • Maximum Pressure (P Max): 150 psi
  • Applications: High temperatures in air or water (excluding oil or steam)
  • Typical Industries: Aerospace, food and beverage and transportation
  • FDA Approved Compounds: Yes

Viton® Rubber

Viton® rubber has a broad range of chemical resistance making it ideal for most applications involving oils, fuels and acids. Viton® rubber boasts excellent resistance to oxidation, ozone and UV exposure. Viton® rubber’s fuel resistance means these gaskets can withstand high-temperature conditions and is widely used for its chemical compatibility.

  • Temperature Range: -20° F – +400° F
  • Thickness: 1/32” to ¼”
  • Maximum Pressure (P Max): 150 psi
  • Applications: Oil/aromatic fuels, mineral, animal and vegetable oils, solvents and hydraulic fluid; Excellent with petrol and lubricating oils, as well as solvents, caustics, acids, etc.
  • Typical Industries: Automotive, food processing and pharmaceutical
  • FDA Approved Compounds: Yes

 Neoprene® (Chloroprene) Rubber

Neoprene® is the most prominent synthetic rubber material. It performs well in low and high temperatures and is commonly used in water, refrigerants, some mineral oils and ammonia applications.

  • Temperature Range: -20° F – +225° F
  • Thickness: 1/32” to 2”
  • Maximum Pressure (P Max): 150 psi
  • Applications: Oil and gasoline, excellent weather resistance
  • Typical Industries: HVAC, automotive and electrical
  • FDA Approved Compounds: Yes

Nitrile (Buna-N, NBR, Acrylonitrile-butadiene) Rubber

Nitrile rubber is used in low and high temperature environments for petroleum-based fluids. This type of rubber is ideal for a majority of mineral oils, some fuels and petroleum-based oils and grease. It is important to note that Nitrile rubber does not match well with glycol-based brake fluid, phosphate-ester fluids and high aromatic content fuels.

  • Temperature Range: -25° F – +212° F
  • Thickness: 1/32” to 2”
  • Maximum Pressure (P Max): 150 psi
  • Applications: Oil/aromatic fuels, mineral, animal and vegetable oils, solvents and hydraulic fluid
  • Typical Industries: Military vehicles, mobile equipment, white FDA, general service and utility
  • FDA Approved Compounds: Yes

SBR (Styrene-Butadiene) Rubber

SBR rubber is the oldest synthetic rubber material and is durable and resilient. The most popular form of SBR rubber used to make gaskets is called “Red Rubber,” named for its reddish-brown color. SBR rubber performs well in low and high temperatures and is typically used in a range of wastewater and many other utility applications.

  • Temperature Range: -40° F – +180° F
  • Thickness: 1/32” to ¼”
  • Maximum Pressure (P Max): 150 psi
  • Applications: Air and hot and cold water; excellent abrasion and impact resistance, and resilience
  • Typical Industries: Interior plumbing and drainage systems
  • FDA Approved Compounds: Not typically used in food applications, however some specialized food-grade versions (white SBR) have been developed

There are many impactful characteristics and features to consider for your intended gasket purpose. When choosing a gasket material, the main objective is to pick one that will seal the deal. Let this blog post be your guide for making that decision.

To learn more about gasket materials, contact Expert Gasket & Seal today at (330) 468-0066.


Five Gasket Materials That Will Seal the Deal

There are a variety of materials that can be used to make gaskets. When preventing leaks is the objective, it’s very important for these materials to be reliable and long lasting. But before determining the right material for your project, you must first consider how your gasket will be used. Here are some things to think about before deciding what material to use:

  • What application will the gasket be used in?
  • What temperature range will the gasket be used in?
  • Are there any potential chemicals that may come in contact with the gasket?
  • What type of system pressure will the gasket need to endure?

Once you have determined the use for your gasket, the next step is figuring out the type of material that will best serve this purpose.

There are many types of materials we use at Expert Gasket & Seal to make gaskets. Here are a few popular materials to consider for your next project.

Rubber Gasket Materials

  • Silicone rubber is a versatile material that is effective in high and low temperature environments. A silicone rubber gasket will prevent oxygen from penetrating as well as resist a lot of potential problems, like ozone, UV rays and inclement weather.
  • Viton rubber has an exceptionally broad range of chemical resistance making Viton a perfect option for most applications involving oils, fuels, acids, this material boast excellent resistance to oxidation, ozone, and UV exposure.
  • Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) rubber is used in hot water and steam conditions. EPDM rubber is also used with glycol-based brake fluids and is known for great resistance to ozone, aging and a range of weather conditions.

For compressed gasket materials, here are a couple of frequently used materials in this gasket category.

Durlon Gaskets

  • Durlon® 8500 is a green colored NBR binder/Aramid-Inorganic fiber compressed sheet. This would be a great choice for steam, natural gas and a number of petroleum-based fluids. It will perform in temperatures as low as -100 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 700 degrees Fahrenheit. The continuous max temperature is 548 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Durlon® 8400 is a gold colored NBR binder/Phenolic fiber sheet. This type of material is a popular choice when a wide pH range is needed. It’s an excellent choice in chemical, pulp and paper and other industrial applications. This material will perform in temperatures as low as -100 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 800 degrees Fahrenheit. The continuous max temperature is 554 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Durlon 9000 is extensively used in chemical, pulp and paper, food and beverage, and the railroad tanker industry.

There are many considerations to make when determining which material to use to make a gasket. Once you settle on the type of material you need, Expert Gasket & Seal’s sealing professionals will provide you with the precise gasket you need from our state-of-the-art facility using a traditional die-cutting process or a computer-controlled, die-less, Flashcut process.

To learn more about gasket materials, contact Expert Gasket & Seal today at (330) 468-0066.

Is CAD Needed to Prototype Custom Gaskets, Seals and Other Parts?

Traditional manual gasket production requires creating templates or steel dies, doubling the time to manufacture the gasket. When gasket designs are computerized and run through CAD software, small alterations to gasket designs take much less time and do not require dies or re-tooling, making them ideal for prototyping and perfecting your design before mass production. For prototyping purposes, having CAD designs ready to go for the parts you need is ideal. But what if you dont have a CAD file or drawing to start with?

Maybe you have a product sample and need to prototype two-dimensional gasket from the sample, or maybe you created a gasket manually, without a CAD file, that you need to duplicate. Expert Gasket has a solution that is both fast and accurate at replicating products without design files.

Gasket Prototyping Without CAD Files Via Optical Scanning

Along with our Flashcut technology, we utilize a high-tech optical scanner that allows us to make a 3D scan of the product or component sample and build a computerized model (CAD file) from the physical sample.

This scanner enables you to capture your object’s shape and geometrics quickly and accurately through millions of XYZ data points and provides thorough measurement data of the entire surface of your object, creating a complete digital representation of your part and verifying that the part matches your CAD model.

Once your CAD model is complete, your prototype can be created with our die-less Flashcut system. This entire process allows for fast, accurate results while shortening your time to market and reducing labor and material costs.

Rapid Gasket Scanning and Prototyping for Any Application

Expert Gasket & Seal provides cost-effective, rapid prototyping for most flat gasket non-metallic applications. Our Flashcut machinery’s computer-controlled, high-speed knife cutting system produces precise, close tolerance parts on soft materials. This allows us to design and quickly prototype custom gaskets made from rubber, cork, PTFE, compressed non-asbestos and many other materials.

This cutting-edge technology fabricates accurate gaskets and other products from your CAD file or from your original .pdf drawing, and it is die-less, so there is no need to tool new dies for each new design – plus, it’s simple to reconfigure new settings, so you get a finished product faster.

To learn more about Prototyping, with or without a CAD file, contact Expert Gasket & Seal today at (330) 468-0066!

What Are Mechanical Seals?

Mechanical seals are seals are typically used on rotating equipment such as pumps, compressors, and mixers. They keep potentially hazardous gas and fluids that are being processed from contaminating the environment. Keeping these materials away from plant personal and vulnerable equipment. devices that form a barrier around moving parts to prevent contamination from the outside, and to keep components within the device from leaking.

Common Types of Mechanical Seals

Cartridge Seals

Single Cartridge Seals are seals that are factory assembled so they avoid any field installation issues. They are preassembled components composed of a gland, sleeve, faces, and springs. All the components are factory pressure tested and have pre-set spring tension. These are basically bolt on seal.utilize two flat surfaces that slide against each other and are held together by a spring. They are pre-constructed and ready to use, which minimizes installation and maintenance.

Double Cartridge Seals are seals similar to single cartridge seals, but use two separate seals positioned next to each other to reduce or eliminate any leakage of fluid from the interior of the device chamber. Double cartridge seals are also ready-made to be used with minimal installation and maintenance effort. These seals maintain the lowest leak rates possible for fugitive emissions, environmental contamination and safety to plant personal.

Component Seals

Single Spring mechanical Seals utilize two separate components that are field assembled. The spring & face rotate together and run against a stationary seat to seal off process fluids. The single spring provides the load or pressure that holds these faces together.

Multiple Spring Mechanical Seals are built in the same way that single spring seals are built with the exception that they utilize multiple springs to ensure uniform distribution of force to keep the seal shut. This helps to reduce leaks and wear and tear on the seal.
Non-Metallic Cartridge Seals are similar to single cartridge seals with the exception that they do not use metallic components. These are often used when the fluids being sealed off would cause corrosion or damage to the mechanical seal.

Related Seals

Bearing Isolator Seals are seals designed specifically to prevent external contaminants from damaging bearings, and to keep bearing lubrication from leaking out of the bearing.

How Are Mechanical Seals Used?

Mechanical seals are typically used on pumps of all different varieties. Pumps typically need to seal off fluid contained within the pump while also allowing motion to be transferred away from the sealed chamber. This usually involves a rotating shaft. The problem is that this opens up potential for fluid to leak where the shaft connects from the exterior of the pump to the interior chamber. Mechanical seals help to prevent these leaks and seal the fluid inside the chamber without hindering the moving components’ motion.

Mechanical seals are used across an enormous range of industries and applications. Any industry that involves moving fluids will likely use pumps that require mechanical seals, and many other industries also regularly use mechanical seals.

Industries that use mechanical seals would include:

  • The Oil Industry
  • Chemical Industry
  • Food and Beverage Processing
  • Utilities and Wastewater Processing
  • And many more

To learn more about our mechanical seal offerings, contact Expert Gasket today at (330) 468-0066!

What is Flashcutting, and how does it help to provide rapid prototypes?

Flashcutting is a technology that allows Expert Gasket to prototype and cut custom designed gaskets and rubber parts within a short time frame. Flash cutting is newer technology that skips the hassle of using tooling and dies, which can take days to weeks to complete.

Expert Gasket & Seal’s die-less Flashcut gasket fabrication utilizes a computer-controlled, high-speed knife cutting system that produces precise, close tolerance parts on non-metallic materials without the need for tooling. Because the machine is computer controlled and does not require custom tooling, this allows for very quick production of prototypes.

What are the Benefits of Flashcutting?

  • Flash cutting requires no tooling to fabricate parts.
  • Prototypes can be created from ready-to-produce .dxf CAD files or scanned to model an existing product into a .dxf file.
  • If changes need to be made, dimensions can be rapidly modified for prototyping from multiple thicknesses and materials.
  • Flashcutting is effective for both short run and long run manufacturing with the system we use.
  • Flashcut manufacturing and prototyping uses less material deflection for rubber and soft materials, resulting in more precise products and tighter tolerances.
  • The Flashcut computer also nests parts much more effectively, which increases material yield and reduces part cost more than manual die cutting.=

The end result is a fast turnaround, nimble prototyping process with the ability to make changes that would not be feasible with the standard tool and die manufacturing process.

For gasket and rubber product production, this means Expert Gasket can provide more precise products to our partners and clients and do it quickly to prevent downtime and bottlenecks.

Materials Used In Flashcut Manufacturing

Our Flashcut machine works with a wide range of materials. The primary constraint is that Flashcut production does not work to cut metals. Some of the materials we cut from include:

  • Rubber
  • PTFE
  • Sponge
  • And many other non-asbestos materials used in gaskets and seals

Prototype Gaskets From Product Samples

Along with our Flashcutting technology, we utilize a high-tech scanning tool that allows us to make scans of current products and build computerized models from those scans. This allows us to replicate existing parts for customers who do not have a CAD file, tooling or drawing.

To learn more about how our Flashcut technology can produce precision parts for your organization, contact Expert Gasket today at (330) 468-0066!

Choosing gaskets: Are FDA gaskets necessary for your business?

Because the Food and Drug Administration oversees the safety of the food processing and pharmaceutical industry, it’s important that FDA gaskets are used in any business in these fields. Not only will this ensure that your company is in line with industry standards and best practices by consistently producing high quality goods, it also ensures that your products are produced safely at your facility and pose no risk to the consumer.

As you can see, there are no downsides for using these products – only benefits! And when you partner with Expert Gasket & Seal, you’ll get affordable FDA gaskets made exactly to order. Because we fabricate our gaskets on-site, we provide small and large quantities in short lead times.

Our regular customers for FDA gaskets include:

  • Food processing businesses
  • The beverage industry – beer, spirits, soft drinks, filtered water and fruit juices
  • The dairy industry
  • Meat packing facilities
  • Pharmaceutical production companies

Our FDA gaskets are all made of materials that are generally regarded as safe (including Nitrile, EPDM, Neoprene, PTFE, Durlon 9000, Durlon 9600 and Durlon 9200W), are chemically compatible and can function in temperatures from -50F to 500F.

With over 50 years combined experience in the business and a reputation for exceptional customer service and no-nonsense expertise, you can trust us with your FDA gasket needs.  Contact us in Cleveland, Ohio, today for more information.

How Custom Die Cut Gaskets Can Improve Your Food and Beverage Operations

When you are running an operation processing foods or beverages for human consumption, adherence to regulation, cleanliness, and purity standards is an absolute must.  A food and beverage operation needs to do everything they can to prevent contamination.

It’s easy to account for obvious vectors of contamination, such as unclean floors or workers.  However, sometimes the smallest of sources can be a risk – such as the gaskets in your processing system.  If they aren’t up to the task, contaminants can easily make their way into the system in a way which can be extremely hard to backtrack.

Ordering custom die cut gaskets can be the perfect way to prevent this!  When you work with a reputable custom gasket company, they can ensure your gaskets are entirely safe in numerous ways:

1. Picking the right materials

Different materials used in gaskets will degrade when exposed to different substances and have to be carefully selected to avoid mishap.  Plain rubber, for example, will tend to degrade when in the presence of acidic liquids such as vinegar or many sodas.   An operation experienced in crafting custom die cut gaskets can assure the gasket materials can stand up to expected use.

2. Demonstrably meet regulations

Certain materials are approved for use in food and beverage processing; others aren’t.  A custom gasket company can also guarantee – with documentation – that every material utilized is 100% in compliance with FDA regulations.

3. Guaranteed quality

When constructing equipment, it’s easy to look for areas to cut corners – such as buying cheap off-the-shelf gaskets.  The issue is, you often have no way of knowing where those gaskets were made, or what sort of QC processes were implemented.  Working directly with an experienced custom shop means you will have no doubt about the quality of the products you’re using.

4. Maintaining older equipment?  Custom gaskets are the answer.

Food and beverage processing equipment can theoretically run for decades… but that doesn’t mean their original manufacturers are still around to support them.  Or, official replacement parts may turn out to be prohibitively expensive.  Custom die cut gaskets can be used to replicate any OEM part, while maintaining the regulated quality requirements.

Expert Gasket & Seal has decades of experience creating custom gaskets, and our sealing experts can help you overcome any challenge.  For direct assistance, please contact us for a consultation.

The Four Most Important Factors When Choosing Materials for Your Custom Rubber Gaskets

Custom rubber gaskets can help you solve a wide range of application problems, particularly when you’re designing systems where standard sizes and configurations are not the best solutions.  A quality custom gasket manufacturer will have a variety of compounds from which to choose, combined with a custom size to suit your particular engineering need.

However, they’ll need some crucial information from you to understand your application.  Beyond the basics of the size and shape of the gaskets, they’ll need some more specific data on how the gaskets will be used.

The Four Critical Factors When Choosing Custom Rubber Gasket Material

1. Temperature 

It is important to know the expected temperature range to which the gaskets will be subjected. Some elastomers function better in lower temperatures; some in higher temperatures.

2. Pressure

Pressure is another major consideration when ordering custom rubber gaskets. Your gasket manufacturer will need to know both the minimum and maximum expected pressures the gasket will face.  Some materials are available in a variety of hardnesses to cover different pressures. Tailoring the combination of material and its hardness will help make an effective seal for the system pressure.

3. Atmosphere 

Will the gaskets be called upon to operate in an unusual environment, or be exposed to an atmosphere besides standard air?  Also, will the gasket be exposed to sunlight as part of its normal use?  These are all factors which affect the material used in your custom rubber gaskets.  For example, EPDM has excellent resistance to direct sunlight, while nitrile can break down quickly.

4. Physical Medium

Finally, what will the gasket be physically coming into contact with?  Some materials, such as SBR and EPDM are not petroleum fluid resistant, while Nitrile and Neoprene are. Other materials, such as Viton® are resistant to acids that would degrade EPDM, Silicone, and Nitrile.

Expert Gasket & Seal  

At this point, you should hopefully see just how complicated the selection of gasket materials can be – and that’s why you want an expert custom gasket manufacturer as a partner!  Expert Gasket & Seal has decades of experience crafting custom rubber gaskets from a huge variety of materials and can ensure your gaskets match your application.

Contact us to learn more!