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How to preserve your rubber gaskets

Making sure you do everything you can to preserve your gaskets is highly important in avoiding expensive downtime. In this article, PIF spoke to TRP Polymer Solutions to understand what measures can be taken to safeguard the longevity of your rubber gasket. TRP Polymer Solutions specialises in developing high performance custom rubber gaskets in a range of specialist rubber and PTFE materials, which deliver enhanced flexibility, extended service, temperature resistance and chemical resistance.

Causes of gasket failure

There are basically two types of gasket failures, a catastrophic failure of a gasket, which can lead to instant and urgent leakage of your media and chronic leakage, caused by the gradual deterioration of a gasket over time, which can cause small but still significant leaks.

Both types of gasket failure can often be attributed to the following common factors:

  • Temperature
  • Uneven flange surfaces
  • Stress relaxation and torque loss
  • Uneven pressure forces at the joint

One thing we would certainly recommend is to keep a historical log of failures and the reasons for these occurrences. This will enable you to ascertain any trends and inform any corrective measures that need to be taken to prevent any future failures. It’s worth noting that corrective measures entail fixing the root cause and developing mechanisms that will prevent any recurrence, rather than simply replacing the gasket and hoping for the best.

Avoid expensive gasket failures

There are no two ways about it; a gasket failure is a major headache. For such a small and relatively inexpensive component, a failed gasket can wreak havoc in any plant, invariably leading to costly downtime. Beyond the obvious loss of productivity, there is also a drain on resources in the form of necessary maintenance and repair work to get your operations back up and running. That’s not to mention the possibility of injuries to personnel.

Therefore, paying close attention to the health of your gaskets really should be a priority, if it isn’t already, to ensure the safe and efficient running of your plant machinery.

Preserving your rubber gasket

There are three major considerations to bear in mind when it comes to preserving your gaskets:

1. Gasket quality
Cost can make a big difference. If you buy cheap, you have to consider where the manufacturers have cut costs. Materials are usually of a poorer quality and may be poorly manufactured.

2. Material selection
Choosing the right material may seem like an obvious choice but it is surprising how many applications are fitted with incorrect gaskets. Whether it’s the wrong chemical compatibility or the wrong material for your temperature exposure, this mistake can have dire consequences for your processes.

3. Installation
Installation is the most important contributor to gasket life. An incorrectly installed gasket will be likely to fail prematurely, with the associated downtime and replacement costs.

Contact TRP Polymer Solutions

TRP can provide extremely proficient technical advice from some of the industry’s most knowledgeable and experienced polymer technologists, as well as ensuring the performance and durability of your gasket, using their advanced manufacturing processes. They don’t do low performance, off-the-shelf products that use inferior materials.

As part of their rigorous design and manufacturing processes, they can design and formulate innovative new materials using state-of-the-art processes, including component design CAD, polymer FEA and feasibility DFMEA. They also carry out a Process Failure Mode Effects Analysis (PFMEA) to test the integrity of our designs, to ensure that your rubber gasket is truly built to last.

For more information about rubber gaskets, or for expert advice on gasket installation, contact TRP Polymers Solutions today.

Company Profile

TRP Polymer Solutions

TRP Polymer Solutions was established in 2004, we design, develop and manufacture custom rubber mouldings and ‘O’ rings for industries worldwide including chemical processing, oil & gas, aerospace, nuclear, pharmaceutical and medical. Supplying North America, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Southern Asia, Asia Pacific and Australasia.

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