gasket banner 4A gasket, abbreviated GSK, is a material that is used to seal the face of flanges, valves and equipment.  Gaskets can be made from materials that are soft or hard, but will compress to make a tight seal.  When compressed between two flange faces it will deform to match the surface grooves and irregularities.  A gasket must be installed properly to prevent leakage.  The surface of the flange must be clear of all foreign bodies such as dust, dirt or grease that could prevent a proper seal.  To ensure a seal through out the life of the gasket, sufficient pressure or stress should be maintained to prevent leakage.  It is very important to select the right gasket material to be used.


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Gasket Design Classification

Gasket materials can be divided into three basic categories:

  • Non-metallic Gasket  -  or "soft gaskets" are made from materials that are easily compressed under a low bolt load.  They can be used with both flat and raised face flanges in low pressure applications.  Materials used are different types of rubber, PTEF, ceramic fiber, glass fiber and more.  ASME B16.21 - Nonmetallic Flat Gaskets for Pipe Flanges.
    • ring gasketRing Gasket  -
      • Ring gaskets have no bolt holes.
      • These gaskets are positioned inside the flange bolts and around the pipe bore.
      • Ring gaskets are typically used on raised face flanges.
      • When used on a raised face flange, the ring gasket is positioned on top of the raised surface of the flange.
      • An advantage of ring gaskets is that they can be installed without having to fully disassemble the joint.
      • The gasket ID and OD, thickness and the desired pressure tolerance of the gasket should be specified.
      • Used for low pressure, low temperature and noncritical applications.
      • Ring gaskets and spiral wound gaskets are used with raised face flanges.
    • full face gasketFull Face Gasket  -
      • These gasket covers the entire face of the flange.
      • Full-face gaskets are typically used on flat face flanges.
      • Full-face gaskets are cut with bolt holes which allow the insertion of the flange bolts through the gasket.
      • Used for low pressure, low temperature and noncritical applications.
      • Full face gaskets are used with flat face flanges.
      • The ID and OD must be specified together with the bolt circle diameter and the number and spacing of the bolt holes.
      • Gasket thickness and the desired pressure tolerance of the gasket should also be specified.
  • Semi-metallic Gasket  -  Made from both non-metallic and metallic materials and can operate at both high temperature and pressure applications.  They can be used with raised face, male and female, and tongue and groove flanges, and many sizes and styles.  ASME B16.20 - Metallic Gaskets for Pipe Flanges: Ring-Joint, Spiral-Wound, and Jacketed.
  • Metallic Gasket  -  Made from a combination of materials.  These gaskets are used for special applications where a tight fit is needed. Ring joint flanges (RJF) often use these gaskets.  ASME B16.20 - Metallic Gaskets for Pipe Flanges: Ring-Joint, Spiral-Wound, and Jacketed.
    • spiral wound gasketSpiral Wound Gasket  -  Spiral wound gaskets are formed by winding a metallic and nonmetallic material together in a spiral, which enhances flexibility and durability.  These gaskets can also tolerate a greater range of operating conditions, recover quickly, and accommodate flange surface irregularities.  Because they can withstand vibration, shock, and pressure and temperature fluctuations, spiral wound gaskets are ideal for pipes and pump systems.
      • Spiral wound gaskets with no Inner Ring (RW) is engineered for ASME flanges with metal windings, filler material, and a centering ring.  This style offers excellent general purpose performance for raised face flanges.
      • Spiral wound gaskets with Inner Ring (RWI) features an inner ring, spiral winding, filler material, and a centering ring for use in higher pressure applications. 
      • A forged ring that fits into the machined groove of an ring type joint flanges.
      • A metallic sealing ring.
      • Produced to specific tolerances, using using high quality materials and machining processes.
      • Used for heavy duty, high pressure, high temperature and critical applications.
      • Used with high temperatures and/or alternating pressures.
      • Selecting based upon chemical compactibility with the media and hardness of the flange.
      • The flange groove should match the ring gasket style.
      • The groove and ring gasket should be properly aligned in order to create the proper seal.
      • Gasket and flange groove must be free of imperfections and debris.
      • Ring type joint gaskets are used with ring type joint flanges.
      • Gasket Styles:
        • R  -  R type rings are used for the flange rating from Class 150 to 2500.
                • Oval  -  The original design of the R type gasket is Oval.
                • Octagonal  -  The octagonal RTJ is a modification to the oval design and provides better sealing.
        • BX  -  These gaskets are used for the Class rating of 2000 to 20,000 psi. The BX type gasket has a pressure passage hole for pressure equalization on each sealing face sides.
        • RX  -  The flange face-to-face separation will be higher when compared with the R type gasket.  RX type gaskets are normally specified up to Class 5000 flanges.
    • ring joint gasketRing-type-joint Gasket  -  These gaskets provide a high integrity, high temperature seal and are widely used in the petrochemical, oil and gas industries.  RTJ gaskets have a smooth surface finish to provide an optimal metal-to-metal seal.
    • Kammprofile Gasket  -  Kammprofile gaskets consist of a metal core with a nonmetallic outer layer.  The metal provides reinforcement, while the nonmetallic material allows the gasket to form a tight seal.
    • Tanged Graphite Gasket Sheet  -  This gasker is made with high purity flexible graphite reinforced with metallic or non-metallic inserts.  Graphite gasketing provides a reliable seal as it seals easily under moderate bolt load.  It offers superior torque retention, retains dimensional stability in high temperatures and seals tightly, even during pressure fluctuations.
    • Metal Jacketed Gasket  -  A gasket comprised of a soft pliable core inside a metallic jacket.  Almost any metal or alloy can be found in sheet form can be used as a jacket.


Gasket Design Consideration

  • Gssket Selection  -  Selection depends on such factors as:

    • Service Pressure
    • Service Temperature
    • Corrosion Resistance
    • Fluid Types
    • Mechanical Load affecting the Gasket
    • Cost
  • Gasket Temperature  -  For higher temperature and pressure systems, thermal stress may cause flanges to loosen which in turn reduces compression on the gasket that may cause for leaks.  It is important to consider the side effects of an elevated temperature system and proceed with the necessary caution such as re torqueing any loosened flanges from system temperature.
  • Gasket Sealing  -  Failure in a gasket may occur if the specified amount of compression between the flanges on the gasket is not maintained.  This may occur from simple loosing over time, irregularities in operation, or even just expected wear from a piping system.  Ensuring the proper compression on the gasket is being met is crucial to maintaining a good seal and seat and to prevent failure.
  • Gasket Poor Sealing  -  If the gasket is under loaded, meaning the compressive force is not enough or un even across the gasket due to poor bolting, leakage and failure may also occur.  Uneven compression leads to uneven wear which also is a major cause for premature failure.  Similarly, over compression of a gasket may cause for failure from cracking or ripping within the gasket.
  • Gasket Permeability  -  The material of the gasket is expected to wear out over time.  It is expected that over the life time of a gasket more and more compression is needed to ensure no leaks occur as the gasket wears out over time and is less able to maintain proper sealing.  Most of the time, replacing the gasket is necessary once the required compression exceeds safe limits.
  • Gasket Reusing  -  Gaskets are expected to be used only once as the wear from a single use heavily deforms the initial shape of a gasket.  It is important to identify and note whether a gasket has already been used and to not use it for more than a single application.


Gasket API Stamping

  • Manufacturer
  • Manufactured to standard ASME B16.20 or applicable standard.
  • Inner ring material stamp other than carbon steel.
  • Outer ring material stamp other than carbon steel.
  • Nominal pipe size and pressure class.
  • Winding material and filler material.
  • Stamping Location
    • Metaillac fillers are color coded on full rim of outer ring.
    • Non-metallic fillers are marked with color stripes on the outer ring.
    • Inner ring material stamped on inner of outter ring.


Gasket Installation Procedure

  • Verify that the material specified and the contents are not damaged.
  • Visually inspect and clean the pipe flange faces and apply lubrication oil to all threads.
  • Do not use old or multiple gaskets.
  • Install the gasket and align the flanges and gasket so that bolts will be centered.
  • Use alignment pins in two diametrically oposition bolt holes whenever possible to assure alignment of flanges and gasket.
  • Tighten two diametrically oposed bolts to start with remove the two alignment pins as needed.  Following the bolt tightening procedure for the correct flange size.
  • Bolts should be of sufficient length to extend through the nut approximately 1/4".


Gasket Datasheets

Gasket TypeDatasheets
Gasket All Gaskets
Gasket Full Face
Gasket Ring Type
Gasket Spiral Wound


Gasket Standards

ASME Standards

  • Nonmetallic gasket dimensions and tolerances in accordance with ASME B16.21 for ASME B16.5 and ASME B16.47 flanges.
  • Standard thicknesses are 1/16" and 1/8", but others are available.
  • Spiral wound gaskets for ASME B16.5 1/4" to 24" dimensions and tolerances in accordance with ASME B16.20.
  • Spiral wound gaskets for ASME B16.47 22" to 60" Series A (MSS SP-44) dimensions and tolerances in accordance with ASME B16.20.
  • Spiral wound gaskets for ASME B16.47 26" to 60" Series B (API Std 605) dimensions and tolerances in accordance with ASME B16.20.
  • ASME B16.20 - Metallic Gaskets for Pipe Flanges: Ring-Joint, Spiral-Wound, and Jacketed
  • ASME B16.21 - Nonmetallic Flat Gaskets for Pipe Flanges
  • ASME B16.47 - Large Diameter Steel Flanges: NPS 26 Through NPS 60 Metric/Inch Standard
  • ASME B16.5 - Pipe Flanges and Flanged Fittings: NPS 1/2 through 24

ISO Standards

  • ISO 4709 - Composition cork -- Gasket material -- Classification system, requirements, sampling, packaging and marking
  • ISO 7483 - Dimensions of gaskets for use with flanges to ISO 7005

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