It’s the “dog days” of summer and we’ve got high temperatures on the brain. While we’re sweating from the season’s high heat, this is nothing compared to some of the extreme conditions our seals and gaskets endure daily.
Many gasket applications involve extreme environments, including electricity, flames, steam or combustible fluids creating temperatures that can climb rapidly and severely strain the seals and gaskets that keep critical machinery operating safely and efficiently.
Heat resistance is an essential factor in the material selection process for gaskets that will operate in a high-temperature environment. Additionally, other factors such as tensile strength, compressibility, chemical resistance and compatibility will also come into play when choosing a gasket material for your particular application. By discussing your environment and gasket needs with the experts at Breiner, we can help determine the best material options for your high-temperature needs.
An incorrectly matched seal material can shrink, melt or deform when exposed to your application’s high heat, instantly negating the expected sealing properties. This can lead to premature aging, leakage and the worst-case scenario of complete failure of the gasket.
While there’s no official standard for defining “high temperature” performance for seals or gaskets, many manufacturers looking for heat-resistant materials will desire it to withstand temperatures of at least 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Natural rubber and some synthetic rubbers including neoprenes, nitriles and EPDMs, which are popular and excellent all-around sealants, generally top out at around 250 degrees Fahrenheit in their usage profile.
However, there are many materials that can “handle the heat.” Here’s a look at some of our most commonly requested heat-resistant materials with excellent performance at those higher temperatures:
- Silicone – Features additional low-temperature flexibility as well as its resistance to high temps. Known for excellent chemical resistance and outstanding tensile strength, silicone has a functional temperature range up to 400 degrees and intermittent resistance to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fluorosilicone – Similar in characteristics with silicon but having greater fuel and oil resistance, with an operating temperature range up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Viton® Flurocarbon – Includes superior compression resistance even at temperatures over 400 degrees Fahrenheit, but not when heat comes from steam, hot water or acids.
- Compressed Non-Asbestos – Available in a wide range of specialized variants, most featuring high temperature limits of 700-750 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Kapton – Thin, flexible and well-suited for electrical insulator applications, doesn’t melt or burn amid intermittent temperatures up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit. As an interesting side note, Kapton is great on the other end of the thermometer as well — doing its job all the way down to -400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wow!
As we finish our look into the high-temperature side of seal and gasket materials, just remember there are never any shortages of solutions at Breiner. We have hundreds of unique materials on hand to choose from, including the ones perfect for all your heat-resistant needs.
Reach out to the Breiner Non-Metallics team today to discuss your unique high-temperature gasket applications.