Gaskets exist to seal joints or interfaces. They’re either keeping something in or keeping something from getting in, and if they do their job no one notices them. That’s probably why some gasket buyers find themselves under pressure to go with the cheapest. Only later do they find that a very expensive mistake.
Gasket failure is expensive
The consequences of a leaking joint range from the trivial to the fatal. At one end of the spectrum, if a pipe flange gasket lets a trace of toxic chemical into the environment the results can be unthinkable, and will probably incur the wrath of the EPA. Fines and clean-up costs could sink the most successful company. Or consider other less serious but still expensive examples. Water penetrating an electrical enclosure gasket could damage equipment inside, causing lengthy unplanned downtime. Failed boiler seals might shut down a heating system, sending employees home. Even when the impact is minor, a lot of time might be spent cleaning up, and a lot of product wasted.
Gasket replacement is expensive
There’s the time and materials to do the job and perhaps other expenses involved in accessing the gasket location, but these pale next to the cost of lost production. A single leaking pipe can bring an entire plant to a halt while a new gasket is installed. Planned replacement is always preferable to reacting to a leak, but either way takes equipment out of service for a period of time.
The price of the gasket is a very small part of the cost of a sealing problem. Logically then, anything that extends the life of the gasket is worth doing.
There are many options for sealing a joint or interface. Gasket materials come with long lists of specifications. Interpreting these and selecting the optimal combination takes in-depth product knowledge and understanding. Gasket experts might find what they need in a catalog, but for most buyers the best option is to ask their supplier. They’ll be happy to explain the characteristics of each gasket material