Gasketing is complicated. Every application has a unique combination of temperature, environment, media, and pressure to consider and there’s almost never a ‘one-material-suits-all’ solution. As a result, even a small HVAC, food processing or chemical application might need gasket materials ranging from nitrile rubber to EPDM, silicone, fiber and even PTFE.
Many companies will sell you some of these. The danger is that when they don’t carry a full range they’ll propose a material that’s not ideal for your application. Here’s some advice for deciding where to buy your gasket material.
Consider Material Range
Stocking nitrile rubber and neoprene foam does not constitute a full range. You should look for a vendor that carries all these types of gasket material:
- Cork and cork/rubber
- Compressed Non-Asbestos
- Various types of rubber
- Closed and open-cell foam
- Specialized brand name materials like Viton and Santoprene
Look for Rapid Turnaround Capabilities …
It’s rare to have the luxury of buying gasket material just to put into storage. Usually, there’s an immediate need, and you can’t wait for delivery. Keeping a full range of gasket material in stock ties up money and space though, so some businesses don’t want to do it. Always look for a material supplier who maintains a comprehensive inventory.
… And Gasket Cutting Services
Material is one thing, but you still have to cut gaskets from it. A stockist with waterjet cutting capabilities can produce installation-ready gaskets in just a few hours, sometimes faster. That saves you time and results in a more accurate gasket with better edge quality.
Location is another factor to consider. Today’s rapid delivery services mean material can ship almost anywhere in the country in 24 to 48 hours, but there are still advantages to finding a local vendor. Closer is faster, and likely cheaper too.
Range and Speed
When searching for gasket material, similar isn’t good enough. It’s essential to buy the right material for each application and get it without a long wait. That’s why you should look for a supplier with a broad inventory and the ability to deliver quickly.