Hennig Gasket has been in business close to a century, and there’s still a Hennig at the helm. The business was started by Otto Hennig in 1920 before passing to James Hennig. He ran it for forty years until his retirement in 1987, and now it’s run by third and fourth generations of the family.
A lot has changed in that time. When Otto Hennig started the business the automobile was in its ascendancy, electricity was spreading across the country, and demand for gaskets for heating systems and manufacturing operations was growing. Of course, Chicago endured a few challenges in that period, but who knows, maybe cork or fiber gaskets made by Hennig found their way in to some of the bootlegger’s stills!
Some things haven’t changed though. We still make traditional cork and fiber gaskets, die cutting them from sheet, or if we don’t have the tooling, using an oscillating knife or even just hand cutting. If you’re maintaining or restoring aging equipment that used gaskets like these we can supply replicas of the originals. Alternatively, you may prefer upgrading to one of the many modern gasket materials that manufacturers have developed.
One example of material changes is the rise and fall of asbestos gaskets. Once essential in high temperature applications like boilers, (and perhaps stills,) these have been replaced by a range of non-asbestos gasket materials like Garlock BLUE GARD®. (This incorporates aramid fibers in a nitrile, neoprene or SBR binder.)
Neoprene and SBR gasket materials have themselves been around a long time, (just like Hennig Gasket & Seals!) but today there many newer alternatives. Elastomers like EPDM and FKM are proving valuable in many applications, especially for sealing against corrosive and high temperature fluids.
The best way of learning about gasket material properties is by speaking with an expert. At Hennig we’ve accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience. And if you’re in the Lower West Side neighborhood of Chicago, call in. Just look for the brick mill-style building at 2350 West Cullerton.