With many different types of engines, systems and components, heat can be a very real issue and cause problems in sealing specific parts. Each particular gasket material is designed for use within a specific temperature range.
A thermal gasket is specifically designed to stand up to heat levels within the material’s range. It will be critical to choose a gasket that is safe to operate within the specific environment at the possible extremes.
Why Temperature Matters
The key to keep in mind with most thermal gasket use is that the gasket is not exposed to just one steady temperature. Rather the engine, component or part is going to heat up and cool off in a cycle.
This continual or occasional heating and cooling will cause several changes in the materials. It will create expansion and contraction issues between the two components that are joined at the gasket. It will also increase the risk of the gasket material failing or cracking.
Additionally, external temperatures will also be an issue. A gasket that is used in a walk-in freezer unit will need very different thermal and material requirements than gasket used in engines where extreme heat both internally and externally need to be considered.
What to Consider
Different materials in thermal gasket design can also be used to assist with other possible issues of consideration. For example, the gasket may be required to withstand either high or low temperatures, or perhaps both, as well as provide cushioning, vibration reduction, insulation and even shock absorption.
Knowing what you need the gasket to provide is the first step in the process of selecting the right material. These materials can include silicone rubber, sponge or foam as well as Viton or Fluorosilicone. Each offers different advantages for use in specific applications, systems and temperatures.