Category Archive: Thursday Thoughts

Cut gaskets: Gasket swell and selecting the right material

In the Engine business, most gaskets fail due to a combination of thermal cycling and improper surface preparation.  Surfaces can become scratched, warped, or pitted which doesn’t allow for equal compression on the sealing surface, increasing the failure rate of the material.

Many people spend a lot of time searching for the perfect gasket material that they’re told “will do X” or “won’t do” (fill in the blank).  When it comes to gasket swelling, however, here’s the thing:  ALL GASKETS SWELL to some extent.

There are a lot of companies in the fluid sealing industry that don’t want consumers to know that gaskets actually swell.  Others use the occurrence of swelling as a material selling point.  At MPRC, our goal is to be your fluid sealing specialist, and we strive to educate our customers on the best-suited materials for their specific applications.

There’s also the question of HOW a gasket is installed.  Is the gasket being installed dry, or is there a lubricant that is applied to the sealing surface or the gasket directly?  That answer will have a tremendous effect on the service life and performance of the gasket.

MPRC recommends installing our gaskets dry- that is, “as-is” without any RTV Silicone or lubricant added.  It is important to remember the friction between a gasket and the flanges must be maintained to create a long-lasting seal.  Any wet Silicone or oil destroys that friction and most gasket materials will extrude under load.  We do recommend or suggest using a Permatex Aviation Grade adhesive or a 3M #77 adhesive to hold a gasket in place, particularly on vertical applications to help the mechanic by holding it in the place where needed.  RTV Silicone applied wet will off-gas volatiles that will compromise the integrity of the elastomers in a gasket and lead to premature gasket failure.

(The gaskets that are shown below- LEFT side, were installed dry and used in test service.  The gaskets on the RIGHT were installed using RTV Silicone and used in test service)

MPRC has a series of material designations for a wide variety of engine and exhaust applications within the Rail and Marine Industries.  We offer CG1 (our OEM Grade), CG2 (our upgrade), and CGO (our Optimized grade).  Each option represents a quality sealing solution based upon a specific price point.

CG1 (off-white) offers a high-temp sealing option to 400°F continuous and 700°F maximum, which is affordable.  Some applications do not require the “best of the best” when it comes to material and price points, which makes CG1 a very cost-effective solution.

CG2 (yellow one side/grey opposing side) is another high-temp sealing solution that offers a slightly higher temp rating to 662°F and maximum at 845°F.  This material is an upgrade from the standard OEM grade material.

For more product info, please contact us at 800-397-3429 or email our sales team at: sales@mprcseals.com

SPOILER ALERT!!!! 

**MPRC will be releasing our 7th Generation of Style 7800 gasket material after further testing is completed.  Stay tuned for more updates!**

Welcome to 2022!

Wow – here we are, starting yet ANOTHER New Year.  Some of us are still getting used to writing “2021” on our checks, and many of us couldn’t be happier putting last year behind us.

There’s no question the past two years have been challenging.  Our company and our city experienced the damage of a Category 4 Hurricane called a “Derecho” in mid 2020.  No one would ever have thought a hurricane would hit IOWA.  While working through that, we also had to find creative ways to navigate through the pandemic and that has been a challenge as well.  We’ve had staff out due to Covid, and we’ve been in the middle of supply chain issues with unheard-of lead times that have put a strain on us all.

In many regards, we could have the same negative thoughts and “doom and gloom” that so many have had.  This is not to say that things have been easy the last couple of years, but we choose to look at how fortunate we are and how blessed we have been.  We are so thankful for the team we have at MPRC and their commitment and dedication to our customers.  The reality is, through all of these struggles, we have ended 2021 as one of our best and most profitable fiscal years in our companies’ history.

How does this happen when we know that everyone is short-staffed, lead times are triple what they used to be, and raw material costs continue to go up in what seems like monthly increases?  How can a company combat these things and still come out profitable and with record numbers?

The answer is: we stretch ourselves.  We have become even more innovative and self-reliant, increasing our overall capacity of in-house rubber molded components.  We’ve increased our commitment to marketing and letting our customers and potential customers know more about the products and services we offer, and what sets MPRC apart from our competition.  We’ve invested in a new website that will serve as an incredible resource for our customers for both technical and current industry news, including readily available product flyers for download and product videos.

Great things are happening at MPRC, and we are excited about what 2022 will bring.  We are bringing on new staff to continue to bring the quality and service our customers have come to expect.  Thank you for your continued business and trust in us as your fluid sealing specialist.

Best regards,

Josh Hale

President

Master Packing & Rubber Company