Spiral wound gaskets are special semi-metallic gaskets characterized by great resilience, making them ideal for heavy operating conditions featuring high pressure and temperature. They’re made by winding a metal strip and a non-metallic filler material together, hence the name ‘spiral wound’.
Due to the combination of materials, spiral wound gaskets have an extremely strong sealing capacity that makes them ideal for sealing under severely fluctuating pressure and high-temperature conditions across different industries. Let’s look at the various uses and applications of spiral wound gaskets.
1- Oil and Gas Production
Whether it’s dealing with pumps, process piping, special flanges, or energy transportation equipment, when working with hydrocarbons, there are unique requirements. The oil and gas industry is known for its harsh operating environments and vital need to maximize the equipment’s uptime while maintaining optimal working power.
A toxic or dangerous discharge is a possible disastrous hazard of flange leaks that can result in great power and energy, sometimes with grave consequences that threaten the surrounding environment and working labor’s health. To avoid such possible catastrophic outcomes, spiral wound gaskets can be used for sealing flange joints providing a reliable seal to prevent the leak from the flange joints.
Spiral wound gaskets with carbon steel compression rings are often used in the oil and gas industry to make precise centering easier and retain radial pressure, allowing for maximum operational efficiency.
2- Pharmaceutical Industry
Although spiral wound gaskets are typically used in applications with high temperature and pressure, they can also be used in cryogenic applications in facilities like chemical plants and research laboratories, where low-temperature storage solutions and cooling equipment are used. The semi-metallic gaskets are highly resistant to freezing and have a high capacity to prevent cracking.
Chemical plants – where toxic applications are found- have spiral wound gaskets placed in pipes, pumps, valves, and heat exchangers because of their ability to effectively withstand corrosion, resist chemicals, and adapt to fluctuating temperatures and pressures. Additionally, spiral wound gaskets have excellent tightness and stress compensation capacities which prevent gas leaks and allow for smooth flow.
Because the pharmaceutical industry has varying operating environments where the gaskets are exposed to different gasses, chemicals, and extreme fluctuating temperatures, an expert spiral wound gasket supplier typically produces custom made spiral wound gaskets in various styles, shapes, dimensions, and material combinations to fit the most rigorous applications. Installing the right spiral wound gasket is vital for withstanding the wide stress range.
In addition to oil and Pharmaceutical industries, the mining industry also requires exposure to aggressive chemicals and acids such as hydrofluoric and sulfuric acids.
These chemicals are used to extract soluble metallic compounds which can have hazardous and potentially fatal consequences when leaked.
Special high-quality spiral wound gaskets are installed to withstand the dangerous chemicals and resist breakdown, preventing any toxic leaks that can cause corrosive skin burns and other extremely dangerous health effects.
4- Nuclear Power
A wide range of spiral wound gaskets that withstand temperatures up to 900 °C are used in nuclear plant operations. Under the influence of different gases or liquids, gaskets in nuclear plants are exposed to extreme temperatures. Many conventional gaskets are not resistant to the effects of oxidation at these high temperatures, which can leave space for leaks and oxygen overflow, leading to catastrophic and potentially irreversible consequences.
When it comes to nuclear energy, the necessity for a gasket to be durable can’t be emphasized enough. The changing stress and relaxation levels, along with the fluctuations in pressure and temperature require a gasket with adequate flexibility and durability to maintain a seal even under these straining conditions. Spiral wound gaskets are precisely engineered to avoid such problems, meeting the toughest operating conditions against virtually all known corrosive and toxic elements of all forms.
Due to their powerful sealing capacities and enhanced tightness, spiral wound gaskets are expected to lead the industrial gaskets market. Their varying designs and different material combinations make them easily adaptable and suitable for a wide variety of operating conditions and applications in most industries.