A question we are sometimes asked at Canada Rubber Group Inc. (CRGI) concerns gasket reuse –  for example, whether a gasket can be reused after a maintenance inspection. Often this question is asked, not so much out of a concern for the additional cost involved, but more out of concern for the additional time and trouble to install a new gasket.

Gasket reuse after maintenance inspections is not recommended for the following reasons:

  1. Most gaskets are cut from sheets containing rubber, binders, and other materials. Over time, as a gasket is in use, these constituent materials in a gasket harden with the passage of time and exposure to operating conditions. As a result, the gasket loses its flexibility and ability seal.
  2. Related to the point above, as a gasket hardens, it loses its ability to conform to irregularities in flange facings. As a result of this diminished ability to conform to irregularities, gaskets which are reused are likely to leak or blowout.

Visually and physically inspecting a worn gasket against a new gasket can usually highlight the degradation that can occur with exposure to operating conditions. On a worn gasket, it is often easy to see the wear, deformation, and grooving that typically occurs with use. These effects of wear and tear are ready indicators that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve a good seal with reuse.

It is important to note, that even if a visual and physical inspection of a used gasket reveals no apparent degradation, this should not be interpreted as meaning that the gasket can be reused. Some of the effects of use, such as hardening and loss of deformability or recoverability, are often undetectable via visual and physical inspection. Thus, users should not rely on visual or physical inspection to determine whether a gasket should be reused or not.

Since the cost of using a new gasket is relatively small, safety and performance should never be compromised by reusing a gasket. The best policy, to ensure safety and performance, is to install a new gasket following every maintenance inspection.

At CRGI, we specialize in the production and supply of high-quality, precision cut gaskets for a variety of industrial and automotive applications. All our gaskets are cut from rubber sheet supplied by leading producers such as Teadit, American Biltrite and others. All gaskets are cut on the most advanced production technology, including waterjet, and flex/flash equipment. We produce gaskets to customer requirements and specifications, and can handle small run as well as large volume orders. Emergency service is available upon request. To find out more about how we can satisfy your gasket needs and requirements, please contact our sales department at crg@canadarubbergroup.com.

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