How Do Cork Gaskets Work?
A staple of modern industrial gasketing for decades, the cork gasket has evolved into a material utilized across a wide variety of industries. Gasket grade cork looks much like the material you’d find on a classroom corkboard – just a stronger variety with enhanced sealing capabilities. Popular in the energy sector, cork and rubber hybrids offer versatility and unique sealing properties. Blaylock Gasket & Packing is proud to offer dozens of varieties of cork and cork/rubber, including cork & synthetic rubber, cork & neoprene, cork & Buna, and others. We are also proud to supply Mil-Spec Cork gasketing meeting a wide variety of specs like AMS-C-6183 – roll and sheet available.
Cork gaskets are manufactured with the cork stripped off of Cork Oak trees. Every 9-12 years the bark can be harvested. The extraction process does not harm the tree, making cork an excellent environmentally-friendly gasketing material. The bark regrows and the process starts over. Cork trees are found mainly in Europe, with major producers being France, Portugal, Spain and Italy.
The Basics of Cork Gaskets
The idea behind any gasket is to provide a seal between two parts of any motor, engine, or other unit. Cork gaskets have traditionally provided this seal in engines in a very unique way. Engines have oil inside of them, and as the oil comes up against the cork gasket, it helps to provide the seal. When you first change a cork gasket, the oil will come through the seal a bit until it finalizes the sealing. The oil itself actually finishes up the seal when it is absorbed by the cork. The oil causes the cork to stretch and create a perfect seal.
Cork and Rubber Gaskets
Newer cork gaskets also have rubber incorporated into them, which has been a major improvement for the industry, although 100 percent synthetic rubber is still the number one choice for many jobs and engines. Cork and rubber gaskets include many different rubber compositions. The cork and rubber gaskets eliminate the problems associated with using a pure cork gasket. Cork and Rubber gaskets make excellent seals in oil and Transformer applications just to name two.
If you ever do find yourself needing to replace a cork gasket, it is fairly easy. Just unscrew the clips that are holding it on and remove the old one. Then clip the new one down. The biggest thing to look for when doing this is that you don’t stretch the gasket out in the process of putting it on. This will ruin the gasket and require you to replace it again. If your cork gasket is bolted into place be sure and crisscross bolts as you tighten your flange. This will insure that equal pressure is applied around the flange. DO NOT over tighten your bolts or your gasket will creep or crush and you will have leaks.
With all the types of gaskets that are on the market, it can be difficult to know what kind of gasket you need. We can help you determine if you need an exact replacement or if you will be able to replace it with a newer material. Of course when in doubt, go with what you already had as long as it operated smoothly for quite a long time.
Blaylock Gasket provides cork gaskets, cork and rubber gaskets, mechanical packing, custom fabrication, O-rings and a long list of materials to meet ALL of your sealing requirements. Contact us today or give us a call at 817-244-8787 if you have any questions or need assistance.
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