Should I Use Gasket Sealant?
Gasket Sealant…. the whys and wherefores. Something we have answered many times at RAM and as often happens, there is no straight answer. There are many different applications and requirements and 1000’s of gasket sealants available.
Most of our gaskets do not require sealant. If a solid gasket is being newly fitted to new products/flanges sealant is not necessary. We most commonly supply some of our gaskets with adhesive backing – to allow for perfect placement and no slippage when fitting, the adhesive backing is stable and only adheres where you want it, it won’t extrude or leak into places it shouldn’t.
Be aware that the main issue with gasket sealant is that it is often not necessary as an addition to a solid gasket and can make replacement of solid gaskets/old sealant much harder Another example is using sealant on delicate flanges such as aluminium, it can be a nightmare to remove leaving an even more pitted and dented surface.
Gasket sealant can be helpful in some cases.
We would recommend gasket sealants alongside our solid gaskets only when necessary, if a flange is very uneven and it could help to fill any gaps and when leakage of the sealant would not be an issue. There are many types of gasket sealant available, just the same as gasket materials, each for different applications. A general rule, if you are using gasket sealant, you don’t need a lot! A tiny amount skimmed over a surface to fill any slight indents is all that is required for most applications.
Automotive applications commonly use gasket sealant alongside solid gaskets, as they are repairing older parts. Gasket sealant can be used to make cheaper gasket materials more robust, increasing adhesion and chemical/water resistance.
RTV sealants are Room Temperature Vulcanising and needs to be at room temperature to cure. There are non-setting compounds, anaerobic sealants which does not set hard and maintains a consistent seal.
There are liquid gaskets used to create a seal. These have many benefits and are used solely as a liquid, not alongside a solid gasket. RAM does not supply liquid gasket materials.