A gasket can be used for many different purposes, but generally, it serves as a flexible seal that fills the space between two components joined under compression, preventing leakage through the gap between it. For example, when laying a pipeline, a gasket is used to create a seal between adjoining pieces of pipe, preventing liquids or gases leaking out from the pipeline, or from penetrating into the pipeline.
Gaskets can also be used for, or contribute to:
- Sound and noise reduction.
- Vibration reduction.
- Packaging seals.
- Hygiene control.
- Supports and mountings.
- Glazing and cladding.
The durability and safe operation of a gasket can be significantly enhanced by selecting the right material, taking into account the application and the environmental features it will be exposed to. Many different materials can be used to make gaskets. The key property is generally that they are capable of yielding to such a degree that they can tightly fill the required space. Flexible materials such as rubber, paper or cork are often used. Metal can also be used, to make spiral wound or copper head gaskets.
The material used, and its characteristics, will determine the properties of the gasket, which might include; resistance to chemicals, resistance to extreme temperatures, resistance to pressure and so on.
In pressurised systems, a gasket may also act as a safety device. The gasket is typically the weakest component of the system and will fail before a more potentially dangerous or costly response such as a pipe bursting or an explosion.
A gasket should allow the sealing surfaces to be separated and reassembled, allowing for essential maintenance to take place.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Have a look at Riga's most striking new building, the National Library of Latvia.
It's an exciting time for NEC users, but it can only succeed with openness and inclusivity between clients and contractors.
New designs revealed for Qatar World Cup 2022 stadium, based on traditional Arab headwear.
The results of the sixth large-scale cladding tests have been published - another failure.
Four practical tips to bring sustainability into your building design.
Have a look at these designs for a new cross-laminated timber tower in Toronto.
Geniebelt examine the urgent need for change in construction.
Read our introductory article to the contractor's design portion.
Four ways in which smart cities could make our lives better.
Mayor Sadiq Khan announces new Greener City Fund in drive to make London the first 'National Park City'.
BSRIA announce UKAS accreditation for sound absorption testing.
The full terms of reference are published for the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.