JÄGER Busi­ness Blog

How to select the appro­pri­ate
gas­ket mate­r­i­al for the construction

15.09.2021   |   Tim Panster


Secure the Start of Production 

Find out which fac­tors influ­ence your SOP!

Seals are often treat­ed step­moth­er­ly in prod­uct devel­op­ment. When­ev­er there is a risk of for­eign sub­stances pen­e­trat­ing or escap­ing some­where, the design depart­ment plans a seal. Few design­ers give much thought to the spe­cif­ic design of the component.

This approach can cause prob­lems because the mate­r­i­al has a major impact on the reli­a­bil­i­ty and ser­vice life of a seal. If it is made of the wrong mate­r­i­al for the appli­ca­tion, the seal will fail soon­er or lat­er and, in the worst case, shut down the entire plant. The con­se­quences are pro­duc­tion down­times and high fol­low-up costs. Design­ers should there­fore ensure that they select the right gas­ket mate­r­i­al in advance.

Each gas­ket mate­r­i­al has spe­cif­ic properties

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there is no uni­ver­sal mate­r­i­al that cov­ers all poten­tial appli­ca­tions. Each mate­r­i­al has cer­tain prop­er­ties that have dif­fer­ent effects depend­ing on the scenario.

Some mate­ri­als are extreme­ly resis­tant to mechan­i­cal stress­es and fea­ture good com­pres­sion set and high tear strength. Oth­ers are high­ly tem­per­a­ture resis­tant and retain their prop­er­ties even in extreme heat or cold. Some mate­ri­als are insen­si­tive to var­i­ous sub­stances or media with which they come into con­tact: Grease, min­er­al oil, gaso­line, sol­vents, var­i­ous acids or bases, etc. Still oth­ers are resis­tant to UV light or ozone and do not become porous under their influ­ence. There are also dif­fer­ences in terms of elec­tri­cal con­duc­tiv­i­ty. Some mate­ri­als have an insu­lat­ing effect and oth­ers are elec­tri­cal­ly conductive.

Depend­ing on the mate­r­i­al, the prop­er­ties of a seal can vary great­ly. The chal­lenge is to select the right one from the quan­ti­ty of avail­able mate­ri­als. There is a suit­able mate­r­i­al for every scenario.


If you want to know which mate­ri­als are resis­tant or sus­cep­ti­ble to which media, you can refer to our resis­tance list for elas­tomers. You can also find fur­ther infor­ma­tion in our JÄGER Wiki .

The appli­ca­tion range of the seals is decisive

The media with which a seal reg­u­lar­ly comes into con­tact depends on the area of appli­ca­tion. It is there­fore enor­mous­ly impor­tant to ana­lyze the gen­er­al con­di­tions thor­ough­ly before select­ing the gas­ket mate­r­i­al. A large part of the con­tact media results from the pri­ma­ry area of appli­ca­tion. For exam­ple, a gas­ket in a vehi­cle engine must be resis­tant to gaso­line and machine oil and tol­er­ate heat well.

How­ev­er, it is risky to derive gas­ket mate­r­i­al require­ments from design draw­ings alone. The con­text of use is also relevant.

For exam­ple, a machine that is oper­at­ed out­doors is often exposed to direct sun­light. This means that its seals must not become porous when exposed to UV light and ozone. The expect­ed out­door tem­per­a­tures also play a role. If the machine is out­doors dur­ing the win­ter months, its seals must be able to with­stand sub-zero tem­per­a­tures. In sum­mer, on the oth­er hand, some loca­tions can reach rel­a­tive­ly high temperatures.

Seal­ing ring when used incor­rect­ly and correctly

How­ev­er, the require­ments placed on a seal are not nec­es­sar­i­ly sta­t­ic. It is entire­ly pos­si­ble that the area of appli­ca­tion of a machine or sys­tem will change over time.

In such cas­es, all seals would actu­al­ly have to be put to the test again. How­ev­er, not all com­pa­nies take the trou­ble to ana­lyze their equip­ment con­cep­tu­al­ly when the area of appli­ca­tion changes. Often, the analy­sis remains super­fi­cial. This can have a neg­a­tive impact on the ser­vice life of the seals.

Costs also play a role

The deci­sion in favor of a par­tic­u­lar seal­ing mate­r­i­al does not take place in a vac­u­um. Apart from resis­tance, there are numer­ous oth­er rel­e­vant properties.

Mate­r­i­al costs in par­tic­u­lar often play a major role. Some com­pa­nies delib­er­ate­ly opt for seals that have a short­er ser­vice life but are sig­nif­i­cant­ly less expen­sive. Finan­cial­ly, it can be well worth replac­ing a gas­ket on a reg­u­lar basis rather than using a long-last­ing but more expen­sive one. Pre­cise­ly because seals are not part of the pri­ma­ry intend­ed use of a machine or sys­tem, they reg­u­lar­ly suf­fer as costs are reduced.

How­ev­er, using low­er qual­i­ty seals can cause prob­lems. For exam­ple, the ser­vice life of the machine or sys­tem also depends on the reli­a­bil­i­ty of the seal mate­r­i­al. If for­eign mate­r­i­al leaks or pen­e­trates in the wrong place, func­tion­al­i­ty or oper­a­tional safe­ty may be com­pro­mised. This can result in high repair costs and pro­duc­tion downtime.

If the prob­lem occurs with cus­tomers, the company’s rep­u­ta­tion may even suf­fer. Design­ers should always con­sid­er this risk when choos­ing a seal­ing material.

In sum­ma­ry

Many design­ers regard seals as sim­ple aux­il­iary mate­ri­als and pay too lit­tle atten­tion to them. How­ev­er, there are numer­ous aspects to con­sid­er when select­ing a seal­ing mate­r­i­al. If the mate­r­i­al is suit­able for the area of appli­ca­tion of a machine or sys­tem, this has a pos­i­tive effect on its ser­vice life. How­ev­er, if the design choos­es the wrong mate­r­i­al, the seal has to be replaced more fre­quent­ly — the risk of machine fail­ure increas­es. It is there­fore worth­while to con­sid­er more than just cost when choos­ing a seal material.

Secure the Start of Production 

Learn which fac­tors influ­ence your SOP! 

Author: Tim Panster

Tim Panster joined Jäger in 2019 as a sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Essen loca­tion. In 2020, he com­plet­ed his Mas­ter of Sci­ence in Indus­tri­al Engi­neer­ing at the FOM Uni­ver­si­ty of Eco­nom­ics & Management. 

Share this post!

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on xing
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on xing
Share on email

Covid-19 Contents