The last handful of decades has been impressive regarding the gasket evolution. And we here at Gorilla Gaskets cannot wait to see how far into the future gaskets will go.
In today’s article, we take a virtual time machine to peak at the evolution of gaskets throughout history. And because this history is farther back than you might’ve imagined, we’re going to start at the beginning.
Original gaskets were crafted by combining sulfur powder, iron fillings, and water. And were used to prevent leaks at sea; fitted for boat hauls or steam pistons. Another material used to design gaskets in the early 19th Century was a rope known as Oakum.
Oakum is a strong, fiber-based rope typically used to caulk wooden ships. The strength of the rope fiber was the catalyst to create gaskets from the material. In modern-day Oakum is still used for cast iron piping.
If it wasn’t Oakum or the trio mentioned above, gaskets of the early days were also made from leather. Early trial and error of this material proved faulty as leather cannot withstand high temperatures.
Used within water pumps as sealants, leather gaskets failed often. The flimsiness of the material usually caused them to tear. Especially when they came in direct and prolonged exposure to steam.
Fast forward to 1850 to discover the invention of rubber gaskets by Charles Goodyear, an American scientist, and chemical engineer. And in 1923, the first gasket supplier in the world opened its doors in the United Kingdom; Whitby Chandler, Limited.
It was at Whitby Chandler in the 1960s that sealant tech became experimental. Here the creation of compression rubber moldings as well as the machinery to do gasket cutting was developed.
Excited to learn more about the evolution of gaskets?
Gaskets through time
By 1899 gaskets were spreading as a sealant solution and began to be fashioned for locomotives, engine boilers, and other mechanical engine parts. This was also the era of asbestos in gasket making.
At the time, asbestos gaskets served as an ideal solution because they could tolerate steam, high water pressure, and chemicals. For this reason, asbestos gaskets were used to transport hot oils, acids, greases, or gases in mechanical systems—especially pumps, compressors, and turbine heads.
For more than a century gaskets have been a crucial element in motor vehicles. Their evolution within the automotive industry runs parallel with the developments in automobiles over the years.
In the 1960s these gaskets were mass produced out of a thin layer of cork. Fitting the cork-based gaskets was the trickiest part as cork, as a material, is quite brittle. The patience required by engineering techs must’ve been otherworldly in that regard. Misplacing the cork would result in it crumbling into dozens of pieces.
Not long after the use of cork, gaskets began being manufactured out of coated paper. As if the brittle cork wasn’t challenging enough, right? It was soon discovered that installation of coated paper gaskets was next to impossible on flat surfaces and so they were soon done away with.
By the 1980s, gaskets were beginning to be manufactured with silicone. Formed-In-Place-Gaskets, or FIPG for short, were revolutionary in the industry. Still, some industries were skeptical to trust the new tech.
It was the European car company Renault that jumped on it first, using the gaskets in the manufacturing of its vehicles. Other European countries didn’t come on board with this until a decade later.
As a material silicone had the best adhesion properties and it was highly resistant to high temperatures. Not to mention that it effectively prevented leaking, which as we know, is the entire point.
Gasket technology of today
The evolution of gaskets fascinates us. From being fastened with heavy rocks or weights to being manufactured tough and fitting like a glove. We can’t get enough of gaskets around here.
And in modern-day times the regulations in place for the safety of manufacturing, and quality control have only stiffened. Thank goodness for that.
Nowadays asbestos is grossly prohibited in installations. This is a direct result of those who came before us consistently inhaling what we now know to be a poisonous substance.
And we would be remiss if we failed to mention the invention of our favorite cousin, the O-Ring. Originally designed in Sweden near the end of the 19th Century, they are now a ubiquitous component in industrial machinery.
Though certain materials gaskets have been manufactured from have now been rendered obsolete, they were still part of the evolution of gaskets. And therefore are a welcomed part of this story.
So is the part of history that was most difficult for gasket companies worldwide, the global recession. Between 2007-2009, the market for gaskets plummeted seemingly overnight.
Crucial sectors of manufacturing, such as engineering, were in steady decline which lowered capital investments. Like a domino, this affected project deadlines for both processing and manufacturing.
Fast forward to 2022 and we find the industry completely recovered and thriving.
As massive problem solvers, gaskets remain in high manufacturing demand. In fact, demand increases with each passing year. And as science continues pushing the boundaries of space and underwater exploration, gaskets will remain necessary.
The Gorilla Gasket promise
Our promise to you is to keep doing more of what we have been doing, precision cuts from a wide variety of quality materials. Having withstood the test of time, Gorilla Gasket is committed to continuing to manufacture the toughest gaskets on the planet.
Our quality gaskets are designed to last and manufactured to fit the opposite piece like a glove.
With the demand not slowing down anytime soon. We expect gaskets to be around preventing leakages for decades to come. And we are looking forward to manufacturing the gaskets you need.
Based in New Mexico, we customize gaskets and can ship them to you with same-day delivery options. And it is our complete pleasure to take care of you from start to finish. Visit our website today to explore the gasket manufacturing options available to you.
1012 N 1st St
Artesia, NM 88210
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