Gorilla Gasket

Are There Massive Differences? Breaking Down Washers, O-Rings & Gaskets

What are the differences between washers, O-Rings, and gaskets? It’s an age-old question and one that depending on whom you ask has varying responses. Even the answers on search engine results depend on the source. Wikipedia lists them as similar entities if not one and the same. 

More often than not it’s O-Rings being compared to gaskets or washers being referred to as gaskets. But never much crossover or confusion between O-Rings and washers. Why is that we wonder… 

All three objects are round or circular in design. Each one acts as a sealant or prevents leaking. Yet each one performs its own function and they aren’t all interchangeable with one another. 

Still, the masses that aren’t as familiar with these three manufacturing gemstones get themselves confused often. And with loads of conflicting data circulating the vastness that is the internet, it’s not too surprising why that is. 

The most common questions are: Is a washer the same as a gasket? Are gaskets and O-Rings the same exact thing under a different name? What even is a gasket?

The latter gets us hyped and ready to launch into gasket seal monologues that can go on for hours. But we digress. Our point today is that the public has questions, and being ultra familiar with all three, Gorilla Gasket has the answers.

This article is going to break down each one of the objects in question; washers, O-Rings, and gaskets. And we will air out the falsities linked to each as we go. Let’s get started with washers and O-Rings and save the best (gaskets) for last — a bit of bias there, we’re unapologetically aware. 

Washers vs O-Rings

Both washers and O-Rings are needed for sealing off connections. Most popularly used in piping and basic appliances, both prevent the passing of liquids or gases. 

Washers, however, do more to distribute weight than prevent an actual leak. Distribute the weight of what? The weight or load of the fastener they are connected to. Fasteners are nuts and bolts.

Together the washer and the fastener connect two surfaces, binding them in place. The weight that a washer helps distribute comes from the pressure applied when it is tightly fastened. Without a washer in place, the two materials may buckle or bend vs being held evenly together. 

When compared to O-Rings, washers are rumored to have the upper hand on durability. That’s because washers can withstand high-pressure atmospheres. They also offer real longevity because they are derived primarily from metal. 

Sometimes, a washer is used instead of an O-Ring simply because it would perform better over a longer period of time. So what’s an O-Ring then and why are they passed over for washers when the situation calls?

Sometimes referred to as a toric joint, an O-Ring gets its name from its shape. By design, it sits inside a groove and blocks unwanted substances from passing through. An O-Ring is then repeatedly compressed between these two surfaces; most often by a piston and cylinder. 

That is to say that O-Rings deserve praise for their durability, too. These tough elastic things are one of the more common seals used in machine making. This is because they are easy to make, require simple installment measures, and are affordable.  

So what are the differences between these three things; washers, O-Rings, and gaskets? Let’s get into the details therein. 

What are the differences between washers, O-Rings, and gaskets?

The biggest difference between an O-Ring and a gasket is the function itself. Gaskets are often custom-made to prevent the passing of liquids, dust, or gas. That means they can be engineered for specific jobs or to fit specific motors. 

An O-Ring is always round in nature and exclusively made with an elastomer substance. This substance allows an O-Ring to be stretched if necessary, but it also retracts, reverting back to its original sizing. And it does this without breaking.

The biggest difference between a washer and a gasket is shaping. Although both products act as sealants between two different parts affixed together a washer is always circular in shape. 

A gasket, though often circular, can be custom engineered into almost any shape. In fact, the largest gasket ever made weighed ten tons and was engineered in Itlay. That’s one whopper of a gasket!

Sometimes the term washer gasket is thrown around, which only serves to add more confusion. It is in fact, a real thing, however. A washer gasket is a large piece of circular rubber usually outfitted around the door of clothes washing machines. 

This gasket does what gaskets do best and prevents the water in the machine from leaking out and onto the garage or kitchen flooring. Aren’t we all grateful for those?

A-tisket, A-tasket, oh how joyous is the world of gaskets! Joyous, but oh so confusing. 

Has any of the explanations above enhanced your understanding of washers, O-Rings, and gaskets? Or do you feel more confused than you started? Apologies if the latter is true. Let us unseal the pipelines, as it were, and get to the heart of it. 

Are there massive differences between the three?

The truth of the matter is that all three elements, washers, O-Rings, and gaskets, are classified as gaskets within the industry. Despite their differences, their similarities are what clump them together in this regard. They act as sealants, therefore they are classified as gaskets. 

Did you guess this fact along the way?

Be that as it may, Gorilla Gasket will literally cut anything! We manufacture the toughest, baddest gaskets in town. When you use Gorilla Gasket-made gaskets there are zero leaks.

We’re your gasket manufacturing world headquarters. Not only can we customize orders, but we can also get them to you lightning fast with our same-day delivery options. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience to discuss your gasket manufacturing needs. 

Gorilla Gasket

1012 N 1st St
Artesia, NM 88210

(575) 336-1446

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