Any guesses on where one of the largest gaskets around the globe can be found? How about what they might be being used for? Gaskets may be commonplace, but they can be found in some of the oddest of places, too.
The answers to the previous questions might surprise you as there aren’t many outrageously large gaskets in existence. We will discuss in more detail why that is in the coming sections.
Creating seals in arbitrary utilities, like hair blowdryers. Or in the more necessary things, like motor engines; gaskets keep our world functioning. Engineered to fill the space between two components to prevent the leaking of air, dust, and most commonly, liquid, gaskets make motor-operated machines safe for daily use.
Historical credit for the invention of gaskets goes to Charles Goodyear in 1830. An American chemist, who was self-taught, invented and patented vulcanized rubber. This is the name for rubber after a curing process using high temperatures and sulfur to harden the substance.
Doing so makes the rubber even more elastic because the curring process creates cross-links. Its increased elasticity makes the rubber super durable. This in turn made vulcanized rubber prime for commercial uses.
Used to waterproof clothing and also in shoe making, vulcanized rubber was a useful invention. In 1844, it served as the catalyst for vulcanized rubber gaskets, heavily used in piping.
Now made from both natural and synthetic materials, rubber gaskets are one of the oldest forms of gasket sealing technology. The evolution of gasket manufacturing has come a long way since its origins.
Gorilla Gasket makes the toughest, baddest gaskets on the planet. But we aren’t the only company doing big things; literally!
Who designs the largest gaskets around the globe?
Pondering about large gaskets means pondering about large leaks. We’re not talking head gaskets here. Although there are plenty of stories of grand leaks regarding those throughout history. And we’re not talking about any of the tragic gasket catastrophes of old either.
You might be reminding yourself that gaskets are designed to prevent leaking right about now. To that, we reply with an exalted exactly! And offer up an O-ring round of applause for your gasket knowledge.
Would it interest you then to know that the largest gaskets around the globe are in use in South America? In 2012, an Italian chemical manufacturing company, Oldrati Group, designed a gasket for the Guri Dam in Venezuela.
An industry leader in the manufacturing of rubber, silicone, and plastic filtration systems, Oldrati operates with a vertical supply chain. This means the company isn’t reliant on external suppliers and instead controls the supply chain process in-house. The product, then, is in their control from the production of raw materials to the final stages of packaging.
The Guri Dam, or The Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant, was originally constructed in 1963 and sits on the Caroni River. Made with concrete gravity and embarkment the dam is over 24,000 feet long and stands over 525 feet high.
The gasket that Oldrati designed is recorded as the biggest in the world. It weighs 10 tons and is able to withstand extreme pressures of liquid as it needs to hold in place 45,000 tons of rushing water.
As if that isn’t cool enough, the gasket has an underwater door for regular maintenance workers to access when needed. The gasket was designed in Itlay, then shipped in pieces, and finally assembled on-site in Venezuela like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
The difficult part of creating large gaskets
One of the challenging aspects of creating large gaskets is the diametric measurements. How wide would a gasket actually need to be to prevent a leak? Well, that depends on the usage.
Consider the massive piping beneath our feet connecting sewer lines and various other waterways. Some of these pipes can be massive in size and, you guessed it, diameter. When situations like this arise in development, running out to the local hardware store for a solution, isn’t going to cut it.
This is especially true when factoring in the external elements the sealant is going to be forced to withstand. Instead, a job of that magnitude will require plenty of long-term planning. And without a doubt will need a customized gasket to be cut for the job.
Still, the biggest challenge of creating larger gaskets lies in material fabrication. Other challenges include fittings, and transportation. The larger a gasket is in diameter, the more flimsy it can become. Some have even been said to buckle entirely.
That didn’t stop the Olgati Group from stepping up to engineer the largest gaskets around the globe. Their success in this feat is worthy of recognition and makes gasket manufacturers on a global scale a little prouder of what they do.
If you need precision cuts from a wide variety of materials, Gorilla Gasket is the most service-oriented, experienced partner out there. We provide “one-stop shopping” and quick turnarounds for a broad range of high-quality gaskets.
We are locally owned and operated, based in New Mexico and we can ship anywhere in the USA, same day delivery. Give us a call or visit the website for a custom quote to more than satisfy your gasket needs.
1012 N 1st St
Artesia, NM 88210
Find us on Social Media