Around 45% of industrial plants utilize a proactive approach to maintenance. This proactive approach generally involves routine maintenance of the machines a plant uses daily. During these maintenance procedures, technicians will inspect the gaskets and seals a machine has. If a particular machine is leaking oil, water or hydraulic fluid, it will usually be caused by a damaged gasket or seal.
Replacing a damaged gasket or seal on an industrial machine is not as easy as you may think. These replacement gaskets will have to be machined from scratch by experienced professionals. Once you have a new replacement gasket in hand, you will have to install it correctly. Here are some mistakes you need to avoid when trying to install a new gasket.
1. Failing to Clean the Surface Before Installing a New Gasket
Gasket failure generally occurs as a result of improper installation. The last thing you want to do is destroy a new gasket due to installation mistakes. Before you can put the new gasket in place, you will need to clean the surface it is being installed on thoroughly. This cleaning process should involve removing dried adhesive and pieces of the old gasket.
The biggest mistake most people make when trying to remove these old materials from a metal surface is using a razor blade. Doing this could scratch the surface and make it hard for the new gasket to adhere properly. This is why using a scraper or brush made from nylon or plastic is advisable. If at all possible, you should find a chemical cleaner specifically designed for removing old adhesive and gasket material from metal surfaces.
2. Focus On Using the Right Amount of Gasket Sealant
The gasket material you are using will dictate whether or not a liquid sealant is needed. If the replacement gasket in question is made of paper, using this sealant is a must. However, rubber gaskets typically don’t need a layer of sealant to properly adhere to a metal surface. If you are using a liquid sealant during the gasket installation process, be mindful of how much is being used.
Using too much of this sealant can lead to other parts of the engine getting clogged. Not using enough sealant can make it hard to get the gasket to seal properly. Generally, you need to create a bead of sealant that is around 1/8 of an inch thick. As you apply this sealant, make sure it is spread evenly to avoid problems.
3. Allow The Gasket Sealant to Cure
If one of the machines in your building is down due to a damaged gasket, getting it back up and running quickly is probably your main concern. However, you need to avoid letting your desire for a quick repair turnaround get in the way of sound decision-making.
Putting a machine back together before the gasket sealant has a chance to cure can lead to even more damage in the long run. This is why you need to follow the installation instructions on the sealant to the letter. The curing times for this type of sealant ranges from a few hours to an entire day.
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