As a consumer, you must feel that machines are run by magic. If the same advanced equipment is to be viewed from the point of view of a professional, you will start to appreciate the complex networks of different circuitry and components that help motorcycles work the way they do.
Undoubtedly, gaskets are one of the most crucial features, and this guide will give you a better understanding of what they are, what they do, and when gaskets are used in machinery from different industries.
What Is a Gasket?
The elastomeric component used to cover the point where two different materials are connected in various types of machinery is known as a gasket. The primary purpose of the gasket is to prevent leakage of gasses and liquids when used as a seal between two target surfaces. However, it is not limited to preventing leakages and can also come in handy to reduce sound, lower vibrations, and even increased hygiene.
The purpose of a gasket and seal are alike. The only significant difference would be their usage. Seals can be applied on rotating components whereas gaskets only work on items that have a static and flat surface.
What Material Is Used to Make a Gasket?
Now that you have a basic understanding of a Gasket, let’s look into the materials that can be used to make the component. Typically, gaskets are made from flat material. It could be silicon, cork, nitrile rubber, fiberglass, and even a sheet of paper. The wide range of materials allows an expansive range of gasket applications.
Gaskets made from the proper material can prevent leakages and reduce temperature fluctuations, pressure, and in some cases, electromagnetic or electrical forces.
Typically, gaskets can either be made entirely out of metal or a mixture of metal and non-metal materials. Usually, these gaskets are made out of copper, aluminum, brass, and stainless steel. These materials are known and appreciated for their high pressure, thermal, and corrosive resistance levels and also exhibit excellent tensile strength and durability.
However, the problem arises when it comes to flexibility. Metals on their own are pretty sturdy and need to be coupled with plastic or rubber materials.
Due to its strong resistance to extreme temperatures, silicon is considered a valuable gasket material. It can function normally from temperatures 480 degrees to -140 degrees. Additionally, its resistance to UV light makes it ideal for outdoor settings. It shows applications for transit and electronic industries up to a specific thickness.
Silicone gaskets come in a variety of forms. You can find them in sponge and foam varieties. It can be used along different materials to boost electrical and thermal conductivity and improve tensile strength.
Gaskets made from Rubber and Plastic Compounds
The elastomeric properties of rubber make it a widely used gasket material. Its ability to endure a high degree of deformation without any loss of properties or permanent damage makes it an excellent material for gasket production. Typically, you will hear the names Viton and neoprene in rubber gasket manufacturing. They may also be used along with metals to boost specific properties and provide better functionality and more significant applications.
Gaskets and Motorcycles
If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, you are more likely aware that it is a complex piece of machinery. On the off chance, you decide to check your bike, you will find gaskets everywhere! They are on the frame, chains, moving parts, and even the engine.
Here’s a fun fact, the O-rings present in the chain of your motorcycle are gaskets. They will keep the links connected but still manage to keep the chain moving. The resources at https://epdm.co.uk/ suggest that gaskets play an essential role in maintaining your bike’s functionality at its optimum. Here’s a list of everything a gasket achieves in your motorcycle.
- It reduces the rate of wear and tears in applications they are used to seal
- Lowers the amount of wasted energy and is eco-friendly
- Lowers the risk of damage to components in close proximity by heat or other issues
- Boosts performance
- Allows engine to reach optimal power and work efficiently
What Is a Head Gasket?
You can find the head gasket located between the engine block and cylinder head. The small component seals the internal combustion. It allows oil and coolant to travel through the engine freely. This helps to oil up the engine and cool it down. If your gasket were to blow up, it could lead to a lot of trouble. Luckily, blow head gasket symptoms are easy to identify, and they can allow you to cater to the problem immediately to prevent any long-term damage.
What Causes a Gasket Head to Blow Up?
If you have been riding a motorcycle for a long time, you are bound to come across the term blew head gasket. One of the most typical reasons a gasket head blows up is due to overheating. Your bike may end up experiencing high temperatures because of a lack of coolant within the radiator, typically due to a leak.
Gaskets made out of particular materials may weaken soon. Aluminum is a type of metal that expands a lot when heated, and since it has a higher thermal expansion rate, it is more likely to break down soon. Increasing temperatures can also cause the metal to change its shape and prevent the gasket from sealing properly.
What Happens after the Head Gasket Blows Up?
After the gasket head blows up, it is essential to address it immediately. If you continue to operate your affected motorcycle, it can result in long-term and irreparable damage to the vehicle’s engine. Since one of the key purposes of the gasket is to maintain pressure, once it blows up, it will no longer be able to carry out its desired function efficiently. The pressure will continue to escape and cause the engine power to lower significantly.
Moreover, the oil and coolant will begin leaking into nearby components. The coolant may find its way into the engine and get mixed with the oil. Not only will it dilute the oil, but lower quantities of coolant will cause your bike to overheat. To prevent yourself from getting in such a situation, it’s always best to learn the typical signs of a blown head gasket.
Symptoms of a Blown Head Gasket
The engine of your motorcycle is dependent on three vital fluids in order to keep it functioning correctly. They are motor oil, fuel, and coolant. In case the head gasket blows, all three may come in contact with each other. Here are a few signs you will notice.
- If you notice that the color of the oil is light brown, it’s likely due to the coolant mixing with the engine oil
- If the coolant leaks out, you will observe that your bike will heat up more than usual.
- The fuel efficiency will decrease, and your motorcycle will likely not run as smoothly as it does normally.
- In case you notice colored smoke, its likely due to the coolant entering the combustion chamber.
Reusing Old Gaskets
If you have an old spare gasket lying around, you might be tempted to install it to save some money. However, it is highly recommended that you get a new one to keep yourself and your beloved vehicle from lengthy trips to the workshop. As stated before, a gasket acts as a seal and is designed to fit your engine perfectly. Even if the spare one fits perfectly, gaskets wear out over time.
Installing a new gasket in your vehicle allows it to absorb any imperfections. Buying a new component is less costly than ending up with irreparable damage to your bike.
Gasket sealer is an adhesive used majorly in motor cars. The putty-like substance keeps the gasket in place and ensures that the air-tight seal is maintained. It doesn’t matter if you are repairing your motorcycle by yourself or hiring a professional; it is essential that you apply some sort of adhesive on the openings to keep the dirt from entering the vehicle.
If this step is skipped, your vehicle will likely end up clogged, and it may result in damaged parts and lower power output. The gasket sealer only stays for up to six months after its application. If you are experiencing leaks, be sure to check out the openings that were covered with gasket sealer. If the leaks happen before applying the sealer, invest in another way to close the gaps.
If you plan on repairing your gasket at home, investing in a gasket set can save you a lot of trouble. It will include the gaskets that fit over your cylinder head, oil pan, timing cover, and exhaust manifold. The kit will consist of everything you need to fix up your vehicle from the comfort of your home.
If you want to keep your bike engine running at its optimum, it’s important to get the vehicle’s gasket checked regularly. It may feel like a troublesome task, but it’s crucial to maintain the motorcycle’s efficiency in the long run. Get in touch with a qualified mechanic to check out your bike thoroughly and to get recommendations on gasket kits and all that is required to keep your bike in a good and efficient condition.