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Is a Gasket the Same as a Washer?

APM Hexseal is a leading provider of durable high-quality sealing hardware, including custom-molded gaskets and washers. Gaskets and washers are often assumed to be the same thing, as they have a similar design and are both used in conjunction with other components. While they have a similar appearance, they serve very different purposes.

APM Hexseal Seeloc WasheGasket vs. Washer: What’s the Difference?

Although gaskets and washers share some similarities, they serve different functions. Gaskets are used to prevent leaks around mating surfaces, whereas washers are used to distribute the load of a threaded fastener. Most washers won’t have the ability to prevent fluid or gas leakage; therefore, gaskets are the better choice for sealing applications. 

The shape and size of washers are also different compared to gaskets. Most washers are small and feature a uniform circular shape to enable them to fit around bolts. Gaskets are not used with bolts, meaning they are available in a wider variety of shapes and sizes. In terms of materials, washers are almost always made of metal; whereas gaskets can be made of metals, metal alloys, rubber, and other materials.

Common types of gaskets include:

  • Flange gaskets
  • Constant seating gaskets
  • Spiral-wound gaskets
  • Soft-cut gaskets

Common types of washers include:

  • Plain washers
  • Locking washers
  • Spring washers
  • Torque washers

Industry Applications 

Bonded sealing washers are used throughout industries such as aerospace, agriculture, automotive, construction, marine, military, and mining. Their durability and effectiveness make them suitable for applications such as:

  • HVAC equipment
  • Marine electronics
  • Construction and industrial equipment
  • Hydraulics and braking systems

Gaskets are used in nearly every industry, with applications such as:

  • Aerospace equipment
  • Wind turbines
  • Medical equipment
  • Electronics
  • Automotive
  • Heavy equipment

Custom-Molded Gaskets from APM Hexseal

Molded gaskets feature high durability and can withstand a wide range of operating environments. At APM Hexseal, we offer custom-molded gaskets to meet the needs of our customers. Our experienced team of designers, engineers, and manufacturing experts can work with you to develop a reliable, rugged, and high-quality gasket based on your specific application requirements.

Along with our custom-molded gaskets, we also offer a self-sealing hexagonal nut, the Seelnut®. This innovative product is made from high-quality rubber, which is molded into the cavity of the nut itself. These nuts feature threads molded directly into the rubber, and they provide a positive seal along the threaded section of the Seelnut® and with the contact surface. This eliminates the need for gaskets, extra surface preparation, and sealing compounds.

Washers from APM Hexseal

As part of our product line, APM Hexseal produces our patented Seeloc washers. 

Our  Washers feature molded silicone rubber bonded to specially formed stainless steel washers. These washers work in conjunction with standard studs, screws, or bolts to create an airtight seal unlike any other. By forming an effective seal, Seeloc® Washers ensure optimal performance of electrical and mechanical equipment.  They are UL recognized, making them a perfect choice for NEMA rated applications.

Types of Seeloc® washers we offer include:

  • Metric Seeloc® Washers. These washers are available in all standard metric measurements to ensure an easy selection process for manufacturers around the world. They can withstand a broad range of temperatures and can resist fungus, dust, most acids and oils, ozone, and more. Also available in heavy duty. 
  • Imperial Seeloc® Washers. These washers can handle torque values at least 50% higher than our original Seeloc® Washers. They are ideal for various sealing applications, including medical equipment, chemical handling, construction equipment, and food processing. Also available in heavy duty. 

Gaskets and Washers from APM Hexseal

Washers and gaskets have different functions, but whichever one you need, APM Hexseal has you covered with our innovative solutions. If you have any questions about washers, gaskets, or our products, ask our experts or request a quote today.