Seals Vs Gaskets 101

Considering seals and gaskets as the same is a common misconception—and it’s easy to see why. They both perform the same function of preventing leaks. However, their applications are different. Gaskets are used for static surfaces like joints. Seals are used for dynamic surfaces like rotating shafts, engines, and pumps.

What’s a Gasket?

A gasket is a sheet or a ring made of a soft material used to seal flanges, joints, and other surfaces to avoid leakages. Based on the application and material, gaskets can be manufactured through a wide range of techniques, like:

  • Precision slitting
  • Rubber extrusion
  • Custom die-cutting
  • Cold bond and hot vulcanized splicing
  • Waterjet cutting
  • Compression and injection molding

Both seals and gaskets are used in almost every industry and application, including industrial and manufacturing applications, oil and gas, paper and pulp production, and even agricultural equipment.

Broken or worn gaskets can be replaced easily. We recommend that you change the gasket every time you disassemble the equipment.

What’s a Seal?

Silver metallic cartridge seals

Seals belong to a broader category that includes valve stem seals, O-rings, mechanical seals, rotary seals, and more. Unlike gaskets, seals are used in active environments in engines, motors, rotary shafts, pumps, and more. They’re round and flat with a thin rubber lining and a surrounding metal ring.

The tilted inner layer of the seal helps in preventing leakage in moving machines. Seals are used to avoid leakages between moving parts of a machine and prevent contaminants from entering the system.

Replacing a damaged or a broken seal is longwinded. That’s because it entails the disassembly of the entire equipment.

Seal and Gasket Materials

Gaskets and seals are made with a range of different materials depending on their application. Some of the materials used to make seals and gaskets are:

  • Buna ‘N’ (Nitrile)
  • Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR)
  • EPDM
  • Flourosilicone
  • CSR (Hypalon®)
  • Silicone
  • Synthetic Polyisoprene
  • Fluoroelastomer (FKM)
  • Neoprene
  • Polyurethane
  • Viton®
  • Natural Rubber (polyisoprene)

Looking for Custom Designed Mechanical Seals and Gasket Solutions?

Robco of America seals and gaskets are custom designed for your needs.  Our products are 100% manufactured, assembled, and tested in the US to help you avoid tariffs. Our product range includes gaskets, mechanical seals, mechanical packing, and more. Contact us by calling 1-800-662-0585 or emailing us at

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