With increasing use of gaskets and seals in oil and gas, automotive and electronics industry, manufacturers are using new materials to produce new types of gaskets and seals. Integrated gaskets and seals are being developed to offer better electrical properties, physiochemical and mechanical properties. Manufacturers are also developing new gaskets and seals using more eco-friendly approach. For instance, Ford and Recycled Polymeric Materials found an eco-friendly way to develop gaskets and seals. Combining discarded tires with the bio-renewable material, companies developed eco-friendly gaskets and seals for Ford vehicles. These gaskets and seals are developed using 17% bio-renewable content and 25% recycled tire particulate.
Hence, more companies are using innovative technology and new materials to reduce waste and costs. Manufacturers are also using advanced water-based Hydro-Fused process, hence producing solvent-free gasket materials.
According to the report by Future Market Insights (FMI), the global gaskets and seals market is anticipated to reach around $102 billion by 2026, registering 5.4% CAGR during 2016-2026. Manufacturers are also developing and using new technologies to produce a better quality of gaskets and seals. For example, Stratasys, in 2017 developed two new 3D printing materials, FDM Nylon 12FC and Agilus30 to develop gaskets and seals through 3D printing. In terms of end-users, the automotive industry is expected to increase to 5.1% CAGR between 2016 and 2026.
New technologies to result in better gaskets and seals options
Industrial Magnetics Inc. has developed Metal detectable and X-Ray Inspectable gaskets and seals options. The new product includes the detectomer line of silicone gaskets and Buna seals. These gaskets and seals protect against elastomeric contamination in the processing line.
The manufacturers are also trying to develop gaskets and seals to provide better performance in high temperatures and extreme conditions. For instance, Flexitallic developed a sealing material for gaskets. The sealing material is known as Thermiculite. This material is specially developed for gaskets materials to operate at high temperatures for long period. By combining chemically exfoliated and thermally exfoliated vermiculite, Thermiculite ensures and maintains seal integrity even under extreme conditions and high temperatures. These Thermiculite gaskets can be developed in many forms including spiral wound, sheet, etc. hence, one material can be used across different industries.
Tough operating conditions and high temperature are the biggest challenges being faced by end users and gaskets and seals suppliers. Hence, research and development are also being done to focus on combining fibers, elastomer, metal, etc. that can result in better performance in tough conditions.
Another company known as Freudenberg has introduced to new low emission sealing solutions to help automakers reduce transmission friction. These two new solutions are known as Levitorq and Levitas. According to the company, both the sealing solutions can reduce around 70% transmission friction. Levitas eliminates contact between seal ring and shaft, thus reducing carbon dioxide emission and seal ring friction. Freudenberg also supplies seals to Tesla for its various gaskets, powertrains, O-rings and other components. Meanwhile, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are also demanding seals for electric batteries, hence this represents an opportunity for manufacturers.
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