Europe strikes a blow for gaskets

`Restructure and move manufacturing’ is one message being trumpeted down the ear of companies in the automotive industry. `Or innovate’ whispers another small voice. One company to take the latter option is Frenzelit, a German manufacturer of cylinder head gaskets.

The threat came from Japan a few years ago, when according to Frenzelit, German gasket manufacturers developed a fixation about steel gaskets, a technology that superseded softer gasket material which was less efficient. `Over-engineered’ and `too expensive’ shouted the European producers, who then nevertheless faced the brief of offering a better price/performance ratio.

Frenzelit still considered graphite to be an excellent gasket material due to its high resistance to chemicals and excellent stability at temperatures up to 450iC. On the other hand, it suffered from brittleness which made it delicate to handle and install. The engineers came up with the idea of extending the handling and performance range of graphite by adding Kevlar fibre from Du Pont.

The graphite gaskets are flexible, but resistant to compressive creep, producing what the company claims is a 100% secure seal. The gains in performance and consistency lend themselves to very short product development cycles.

{{Du Pont Engineering FibresTel: Switzerland +41 22 717 5233Enter 400}}