Difference Between Seal and Gasket. Seals and gaskets are essential components in many cases, ensuring the normal operation of various mechanisms. What do these products represent, and how does a seal differ from a gasket? This is explained below.

General Overview

We are talking about devices that perform a sealing function. Seals and gaskets are installed in places where working elements meet, with one of them often being a moving part. For example, they can close the gap between a housing and a rotating shaft or a linearly moving rod. These sealing elements take on the friction and prevent the leakage of liquids or gases beyond the respective compartments of the mechanism. At the same time, they prevent dust from entering the assemblies.

Seals and gaskets come in a wide variety of configurations, sizes, and materials. These characteristics determine the conditions for using such devices. Sealing elements are used extensively, from household appliances and pipelines to pumps and, of course, automobiles and various forms of transportation.


In any case, we are discussing contact devices in the form of rings, with all surfaces tightly adhering to adjacent parts. What is the difference between a seal and a gasket? To understand this, we need to analyze both concepts in more detail.

“Seal” is an old term that was used in the days when bundles of straw or felt were used for sealing purposes. Such sealing elements were impregnated with grease to give them the necessary properties. “Gasket” is a more modern term. It is a general name that implies a whole range of products with different capabilities.

A regular gasket is a homogeneous rubber product, occasionally made of leather or polyurethane. Details of this type are particularly suitable for conditions of high pressure of the working fluid or for the linear movement of structural elements. Such a gasket can taper, allowing it to perform its function better.

A drawback of such products is their susceptibility to wear. Gaskets are especially sensitive to adverse temperatures and high mechanical loads. Under the influence of such factors, these sealing devices can crumble, crack, and become unsuitable for further use.

However, there is a class of stronger gaskets that can withstand harsh conditions and exceptional loads. These seals include reinforcing elements (metal rings, functional springs) in their design. Products of this category are also referred to as seals. The structure of these devices is as follows:

What is the difference between a reinforced seal and a regular gasket in terms of their application? Reinforced samples are primarily installed on rotating parts of mechanisms. Seal-gaskets have cylindrical working surfaces. These auxiliary components are known for their longer service life.