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Function of cylinder head gasket and material

2024-06-29 18:53:48

The head gasket is a vital component within the combustible engine. The head gasket ensures the pressure created from the spark plug’s ignition of fuel vapors remain within the combustion chamber. The combustion chamber contains the pistons and needs a high amount of pressure to ensure the pistons continue to fire appropriately. Additionally, oil and coolant have equally important jobs but, in order to perform their tasks efficiently, they cannot mix. The head gasket keeps the chambers separated to ensure there is no cross-contamination of fluids.

The function of the engine cylinder gasket is: seal, which is an elastic sealing element placed between the cylinder block and the cylinder head. Since it is impossible to be absolutely flat between the cylinder block and the cylinder head, a cylinder head gasket is needed to prevent high-pressure gas, lubricating oil and cooling water from escaping between them.

Cylinder head gasket materials are generally divided into two types:

(1) The metal asbestos mat uses asbestos as the matrix and is wrapped with copper or steel skin. Some use braided steel wire or rolled steel plate as the skeleton, and some add metal rings around the cylinder hole to increase the strength. The advantage is that the price is lower, but the strength is lower. Because asbestos has carcinogenic effects on the human body, it has been discontinued in developed countries.

(2) The metal gasket is made of a single piece of smooth steel plate, and there are elastic ridges at the seal, which is sealed by the elasticity of the ridges and the function of heat-resistant sealant. Has been widely used abroad. The advantages are high strength, good sealing effect, but high cost.
Replacing a head gasket is not something you can do in a garage. Don’t get fooled by the simplicity of the head gasket as you need to disassemble all parts of an engine to reach it. It is best to leave this job to professionals. What you got left is a responsibility of taking actions before something worse happens. In other words, preventing a blown head gasket and high head gasket repair cost can be done with regular service of the cooling system. Given the low price of cooling system parts, it is wise to replace them instead when needed then paying thousands of dollars for major repairs.