Flat metal gaskets are best suited for applications such as valve bonnets, ammonia fittings, heat exchangers, hydraulic presses, tongue and grooved joints.
They can be used when compressibility is not required to compensate for flange finish, war page or misalignment, and where sufficient clamping force is available to seat the particular metal selected.
They must be sealed by the flow of the gasket metal in to imperfections on the gasket seating surfaces of the flange.
This typically requires heavy compressive forces and hardness of the gasket metal must be less than the hardness of the flange to prevent damage.
Relatively inexpensive to produce and virtually any material that is available in sheet form. Though size limitation is restricted to sheet size, larger gaskets can be made by welding.