It has always been difficult to predict time related component failures unless one uses first-hand experience. For time intervals approaching 5 to 10 years, the only practical prediction process uses accelerated aging methods. However, the frequent consequences of such methods distort results so that they do not duplicate the test of time.
Recent mandates by the American automotive industry are demanding longevity performance without historical evidence in applications such as engine valve cover and oil pan gaskets.
It is the subject of this paper to discuss the available aging methods, their predictive value and current pertinent data on materials and systems that are either used or evaluated in new sealing design.