Spiral-wound gaskets comprise a mix of metallic and filler material. Generally, the gasket has a metal (normally carbon rich or stainless steel) wound outwards in a circular spiral (other shapes are possible) with the filler material (generally a flexible graphite) wound in the same manner but starting from the opposing side. This results in alternating layers of filler and metal. The filler material in these gaskets acts as the sealing element, with the metal providing structural support.
These gaskets have proven to be reliable in most applications, and allow lower clamping forces than solid gaskets, albeit with a higher cost.