Selecting the right rubber gasket material

Gaskets are used in various industries, such as the automotive or the electronics industry. Their role is to create a pressure-tight seam to prevent liquid and gas emissions. Not only are seals meant to resist to high pressure, but they also resist electrical and electromagnetic forces as well. The most popular type of mechanical seal is actually the rubber gasket, having numerous applications. They can be used for employments such as heat exchangers, compressors and bonnet valves. Rubber is mainly used for manufacturing gaskets owing to the fact that they can withstand extreme temperatures and pressure. When it comes to various applications, selecting the right elastomer is vital. Gaskets are manufactured from a range of elastomers such as EPDM Ottawa, neoprene or silicone. Following are the most popular rubber materials used in the manufacture of mechanical seals and their properties.

 

Silicone

Most people consider silicone a high performance rubber, reason why it is most frequently used for products that are required to withstand low and high temperatures. The service temperature of the silicone ranges between 80f and 550F. In addition to the fact that silicone has temperature resistance, it is UV and Ozone resistant. Therefore, it is most suitable for areas that include compression set resistance and flexibility. It is not astonishing to see that silicone gaskets are used at research facilities in the Arctic. On the other hand, silicone is inappropriate for areas such as tear, tensile strength and of course dynamic applications.

Nitrile rubber

In comparison to other materials, nitrile rubber is also capable of resisting to hot and cold temperatures, not to mention that it has some additional features. To be more precise, nitrile rubber has good impermeability and can withstand abrasion. Equally important is mentioning the resistance to solvents, oils and fuels. While some nitrile rubbers gaskets are especially designed for transformer oil applications, others are used in food applications. The production of nitrile rubber is in itself not very complex.

EPDM rubber

EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer rubber, one of the most versatile rubbers existing today. This product has been used for decades by window producers due to the fact that it ensures reliable sealing over an extended period of time. The main application of this type of rubber is in areas that with corrosive environments and oils. EPDM is mostly preferred for its ozone resistance, meaning that if the gasket is constantly exposed to -20F it is the ideal choice for you.