Gaskets are a highly versatile mechanical seal that commonly prevents leakage of liquid or gas between two solid and static mating surfaces. It also offers protection from outside environment and other elements. The uses of gaskets are many, and it is an essential component in almost every manufacturing industries ranging from medical device, food processing, pharmaceutical equipment, household appliances, lighting fixture to piping and plumbing.
While there are different kinds of gaskets, rubber gaskets are popular because of it offers range of good attributes such as higher flexibility, good resistance to various chemicals, wide temperature range support, excellent weather-ability, better tensile strength, resiliency, hygienic nature, longer durability and much more. Also, depending on the application, it is possible to produce a gasket in different size, shape and geometry using different elastomers material.
On the other hand, sealings are used in active or moving environments like rotary shafts, engines, and motors they prevent leakage, containing pressure, or protecting a system from contamination. These are widely used in engines, pumps, and motors. If the sealing is damaged, the entire system body has to be detached to replace the sealing.
The similarity between rubber gaskets and sealings is that they both prevent any spilling or leakage.
When it comes to sealing, there is a wide range of synthetic rubber types to choose from, like Buna-N Nitrile, EPDM, Neoprene, Viton, Silicone, and more. But silicone rubber is popularly used in the wide variety of applications across the industries. It possess certain properties that make it suitable for the perfect choice of various parts which are used in aerospace, automotive, energy, lighting, electrical & electronic, power generation and other industries. Not just that, it is also used in the medical, pharmaceutical, dairy, food & beverage and textile industries because by and large it is non-toxic and hygienic. Here are some features that make it stands out from others:
- Ideal Sealing Solution
Silicone rubber can withstand wide range of extreme weather conditions and maintain its elasticity and compressibility throughout, making it an optimal choice for making a seal which used in extreme temperature environment. Silicone rubber seal are mostly unaffected by chemicals, gases, or moisture, and they do not alter their physical properties.
- Thermal Stability
Compared to other synthetic rubber, silicone rubber has better durability and stability and can be exposed to extreme heat or cold weather condition or environment.
- Electrical Insulation
Widely used in the transmission of high-voltage electric current insulation both domestically and commercially, special grade silicone rubber is flame-retardant and provides better performance.
- Resistance Atmospheric Conditions
The effectiveness of silicone rubber remains the same when exposed to weather conditions such as wind, rain, or even in the effect of ozone.
Because of these factors, it’s an ideal elastomer that is widely used by engineers and manufacturers.
But, when it is compared with other synthetic polymers in the market, silicone rubber can be generally expensive because of its unmatched physical properties. For instance, liquid silicone rubber which is widely used in the production of sealers and connectors can be costly because of the production and molding process involved.
Another major drawback is that silicone often renders ineffective under high resistance and tensile strength. Certain chemical environments such as sulfur and latex can also lead to abrasion or wear out.
Now that we have looked into the rubber types and sealings, let’s look at the various production methods involved in the making of gaskets:
- Rubber Molding
There are various methods which used for molding, some are highly automatic and others are semi automatic. Rubber molding mostly uses compression, transfer, and injection molding method to produce molded rubber parts. In simple terms, molding usually involves the use of a plunger that has a cavity that is used on top of heated rubber to create molded rubber parts.
Extrusion is yet another very effective and popular process. It involves extruding the rubber into a permanent form or creating a cross-section by pushing the material through a die or a pin, the end result involves a perfect finish. A large number of gaskets such as U channel, D Shape, P Shape, T Shape, Bulb Shape, E Shape, Bullet Shape, Triangular Shape, Teardrop Shape seal, Hatch Seal & Marine Gasket, Oval shape can be produced. Extruded rubber gaskets & strips can fit many critical applications. Almost all types of elastomers can be used in the process of making extruded rubber gaskets of various shapes and sizes.
- Die Cutting
Die-cutting is also known as gasket cutting involves the usage of punch presses of different kinds that are punched through the material to produce gaskets of various sizes. So, die-cutting also allows precision. Profiles that can be achieved are C-shaped, D-shaped, square, hexagon, diamond, and so on.
- Hand Cutting
As the name suggests, hand cutting enables the cutting of gaskets with the help of skilled craftsmen. This allows for the production of custom-made gaskets that are otherwise not attainable through machines.
- Water Jet Cutting
This involves the usage of high-pressure water of about 0.01 diameter that is used to pass through the rubber material to achieve the desired shape and size. Almost all forms of rubber, soft or hard can be used in the process to attain the desired shape.
To sum up rubber gaskets and sealing function the same way in preventing any leakage between two mating surfaces. However, their application is little different. When it comes to choosing a rubber component silicone rubber is an excellent choice for many engineers and manufacturers because of its distinct qualities.Rubber gaskets can be processed and made from the many different elastomeric material by a using number of the production process.
Accurate Rubber Corporation is ISO 9001:2015 registered manufacturer and supplier of a wide variety of silicone and rubber seals and parts that can be custom made according to the client requirements. We work with you and help you in determining the perfect solution for sealing requirements. Connect with our customer representatives to know more.