Rubber gasket and seal are an integral part of our day to day life. Even though it hardly gets noticed, it exists all around to us. You can easily find it in your home appliances like coffee machine, refrigerator, laundry machine, and other appliances. In addition, it also tightly seals your windows and doors, lighting fixtures and skylight. It provides perfect sealing for your automobile doors, windows, and other engine parts. It’s also a very critical component for making giant rocket ships, aeroplanes, military tanks, and medical equipment.
Why do rubber gaskets or seals fail?
However, quite a few sealing failures happen which ultimately cost much more due to down time, repair cost, hurting brand value and much more. It is very critical for OEMs to select the right kind of elastomer while making these gaskets and seals for use in their products. Many times, this wrong selection of rubber material happen due to the absence of right material information, specific application and condition needs, or due to price factor or both.
Silicone Rubber and EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) are very versatile and popular synthetic elastomers which are heavily used for making rubber gasket and seals. As for the life cycle, both have their own merits and demerits which we will explore here.
What should you consider while making a rubber gasket?
To decide whether Silicone or EPDM elastomer is appropriate for your gasket application, these are particulars that ought to be considered.
- Where exactly it will be used? Indoor environment or outdoor environment?
- Whether or not it will be subjected to intense temperature changes?
- Are there any special physical, mechanical and chemical requirements?
- Whether or not it will be in touch with oils, compounds, chemicals or any other substances?
- Whether or not it will be a portion of a moving part that will be liable to high temperatures?
When you figure out what your requirements are for your venture then you can settle on a data choice on which is best for your project. The table beneath can help you in settling on the choice :
|Silicone Rubber||EPDM Rubber|
|Temperature Resistance||-67 °F to 450 °F (-55 °C to 232 °C)|
|Elasticity||More stretchable than EPDM||Comparatively less elastic|
|Dielectric Properties||Excellent dialectical properties make a great fit for insulation||Poor for electrical insulation|
|Alkalis and Acid Resistance||Poor performance||Superb resistance|
|Tensile and Abrasion Strength||High tensile strength|
Good abrasion resistance
|Good tensile strength|
Abrasion resistance is not high
|Fluid and Oil Resistance||Has a better resistance to oil||Swells in long periods of contact with oil|
|Tear Resistance||Progressively adaptable and can be compounded to have exceptionally tough tear strength||Has great tear resistance and is progressively robust|
|Weatherability, UV and Ozone||Both offer excellent environmental, UV and Ozone resistance||Both offer excellent environmental, UV and Ozone resistance|
|Flame Retardant||Great flame retardant||Good flame retardant|
|Color Option||It easily mixes with any pigment so wide range of color options||Not easy to mix with other pigments|
|Cost||Based on specific material formulation silicone is costlier||Cost effective|
Silicone additionally has a couple of more focal points:
Nontoxicity and Cleanliness
Silicone rubber doesn’t contain sulphur or any other acid producing element which eliminates the possibility of staining, corroding or deteriorating when it is in contact with other materials. Mostly it is odourless and tasteless.
Silicone rubber is available in food grade, class VI, platinum cure silicone rubber and other special grades. This makes it a perfect choice for making gasket which requires special kind of material due to compliance and safety reason.
Some conventional uses of Silicone and EPDM gaskets:
Silicone rubber gasket and rubber seal are utilized broadly over numerous enterprises and applications like medical and laboratory equipment, pharmaceutical equipment, food and beverage processing, aerospace, industrial oven, automotive, computer, electronics, and many more.
Occasionally referred to just as EPDM, run of the mill utilization of EPDM are window and entryway seals, weather proofing, and electrical gaskets. EPDM is most ordinarily utilized in the automotive and construction enterprises for different seals because of its phenomenal protection from ecological factors, for example, ozone, UV and general weather endurance.
While silicone seems superior to EPDM in some areas, both elastomers offer excellent sealing solution however the right choice depends on your individual application. Please contact Accurate Rubber Corporation for any questions regarding the right selection of rubber material for your sealing needs.