Although unassuming, a plain rectangular rubber sheet of silicone can actually create a host of custom silicone gasket that can become almost anything, from a part of a space shuttle rocketing out of the ozone layer, a seal on industrial machinery, or a protective pad on food processing equipment. Diaphragms, equipment liners, food-safe surfaces—silicone rubber can assume many forms to meet the unique demands of industries including aerospace, construction and automotive. In all these applications, a silicone gasket (often misspelled silicon gasket) is one of the most common components fabricated from these universally helpful rubber sheets. High temperature gasket material is a function of the heat produced by modern machinery, and silicone’s wide working temperature range allows for its use in lots of places.
From freezer seals to outdoor electrical applications, using silicone for a rubber gasket seal is often the best choice due to its physical properties. The widespread utilization of this sheet rubber for custom silicone gasket and parts are a testament to the proven performance of this synthetic elastomer in such applications. What is it about silicone that suits it as one of the most preferred elastomers for rubber gasket material? What key properties allow it to outperform other elastomers in certain applications? Here are some central features of a custom silicone gasket:
Temperature tolerance: Most elastomers cannot hold a candle to the incredibly expansive operable temperature range of this rubber sheet. At temperatures as low as -103 degrees Fahrenheit, silicone maintains its flexibility and compressibility unlike many other materials that would become brittle and crack, rendering them ineffectual as a seal. At the other end of the spectrum, the synthetic elastomer resists deformation and melting in temperatures as high as 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This resistance to extreme temperatures allows the rubber to be used in the many industries that need either a low or high temperature gasket material. When searching for a rubber gasket material that can withstand extreme temperatures, this rubber compound is one of the most popular materials due to its astounding range of durability.
Compression set resistance: An effective gasket or seal material needs to be able to be compressed under great pressure, yet can still offer enough resilience to keep two different parts from touching. While many gaskets are created from metal or composite materials, rubber gasket material is the easier to compress than metal but more durable than composite. To effectively create a seal, the gasket must be compressed with objects harder than its own material. This limits metal gaskets applications because it is already such a hard substance. A rubber gasket seal is easily compressed without losing its characteristics. The material must also be able to resist becoming permanently compressed by the large amounts of pressure being exerted by two different components. It withstands permanent deformation, while still creating an air-tight seal. Its resistance to compression, high resilience and compressibility are invaluable properties of this rubber sheet.
Weathering resistance: Ozone gas and UV rays are harmful to many elastomers and often accelerate the rate of degradation in the material through the process of oxidation. NR or natural rubber is biodegradable so it cannot withstand environmental weathering well. Silicone rubber, however, is a synthetic rubber so that it can better withstand the elements and slow the damaging effects of weathering. This allows the high temperature gasket to perform well for both indoor and outdoor conditions. Often used in outdoor electrical applications, custom silicone gasket (remind you that silcon gasket is a misspelled version) are the ideal rubber gasket seal for even the most abrasive environments.
Low toxicity: There are many applications—namely the medical and scientific industries—that demand FDA-grade materials to avoid tainting their instruments or devices. While some elastomers may give off some kind of taste, smell or other off-gassing, silicone stands out as one of the cleanest elastomers with a very low trace of odor and taste. This feature is fitting in applications that require an inert material that will not compromise the integrity of an operation as crucial as a medical procedure.
Able to withstand extreme temperatures, weathering, and large amounts of pressure while remaining flexible and durable, a silicone gasket is perfect for a large range of applications both indoor and outdoor. Silicone is one of the most trusted elastomers used as rubber gasket material because of its enhanced resistance to extreme environments and its resilience to deformation. As with other elastomers, custom silicone parts can be fabricated easily and in an affordable fashion. Offered in a large range of thicknesses and durometers, our sheets can be utilized for countless industries and applications, which include seals and gaskets for your unique projects. Where will you need this high-performance elastomer?