The silicone gasket materials that are used in today’s food handling, automotive, medical, and construction industrial applications have been chosen for a reason! Silicone has many inherent qualities that make it an ideal choice for many purposes in all of these markets as well as others. Many custom silicone products are made to fulfill applications that require heat resistance, chemical resistance, low toxicity, engine and transmission oil, and much more. For example, the non-marking low toxicity properties of a silicone gasket make it ideal for use as food grade gasket material. Each unique application contains its own demands, limitations, and specifications regardless of the level of the requirements. The cost of silicone gasket fabrication is a factor that will vary and be unique to each industry using the product. With all the various industries that are in our highly advanced economy, there will always be a need for a soft rubber seal or gasket. Silicone rubber is the perfect material to fulfill this need.
Sheet silicone is used to manufacture the various seals and gaskets needed in the food industry. The elastomer is perfect for this use because it has very low toxicity and odor, is a non-marking material, soft enough to be manipulated into various custom silicone products, and can withstand a wide range of temperatures. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strictly inspect the type of silicone gasket material before it is approved for use as a food grade gasket material.
A silicone gasket can be made into many different types of specialized products that can include:
Solid Silicone Rubber: These are engineered using water jet cutting or die cutting fabrication methods. Commonly used on metal or rigid enclosures that require higher closure forces, this product will be used with a suitable bolt pattern to ensure that the gasket is properly and firmly compressed. These are ideal for water sealing and submersion applications. Hence, they are perfect for use as food grade gasket material. Solid silicone rubbers are available in a wide variety of gauges and widths, which allows for wide variety of sizes in fabricated parts.
Open Cell: These products are cellular and soft in comparison to solid rubber products. The open cell structure of sponge makes this an excellent option for environmental seals since it inherently will perform well within a wide temperature range and is resistant to UV rays. This type of silicone gasket is ideal for use as a soft rubber seal when low closure forces are needed.
Closed Cell: While these are closely related to open cell their main differentiation between the two is the smoother surfaces that can be procured from fabricated parts. Closed cell silicone items are far more popular and more readily available.
Injection molded gaskets: Molded seals with round, three dimensional, or custom cross-sections can be required for heavy wash down or water submersion applications. Molding allows for three dimensional custom silicone products to be made without compromising their integrity. (By the way this is currently out of Rubber-Cal’s expertise!) (http://EzineArticles.com/2463548)
The fabrication techniques for silicone gasket items and their related costs can help to determine which type of product and design of gasket would best suit your application’s needs. The properties of silicone allow for these gaskets to take on many forms such as a soft rubber seal, horseshoe shape, and o-ring shape. The choice really is up to you. Our custom silicone products are highly recommended for many different gasket and sealing purposes across a wide variety of industries within an affordable price range. It is ideal for use as an automotive, medical, or food grade gasket material. The next time you are looking into a silicone gasket make sure to keep in mind your application’s demands, limitations, and specifications since these will be the foundation for many of the decisions made as you move forward!