The humble rubber gasket

Rubber gaskets underappreciated but vital in thousands of machines and appliances that are used in our daily lives to create barriers between two objects, and to prevent any leaking of liquid or gas. They also offer protection from outside elements such as moisture and dust.

This is a very versatile fabricate rubber product essential in thousands of applications. Because of this, rubber gaskets are manufactured in many different shapes and sizes.

When engineers design equipment with moving parts, rubber products are required to protect them. When selecting a sheet rubber product to suit the needs of the application, the engineer needs to know what conditions the rubber gasket will be exposed to ensure it can withstand those challenges. This includes factors like media temperature, tensile strength, rubber hardness, and percentage of the compound. Once the correct compound has been determined, the design and material specs are submitted for the gasket cutting.

Rubber compound considerations

Each rubber compound has different physical characteristics like durometer and tensile strength. Durometer is the hardness or resistance to complete indentation of a material. A lower durometer results in more impression. These rubber products are generally less dense and more supple.

Tensile strength is the maximum stress the rubber can undergo while being stretched or pulled – whether it is brittle or more tear and crack resistant.

These are the most common materials rubber gaskets are made from:

Neoprene

This is an all-purpose polymer and neoprene gaskets are moderately resistant to petroleum products while offering good resistance to the ozone and weathering. Homogenous neoprene gaskets offer moderate resistance to oil and are generally used for bumpers and pads. Sponge neoprene gaskets contain tiny individual sealed cells to resist moisture, dirt, and air, making them great sound and vibration insulators. Diaphragm neoprene gaskets are reinforced with nylon fabric, which enhances the interior structure.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

EDM provides excellent resistance to weathering, ozone and UV rays. It can withstand a large range of temperatures and EPDM gaskets are generally used in outside applications.

Nitrile

This is one of the most widely used materials. Nitrile gaskets are extremely resistant to petroleum products and animal fats. They are not as well-suited for ozone and weathering applications but reigns supreme in automotive applications. A nitrile gasket or pad is often used in food processing equipment to deal with animal by-products with grease and oil.

Silicone

Silicone is often used in the automotive industry because it is very resistant to oxygen, ozone, and ultraviolet light. Silicone gaskets are also ideal for extreme temperature applications.

Rubber gasket fabrication

These are the four most used rubber gasket cutting methods.

Hand cutting

As the most traditional method, hand cutting a rubber gasket generally involves an assembly line to speed up the process. It is reserved for less critical applications and prototyping.

Die-cutting

A die-cutting machine punches a unique shape out of the sheet material and each unique die is made based on the drawing from the engineer. This method is generally limited in terms of the thickness of materials used.

Water jet cutting

Water jet cutting is great for precision-cut gaskets. This method can create a cleaner cut on thick rubber materials without creating edge concavity.

Moulded

Moulded gaskets are created through custom-fit moulds and are best for unique jobs with high-volume production.

Most common applications of rubber gaskets

These are some of the common and unexpected applications of rubber gaskets.

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Blender/food processors
  • Oil pan gasket for cars
  • Vacuum chambers
  • Transmission system
  • Ammunition boxes
  • Air conditioning units
  • Combustion chambers in cars
  • Machine assembly lines
  • Space rovers
  • Car bumpers
  • Bathroom faucets
  • Hose ends
  • Coffee Makers
  • Plumbing pipes
  • Toilet chambers
  • Washing Machine
  • Refrigerators
  • Windshields
  • Spacecraft window seals
  • Aircraft cabin

Order specialised moulded rubber gaskets

Gaskets keep everything running smoothly, from your coffee machine to the Mars Rover. If you need any specialised moulded rubber gaskets get in touch with us today. We cam help no matter what.