What are Gaskets?
Gaskets are sheets or rings of material that function as a seal between two or more surfaces. This seal can be used in a variety of applications and stops leakage, the release of air and the ingress of dust. Often used to fill in gaps in machine parts, gaskets are soft, flexible and perform well when compressed at different levels.
Examples of industries that use gaskets and their specific application:
Engineering and Industrial
Gaskets are vital to this sector. Nuclear power reactors and oil platforms all rely on high-quality gaskets in their daily function. They are important for a range of reasons and some common benefits include:
- Shock absorbency
- Abrasion cushioning
- Noise reduction
- Electrical resistance and transmission
- Electrical insulators
- Sealing between two functional pipes or connectors
When being used in these harsh environments, it’s important that the material is chemically resistant and robust. Some variations of Neoprene and EPDM are suitable for this application. Usually, challenges and limitations such as this are established at the design stage where an appropriate material can be established.
In the manufacture of cars, good quality gaskets are essential and without them, the production of automobiles of all sizes would not be possible. They can be used throughout a vehicle in a variety of applications, some of which include:
- The engine cylinder – For compression and sealing
- The engine system – For compression and heat absorption. The temperature range of any gasket used in car engines is extremely important.
- The water pump – Liquid leakage. Although leaks may be minor and seemingly unnoticeable, the ingress of water could lead to the car breaking down.
- Door and bodywork panels – they may be needed for the application of adhesives to join two different materials together on the body of a vehicle.
When two or more mechanical parts do not fit perfectly together with surfaces that match together, gaskets are able to correct the irregularities. The soft materials provide cushioning and shock absorption which is essential to the proper functioning of the vehicle.
EPDM Rubber Gaskets
EPDM Gaskets can be manufactured in a range of thicknesses. From 0.8mm upwards, their versatility throughout the manufacturing process often leads to them being a firm favourite. EPDM gaskets (depending on particular specifications) can be excellent in adverse weather conditions. These gaskets have excellent insulating qualities, are often odour free and have excellent good resilience against oil, grease and other chemicals.
Neoprene Rubber Sheets and Gaskets
Similar to EPDM, Neoprene can be manufactured in a range of thicknesses. The density of the range begins at 155-155kg/m3 and differs depending on the material specification chosen. Neoprene is also a commonly used material. The material provides excellent recovery characteristics, temperature resistance in adverse weather conditions and has excellent resistance to oils and chemicals.
Neoprene is also available in sheets, which function similarly to gaskets. A variety of sheet sizes are suitable for this application and can be built to purpose on request. Density and temperature range are characteristics that define any particular strand of Neoprene. General purpose Neoprene gaskets and Foam sheets can also be used in many industrial and automotive environments.
Gaskets and sealing with EPDM and Neoprene
Both materials are considered to be excellent all-purpose fabrics. However, commonly EPDM is an excellent choice for outdoor applications and is a popular choice within the automotive industry. Neoprene is a popular choice for its flame retardant capabilities, oil resistance and overall durability.
The most significant difference to consider before purchasing is that Neoprene is oil resistant.
In order to be able to maximize pricing and performance, it is important to consider the material’s application.
Our engineers would be happy to help. Leave an enquiry and we’ll get back to you soon with information on whether EPDM or Neoprene are best suited for your use.