Silicone rubber gaskets
create a high-performance seal that prevents leakage between mating parts of a mechanical assembly. They work well in a wide range of temperature conditions and are resistant to water, chemicals, oil, fungal growth, ozone, extreme weather conditions, and aging. Their durability and flexibility make silicone gaskets ideal for use in manufacturing, aerospace, transportation, food and construction industries.
Silicone is a man-made, synthetic elastomer that differs from natural rubber in several ways. While natural rubber is sourced from the latex of the rubber tree, silicone is manufactured using chemical ingredients and processes. It also has greater elasticity, tensile strength and tear resistance than rubber and better weathering properties including UV and ozone resistance.
Because of its superior performance, silicone is used in a variety of applications and can be produced in many shapes and sizes to accommodate the unique design requirements of an application. It can be molded or die cut, and can be laminated to other materials such as plastics to achieve specific characteristics.
The ozone and weather resistance of silicone makes it an excellent choice for outdoor applications. It also has good electrical properties, which are further enhanced by the addition of metal or other filler materials to provide electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding. In addition, silicone is highly resistant to aging and abrasion and can be easily cleaned and disinfected.
In the food industry, silicones are often fabricated into sanitary gaskets for commercial ovens and freezers to resist corrosive foodstuffs and harsh cleaning agents. Silicone is an excellent insulator, which reduces heat transfer and prevents condensation inside the appliance. It is also a non-reactive material and will not react to hot or cold temperatures, making it a great choice for sealing and insulation in telecommunications equipment, mass transit systems and other equipment that generates high levels of heat.
For the automotive and transportation industries, silicones are widely used for a range of different applications including door seals on cars and buses and windshield wipers. It is resistant to vibration and movement, which makes it an excellent option for the demanding environment of a vehicle. It is also a good insulator, which helps to reduce noise and vibration from the engine.
Other rubber types can also be used in these applications, but silicone is typically preferred for its high-performance and durable qualities. For example, a silicone seal in a car engine will need to withstand the high temperatures of the combustion process and resist the heat transfer caused by air conditioning or exhaust gases. It will also need to be able to withstand vibration and abrasion. A rubber with better flex-fatigue resistance, such as neoprene or sBR, is more suitable for these conditions.