Gaskets are mechanical seals that fill the space between the mated surfaces of two or more joined components to prevent fluid from escaping or entering the assembly. They are available in numerous materials, each of which offers unique characteristics that make it suitable for different sealing applications. One of the most common materials used for gaskets is neoprene.
The following blog post provides an overview of neoprene gasket material, outlining its properties, types, and grades available, and typical applications.
Properties of Neoprene Gasket Material
Neoprene—also referred to by the generic name polychloroprene—is a synthetic rubber manufactured by polymerizing chloroprene. It demonstrates several characteristics that make it suitable for gasketing applications, such as:
- Elasticity and flexibility. These characteristics allow the material to fit snugly within the gaps between components, forming a fluid-tight seal.
- Strength and durability. The material exhibits a tensile strength ranging from 900–1,000 PSI (depending on the exact formulation). It also resists damage and degradation stemming from abrasion, chemicals, combustion, grease and oil, oxidation, ozone, sunlight, temperature, water, and weather. These characteristics make it a high-performance, low-cost sealing solution for many applications.
Types of Neoprene
Neoprene gasket material is available in several formulations, grades, and forms. The four main types of neoprene are closed-cell, open-cell, diaphragm, and homogenous (solid). They are available in several variations, each of which has different strength, density, hardness, and other material properties. Typical shapes include C-channel, U-channel, E-strip, and J-seal. Thicknesses generally range 1/64” and 2” inches.
Some of the most common grades include:
- Commercial-grade neoprene
- Medium-grade neoprene
- High-grade neoprene
- FDA-approved neoprene
- PSA-ready neoprene
- Flame retardant neoprene
Applications of Neoprene Gasket
The broad selection of neoprene makes it easy for industry professionals to find an appropriate material option for nearly any sealing application. The various types of neoprene exhibit different characteristics that suit them for use in different situations. For example:
- Closed-cell neoprene features individually encapsulated cells. This structure allows the material to resist air, dirt, and moistures, allowing it to absorb, dampen, and insulate shock, sound, and vibration.
- Diaphragm neoprene features polyester reinforcement, which enables it to withstand exposure to high pressures and oil- and petroleum-based compounds.
- Homogenous (solid) neoprene offers decent resistance to oil and ozone. As such, it is often used for automotive gasket and flange applications.
Some of the general applications for neoprene gaskets include doors and windows, hydraulic systems, and pumps.
Custom Neoprene Gasket and Seal Solutions at Custom Gasket Mfg.
At Custom Gasket Manufacturing, we specialize in the design and manufacture of custom gasket, seal, and insulation product solutions. One of our core product offerings is neoprene rubber gaskets and seals.
Our neoprene gaskets and seals are precision die cut or molded to accommodate the needs of various industries and industrial applications. We offer a variety of material options in different grades, thicknesses, and material hardness levels.
- Our die cutting capabilities allow us to produce gaskets and seals from neoprene material ranging from 1/64”–3/8” inches in thickness and 30–90 durometer in hardness. Die cut gaskets and seals are available with or without pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) backing.
- Our molding capabilities allow us to produce gaskets and seals from neoprene compounds between 40 and 90 durometer in hardness. While neoprene rubber is generally black, we offer custom color compounding services upon customer request. Whether we produce gaskets and seals through compression molding, transfer molding, or rubber injection molding, we always comply with the RMA A2 precision tolerance standard of the rubber molding industry.