Selection Guide to Rubber Gasket Materials

Gaskets are mechanical seals that are designed to fill the gap between two mating surfaces. In fluid processing and handling equipment, they prevent process fluids from escaping the system and contaminants from entering the system. This ensures the system does not waste valuable materials or experience damage from the unwanted materials.

Rubber Gaskets & Seals

Given the critical function gaskets perform in fluid systems, it is important to select the right one for the intended application. One of the key elements to keep in mind when designing and selecting a gasket is the material, which significantly impacts the component’s performance. However, since there are numerous gasket material options available, it can be difficult or daunting to choose the one that best suits your needs. That’s why you should partner with an experienced gasket manufacturer; they have the knowledge and skills to ensure you receive the right gasket.

At Custom Gasket Manufacturing, we’ve specialized in the manufacture of custom gasket solutions for over 50 years. Our team has what it takes to deliver a gasket solution that fully meets your specifications and standards. Below, we provide an overview of the rubber gasket materials available to help you determine which material is most appropriate for your application.

Types of Rubber Gasket Materials

While gaskets can be made from a variety of materials, one of the top choices is rubber. Rubber comes in a wide range of formulations and grades, each of which offers distinct characteristics that make it suitable for different applications:


. Neoprene

Neoprene is a synthetic rubber made by polymerizing chloroprene. It is also known as polychloroprene. It is highly versatile, finding application in various harsh environments across a wide range of industries due to its resistance to acids, alkalis, grease and oil, ozone, sun, and weathering. It also exhibits excellent resistance to flexing and twisting and broad temperature suitability (-40° F to +230° F, intermittent to +250° F).

Custom Gasket Manufacturing works with the following neoprene grades:

  • Commercial-grade neoprene
  • Medium-grade neoprene
  • High-grade neoprene
  • FDA-approved neoprene
  • PSA-ready neoprene
  • Super-Grip Texture neoprene
  • Cloth-inserted neoprene — cotton or polyester ply
  • Neoprene sponge

 

. Nitrile (Buna-N)

Nitrile rubber—also known as Buna-N or NBR—is the most commonly used elastomeric material for gaskets and seals. It exhibits excellent resistance to acids, alkalis, gasoline, hydraulic fluids, and petroleum-based compounds. It also can tolerate temperature ranges of -40° F to +212° F. Nitrile is also ideal when gas permeability, water permeability, and wear-and-tear from abrasion are a concern.

Custom Gasket Manufacturing works with the following nitrile grades:

  • Commercial-grade nitrile
  • Medium-grade nitrile
  • High-grade nitrile
  • FDA-approved white nitrile
  • Transformer oil nitrile
  • Bio-diesel nitrile
  • Nitrile sponge

 

. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

EPDM rubber is an ethylene and propylene copolymer. It can resist damage from acids, alkalis, aging, heat, oxidants, ozone, sunlight, steam, and water. It is also color stable and highly durable, which makes it suitable for use in outdoor environments. It can withstand temperatures from -40° F to 250° F, intermittent to +275° F.

Custom Gasket Manufacturing works with the following EPDM grades:

  • Commercial-grade neoprene
  • High-grade EPDM
  • Peroxide cure EPDM
  • FDA-approved white EPDM
  • EPDM sponge

 

. Silicone Rubber

Silicone rubber is a high-performance elastomer. It exhibits excellent high- and low-temperature properties, withstanding temperatures ranging from -75° F to +500° F. It also resists damage from aging, oxygen, ozone, UV light, water, and weathering.

Custom Gasket Manufacturing works with the following EPDM grades:

  • Commercial-grade silicone
  • Spec-grade silicone
  • FDA-approved silicone
  • Medical-grade silicone (USP Class 6)
  • Fluorosilicone
  • Flame-retardant silicone
  • Conductive silicone
  • Extreme high-temperature silicone
  • Extreme high-tear silicone
  • Coated fabrics silicone sheet
  • Fabric finish silicone
  • Fiberglass-reinforced silicone
  • Silicone sponge
  • Silicone foam

 

. Viton®

Viton is high-performance rubber material characterized by its excellent resistance to chemicals and high temperatures. It also has high tensile strength and low compression set. It is suitable for use in temperatures ranging from -15° F to +400° F, intermittent to +500° F.

Custom Gasket Manufacturing works with the following Viton grades:

  • Viton® “A” (Commercial Grade, 66% Fluorine)
  • Viton® “A” (Premium Grade, 66% Fluorine)
  • Viton® “A” (FDA Grade, 66% Fluorine)
  • Viton® “B” (Premium Grade, 68% Fluorine)
  • Viton® “F” (Premium Grade, 70% Fluorine)
  • Viton® Extreme
  • Viton® Base
  • Viton® Sponge

 

. Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR)

SBR—also known as red rubber—is a synthetic copolymer of styrene and butadiene. It is a resilient and cost-efficient option for flanged gaskets. Key properties include excellent tensile strength, impact strength, abrasion resistance, heat resistance, and low-temperature flexibility. It is suitable for use in temperatures ranging from -67° F to +180° F.

Custom Gasket Manufacturing works with the following SBR grades:

  • Commercial-grade SBR
  • Premium-grade SBR
  • Specification-grade SBR (red or black)
  • Nylon-inserted SBR

 

. Butyl Rubber

Butyl rubber is an isobutylene and isoprene copolymer. It has excellent low gas, air, and moisture permeability. Additionally, it offers outstanding resistance to abrasion, acids, alkalis, heat aging, oxygen, ozone, sunlight, tearing, and weathering. It is suitable for use in temperatures ranging from -60° F to +250° F.

Custom Gasket Manufacturing works with butyl rubber in a variety of grades, thicknesses, and hardness. Gaskets can come with or without pressure-sensitive adhesive backing.

 

. Natural Rubber

Natural rubber is an elastomeric material derived from the milky sap or latex of the rubber tree. It is also known as gum rubber. It has excellent tensile strength, resilience, resistance to abrasion and tearing, compression set, and moldability. It also remains soft and flexible at low temperatures. It is suitable for use in temperatures ranging from -60° F to +175° F.

Custom Gasket Manufacturing works with the following natural rubber grades:

  • Commercial-grade natural rubber (black)
  • Premium-grade gum natural rubber (red)
  • Natural Rubber, Style 28* (light tan)
  • Pure gum floating natural rubber* (tan or black)
  • Non-floating gum natural rubber* (dark tan)
  • Protein-free (synthetic polyisoprene) natural rubber* (light tan)

*made entirely from FDA-approved ingredients per 21 CFR 177.2600

 

. Cloth-Inserted Rubber

Cloth-Inserted (Fabric Reinforced) Rubber GasketsCloth-inserted rubber refers to rubber sheet material impregnated with cotton, fiberglass, polyester, or nylon fabric. The cloth provides reinforcement to the material, improving its dimensional stability in high compression load applications and its tear resistance when fastened.

Custom Gasket Manufacturing works with the following cloth-inserted rubber:

  • Cloth-inserted EPDM/nylon
  • Cloth-inserted neoprene/nylon
  • Cloth-inserted nitrile/nylon

 

. Polyurethane Rubber

Polyurethane combines the elasticity of rubber with the strength and durability of metal. It has the greatest toughness and abrasion resistance of all elastomeric materials. It outperforms plastic, steel, and other rubbers with regard to resistance to chemicals, heat, and solvents and offers excellent tensile strength, compression strength, tear strength, hardness, and more. It is suitable for use in temperatures ranging from -60° F to +180° F.

Custom Gasket Manufacturing works with polyurethane in a variety of grades, thicknesses, colors, and hardness. FDA-approved materials are available for food and beverage industry applications.

 

. Food Grade (FDA Approved) Rubber

FDA logoGaskets for the food and beverage industry must be made from FDA-approved materials. These materials are deemed safe for use with consumable products as they demonstrate an inherent resistance to bacterial buildup, a broad working temperature range, excellent chemical resistance. Additionally, they are odorless and tasteless.

Custom Gasket Manufacturing works with the following food-grade rubber materials:

  • EPDM
  • Neoprene
  • Nitrile
  • Silicone

Contact the Experts at Custom Gasket for Your Rubber Gasket Solution

Need assistance choosing the right rubber material for your gasket application? Turn to the experts at Custom Gasket Manufacturing! Equipped with extensive manufacturing experience and capabilities, our team can deliver a high-quality gasket, seal, or other rubber product solution on time and in budget. To learn more about our custom gaskets, contact us today. For pricing details, request a quote.

 

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