What Is a Silicone Gasket?
Gaskets are mechanical seals that fill in the gap between two mating surfaces. These components prevent process fluids from escaping a system and contaminants from entering a system, which ensures it does not lose expensive materials and prevents it from experiencing contamination-related damage. They can be made from many different materials depending on the expected operational and environmental conditions within the application. One of the most commonly used materials is silicone.
Advantages of Using Silicone for Gaskets
There are numerous advantages to using silicone for gaskets. For example:
- It is resistant to long-term compression set. Silicone is not susceptible to taking a permanent compression set, so it is effective at sealing in process fluids and sealing out contaminants for extended periods.
- It is durable. Silicone is resistant to damage and degradation from aging, oxygen, ozone, UV radiation, water, and weathering, which makes it suitable for use in normal to demanding indoor and outdoor environments. Additionally, it maintains these properties across a broad temperature range (-75–500° F), making it suitable for use in hot and cold environments.
- It is inert. Since silicone does not react with most chemicals, it is a popular material choice for chemical, medical, and many other industrial applications.
- It is available in a variety of grades, sizes, and colors. This broad selection enables gasket users to tailor the components to their exact functional and aesthetic needs.
Types of Silicone Rubber Grades Used in Gaskets
Some of the most commonly used silicone gasket materials are:
- Commercial-grade silicone
- Conductive silicone
- Extreme high-tear silicone
- Extreme high-temperature silicone
- Fabric finish silicone
- FDA (food-grade) silicone
- Fiberglass-reinforced silicone
- Flame-retardant silicone
- Medical-grade silicone (USP Class 6)
- Silicone foam
- Silicone sponge
- Spec-grade silicone
Common Applications of Silicone Gaskets
Silicone gaskets find use in a wide range of applications across nearly every industry.
- In the aerospace industry, aircraft gaskets are regularly made from specialized grades of silicone that resist cracking stemming from the forces generated during repeated take-offs and landings.
- In the electronics industry, communication equipment commonly uses gaskets made from silicone mixed with nickel-graphite or silver-plated aluminum particles, which results in electrically conductive gaskets that block EMI. Additionally, gaskets used in power generating devices are made of silicone rubber mixed with ceramic powders (e.g., alumina and boron nitride) to help dissipate heat.
- In the food and beverage industry, processing equipment often integrates gaskets made from food-grade silicone since it does not alter the taste or smell of products.
- In the medical industry, silicone gaskets are widely used due to their biocompatibility.
Contact Custom Gasket Manufacturing for Quality Silicone Rubber Gaskets & Seals
Silicone rubber exhibits many advantageous characteristics that make it suitable for gaskets for various industrial applications. Want to learn more about silicone gaskets? Ask the experts at Custom Gasket Manufacturing! We provide custom gaskets in a variety of materials, including silicone rubber. Equipped with over 50 years of experience, we have the expertise to answer any questions or concerns you may have about these components.
Need custom silicone gaskets for your devices and systems? We can produce die cut silicone gaskets from materials ranging from .010 (add inches sign) to 1 inch in thickness and 20 to 80 durometer, Shore A in hardness. We can produce molded silicone gaskets from various materials ranging in hardness from 25 to 80 durometer, Shore A. To learn more about our custom silicone gasket capabilities, contact us today. For pricing details, request a quote.