Washers Material Selection Guide | Rubber, Silicone, Plastic

Washers are frequently required for the proper use of fasteners. Primarily, they increase the spacing between the nut and the component being joined to maximize leverage and allow a tighter joint. They are also utilized in applications where the fastener must be waterproof. Additionally, most washers are made from non-metallic materials such as rubber, silicone, and plastic.

At Custom Gasket Manufacturing, we specialize in producing high-quality custom felt products. These include felt gaskets, seals, washers, spacers, stripping, and discs, among other things. Our primary goal is to consistently surpass our customer’s expectations by delivering high-performance washers and gaskets, affordable rates, on-time delivery, and excellent customer service.

What Are Washers?

A washer is a disc-shaped and centrally-drilled fastener commonly used to distribute the load of a bolt or other threaded fastening components. It works by sliding a bolt through the hollow center of a washer before being twisted or installed on an object. Then, the washer will disperse the load of the bolt across its disc-shaped surface.

Here are some of the most common types of washers for various applications:

  • Cup Washers: These washers are a type of spring washer with a semi-spherical bottom and a beveled edge for a neat and smooth finish. They are typically used with countersunk head self-tapping screws for assembly housings, centering washers, and more.
  • Flat Washers: These washers have two flat sides and are the most common type. They are circular and available in a range of diameters and thicknesses. Their primary function is to distribute force, protect the object to which they are attached, and adjust the size of an opening.
  • Locking Washers: These washers are available in split, coiled, or star configurations. They prevent the bolt or fastener from becoming loose, effectively securing the bolt in position.
  • Spring Washers: Also referred to as Belleville or conical washers, these washers are pressed into a cone shape. They are utilized in high-friction applications to absorb vibration and shock. They also function as a spring when layered in various configurations.
  • Tab Washers: These washers are considered a mechanical locking solution because they secure bolted joints with a physical barrier. They are usually rectangular or circular and are installed between the bolt head or nut and the mating surface.
  • Tooth Lock Washers: Also called electrical contact washers, these washers are intended to prevent frictional loosening of bolted joints. They have teeth-like-serrations that can be found either internally or externally.
  • Torque Washers: These washers are intended for soft, permeable materials where a bolt cannot remain securely fastened.

Applications of Washers

Washers are frequently utilized with threaded fasteners. They are inserted through the end of a nut or a bolt before the steering process.

The following are examples of washer applications:


Washers are excellent substitutes for spacers. For example, if the threaded fastener is longer than the object’s depth, it cannot be driven completely through. One way to solve this problem is to insert washers through the nut or bolt before pushing it into the object. This creates padding to prevent the fastener from being driven too deeply.

Load Distribution

Most washers are utilized to uniformly distribute the load of the threaded fastener on which they are mounted. For instance, driving a screw into the wood may result in surface cracking. Washers reduce the likelihood of such damage by evenly distributing the overall weight.

Liquid Protection

Several types of washers prevent the infiltration of liquids and water. They are frequently applied to create a watertight seal in pipes and connections. Furthermore, liquid-sealing washers are made of a soft material that can completely press against the object’s surface.

Shock and Vibration Absorption

Vibration damping or vibration isolating washers are meant to absorb shocks and vibrations. For example, they prevent damage to objects that are fastened together, especially if one of the components vibrates forcefully.

Material Selection Guide for Washers

While most custom washers are made from metals such as aluminum or stainless steel, non-metallic products offer superior weather resistance, vibration tolerance, and cost. Each material has attributes that make it especially useful, but only some types are appropriate for specific circumstances. Therefore, it is essential to understand the various options before selecting a particular washer material.

Custom Non-Metallic Washers

Non-metallic washers offer several benefits that make them superior to metallic ones. Aside from pressure and load distribution, they reduce the risks posed by vibration, impact, temperature fluctuations, and other environmental factors that can cause fasteners to loosen and detach over time.

Custom Gasket Manufacturing’s extensive stock of non-metallic materials for the production of custom washers enables us to provide quick turnaround times to our customers. Most of our products are available with or without pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) backing.

Here are the common materials that we use:

  • Ceramic
  • Cork
  • Felt
  • Fiber
  • Leather
  • Non-asbestos, specialty papers
  • Plastic
  • Rubber
  • Sponge

Custom Rubber Washers

Rubber washers are appropriate for preventing leaks, protecting surfaces, and dampening vibrations in various applications. They also offer a tighter seal than metal washers due to their durability and flexibility.

Consequently, the choice of rubber can be crucial depending on the application. Some variables influencing this decision include resistance to temperature, fluids, chemicals, ozone, and abrasion.

Custom Gasket Manufacturing maintains a large inventory of rubber materials of varying grades, thicknesses, hardness, and hues. We also die cut, lathe cut, and rubber molded precision rubber washers in the following materials:


Our highly skilled team utilizes various techniques to consistently provide rubber washers of the highest possible quality, depending on the size and tolerance requirements of the customer’s application.

Custom Plastic Washers

Due to their non-metal composition, plastic washers do not generate sparks, creating a more secure and reliable working atmosphere. They are also beneficial in streamlining production as they can reduce maintenance breakdowns.

Custom Gasket Manufacturing offers various plastic materials in varying thicknesses, hardness, and colors. We also provide die-cut, stamped, and punched custom plastic washers and specialty components from the following materials:

Why Choose Custom Gasket Manufacturing?

Custom Gasket Manufacturing offers complete manufacturing capabilities, from prototypes and small production runs to large-scale orders! We also provide high-quality, mildew-resistant felt products for fluid or outdoor applications.

Moreover, we manufacture gaskets and other fasteners for various industries and applications — such as chemical, electronic, food processing, HVAC, petrochemical, pipeline, and plumbing. We also offer the following capabilities:

  • Die cutting
  • Flash cutting
  • Rubber extruding
  • Rubber molding
  • Laser cutting
  • Waterjet cutting
  • Value-added services
  • Quality assurance

Choose Custom Gasket Manufacturing for Superior Non-Metallic Washers

Custom Gasket Manufacturing is dedicated to meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations! We are fully equipped with tooling, high-speed cutting equipment, and machinery to create custom washers to your requirements.

Get in touch today for more information on our products and services. You can also request a quote, and we will be delighted to assist you with your needs!