Every so often I am asked if we can cut graphite. I did try to die cut graphite a couple of times, but the hardness of the material quickly made the steel rule blades dull. Because the rule would only last a couple of hundred hits, I concluded that steel rule die cutting was not the best method for cutting graphite. Even though graphite itself is not hard the atoms arranged in each layer of graphite contain very strong bonds,
Recently I was asked to die cut flexible graphite. Flexible graphite sheet is manufactured from high purity compressed exfoliated/expanded mineral graphite (flake graphite). As the flexible graphite does not have the very hard bonded layers and is a softer medium, we were able to successfully manufacture gaskets from it.
This gasket is made using 0.030” thick flexible graphite. This is an industrial grade high purity pure homogeneous graphite. Thicknesses are available in 0.005”, 0.010”, 0.015”, 0.020”, 0.025”, 0.030” and 0.040”. A PSA adhesive liner can also be added.
Flexible graphite gaskets offer excellent sealing capabilities under extreme conditions with a longer life and less maintenance. They have proven to be a superior replacement for asbestos gaskets in a wide range of services.
Flexible graphite has all the unique features of mineral graphite and it is used in a large range of industrial applications. It is an excellent sealing material and is used for making chemical resistant and high-temperature resistant gaskets for sealing and compression packing.
If you need a gasket made using flexible graphite please send RFQ to firstname.lastname@example.org
Foam is a rubber that is not completely solid. Foam is made by trapping bubbles in the material as it solidifies. These form during the chemical reaction that creates the elastomeric material. Foam manufacturers control the size of these bubbles by managing the reaction process and using chemical additives.
Because Foam is very lightweight is is good for sealing and cushioning applications. The main types of Foam include Buna-N, EPDM, EPDM/Neoprene/SBR, EVA, Neoprene, Nylon, Polyester, Polyimide, Polyurethane (Poron), Silicone (Bisco).
When choosing a specific Foam to use it is important to consider various properties.
Weather resistance. We can source Foam with varying levels of indoor use, outdoor use or extended outdoor use.
Oil resistance. We can source Foam with varying levels of no oil contact, some oil contact and extended oil contact.
Temperature range. We can source Foam from -300 degrees F to +500 degrees F.
Open or Closed Cell - the cellular structure can be open or closed. When the structure is closed bubbles are closed off from one another so that air or any other fluid cannot move between them. In contrast, in an open structure most of the cell walls are missing, which lets fluid travel through readily.
Open cell foam can be used as gasket material provided complete impermeability isn’t needed. Compressing it to less than 50% of its free thickness leaves very little space for liquid to pass through. This allows it to be used where light water exposure is possible.
Thicknesses (inches) – the main standard thicknesses include 1/32, 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, 3/32, 3/16, 1/4 and above.
We can also add an adhesive on 1 side (PSA) to aid the assembly process.
Hardness with Foam is measured by the Pressure to Compress from 25%. We can source Foam at the following:
0-4 psi = Ultra Soft
5-8 psi = Extra Soft
8-12 psi = Soft
13-19 psi = Medium
20 + psi = Medium High
Foam is available in various colors including black, white, red and others.
Please contact Martin at (858) 279 3343 or e mail email@example.com to get a quote for your Foam gasket.
Using Poron to make a Custom Gasket
PORON is a fine pitch open cell urethane foam produced by Rogers Corporation. The uniform, microcellular structure allows PORON to be easily compressed for dust seals and cushions. Water sealing with PORON is possible in applications with proper compression and moderate water exposure. PORON urethane foam has excellent memory (compression set resistance) making it an excellent choice for sealing and cushioning electronics.
We have agreed a committed delivery for the raw material from our supplier of 3 business days for the following thicknesses:
Ultra soft and soft Poron in 3/16", 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2".
Soft in 1/4".
Medium in 1/16" and 1/8".
Medium hardness in 1/32".
Other thicknesses and hardness’s are available per request.
Poron is available with plain backing or with an adhesive. The standard adhesive is Acrylic with temperature range -40 degrees to 190 degrees F. The most commonly 3M specified adhesives are 467, 9485, 9490LE and 9415.
Some typical gaskets using Peron material.
The benefits of Poron
Typical gaskets made from Poron
When thinking about how to produce a gasket the main issues the customers engineer usually asks about are focused on understanding how the die cutting process works. To help with this concern I have outlined the die cutting process which we follow. I have also addressed some of the most common questions. At Alpha Die Cutting we use a steel rule die cutting manufacturing process which cuts uniform shapes out of various types of materials to create standard gaskets, custom gaskets, O Rings and other final products for a wide variety of industries. This is a low cost, accurate, high repeatable and high accuracy option for the manufacturing of flat non-metallic parts.
1. Design for Manufacturing
At Alpha Die Cutting we have over 30 years experience in die cut manufacturing. We work diligently with our customers with the goals of producing a quality gasket and keeping costs to a minimum. We have developed the expertise to understand the main themes that contribute to the cost of manufacturing a custom gasket. We now want to share these experiences with you. Here are the seven main areas where customers could focus their gasket spec on to ensure the lowest possible cost. We have also included a Tip for each element so that you can make the best choice to keep your costs as low as possible.
About the Author
With over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, Martin Chell brings a wealth of knowledge to his client projects. He has worked with large companies including Qualcomm and completed projects in a variety of aerospace, biotech and other applications.
“The die cut samples look great.” ~ Aquapail
“Thanks so much for the great service.” ~ Robert, Hat Fitness
“The gaskets worked out just fine. Thanks for your help.” ~ Chong, Redpoint Engineering