What You Need To Know About Silicone Rubber Gaskets
By Martin R. Chell
Alpha Die Cutting, San Diego
Silicone is the general name for a family of polymers that includes any synthetic compound consisting of repeating units of siloxane (from which the material’s alternate name, polysiloxane, derives). Siloxane is best described as a chain of alternating silicon and oxygen atoms; carbon and/or hydrogen are frequent additives.
Silicone rubber gaskets are high-performance mechanical seals with a high resistance to extreme temperatures.
There is little or no effect on the silicone rubber material at temperatures between -60°F to +400°F. It also has exceptional UV and ozone properties which makes them suitable for outdoor applications. Being an inert material, silicone generally does not react to the majority of chemicals and other fluids like acetic acids, detergents, alcohol and salt water making it popular for use in medical and industrial applications. Silicone is a very clean rubber with low odor and taste and it is generally non-reactive and stable.
Silicone gaskets are used to prevent leaks between different substrate sections in a wide range of applications including for high temperature, food grade (FDA), high strength, high purity, fire retardant and thermally conductive EMI/RFI applications.
High strength, high temp - Good shock absorbing qualities and long life.
High purity, high temp - USP Class V1.
EMI/RFI shielding high temp - Conducts electricity to protect equipment from damaging static charges.
Thermally conductive, high temp - Electronics applications, transfer heat well.
Fire-retardant, high temp - Barrier against fire and smoke to FAR 25.856 and UL94VO.
Fabric reinforced, high temp - Fiberglass cloth is inserted for strength against high stress and flexing.
Criss-cross surface - Better gripping.
Solid silicone gasket products are manufactured by die cutting flat parts from continuous rolls or sheets of silicone rubber.
The low durometer silicone rubber gaskets (10A, 20A, 30A) offer excellent environmental sealing with relatively low closure force. Solid gaskets in the mid to higher durometer range require higher closure forces; these are commonly used on metal enclosures or rigid enclosures with a suitable bolt pattern to properly compress a firm gasket.
Silicone Gasket Colors
Silicone rubber is primarily available in red color but it is also available in other colors including white, cream, black, yellow, green, blue, brown and clear. Materials are also available in silicone sponge or silicone foam.
Alpha Die Cutting owner Martin R. Chell has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing industries. Our customer centric attitude will find the optimum manufacturing solution to meet your applications specific need. Martin has worked with suppliers and customers in the aerospace, medical device, biotech, consumer and electronics industries. He has worked for the OEM’s and independents in new manufacturing and after-market business segments.