Learn how ASTM standards help manufacturers to source rubber gaskets, and find out which ASTM specifications buyers and designers need to know.

Standards from organizations such as ASTM International help manufacturers to design and develop products that meet established requirements for quality, reliability, and performance. For engineers and technical buyers, these standards can inform decision-making throughout a product’s life cycle. For example, depending on your project’s specifications, you may need to select gasket materials that meet ASTM standards for rubber.

ASTM’s rubber standards are numerous, however. There are over 30 different categories and hundreds of individual designations, each with an alphanumeric code. Buyers and designers don’t need to know every detail, but it helps to know that that there are three broad categories for rubber gaskets: Composite Gaskets, Specifications for Gasket Materials, and Form-In-Place (FIP) gaskets. Let’s look at the first two categories since they apply to gaskets you’d source from a custom fabrication specialist.

Composite Gaskets

Composite gaskets consist of multiple elastomeric materials and may even include metal. Although our focus is on rubber, take a look at the complete list of ASTM standards in this area.

Designation Description
F37-06(2013) Sealability of Gasket Materials
F112-00(2013) Sealability of Enveloped Gaskets
F336-02(2009) Nonmetallic Enveloped Gaskets for Corrosive Service
F433-02(2014)e1 Thermal Conductivity of Gasket Materials
F235-14 Metal Layer Gaskets for Transportation Applications
F2378-05(2011) Sealability of Sheet, Composite, and Solid Form-in-Place Gasket Materials
F2467-06(2013) Static Sealing Pressure using Pressure-Indicating Film (PIF) for Transportation
F2716-08(2014) Comparison of Nonmetallic Flat Gaskets in High Pressure Saturated Steam

Some of these ASTM standards describe test methods, design practices, or material classifications. Others offer guidance for evaluating material performance, suitability for transportation applications, or material properties such as thermal conductivity. How would a buyer or designer use these standards? How does working with an experienced custom fabricator support compound selection?

Let’s consider a few some examples. Do you need to source an elastomer with heat transfer properties? Then you may need a gasket material that meets the thermal conductivity requirements of ASTM F433-02(2014)e1. Does your application require minimum liquid leakage under load for a time period of 5 to 30 minutes? Then you may need a gasket material that’s been tested against ASTM F37-06(2013).

Specifications for Gasket Materials

ASTM’s rubber standards also include this gasket-related specification.

Designation Description
F37-06(2013) Preformed Open-Cell Sponge Rubber Pail and Drum Gaskets

This spec is very specific, of course, but it’s an important one to understand if you need to source open-cell sponge rubber for use in new or reconditioned pails or drums. ASTM F37-06(2013) divides materials into Class A (non-oil resistant) and Class B (oil resistant). In turn, each class contains Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3 designations. Other material specifications also use classes and grades, so all buyers and designers can learn some important lessons about material selection from this ASTM standard.

If your project requires a gasketing material that meets Class B, Grade 1 specifications, then choosing a Class A, Grade 2 elastomer won’t do. Different types of rubber have different material properties, and a rubber that lacks oil resistance is the wrong choice for a gasket that gets splashed with machine oil. But why choose an expensive fluorocarbon or fluorosilicone if a cost-effective neoprene or nitrile will meet your oil-resistance requirements? Sometimes, selecting the right material means striking a balance.

How Can We Help You?

Choosing a custom fabricator who listens to your requirements and understands ASTM specifications can strengthen your supply chain. For over 25 years, Elasto Proxy has been helping partners in a variety of industries solve sealing and insulation challenges. How can we help you? From seal design to compound selection to custom fabrication and delivery, Elasto Proxy is ready to become part of your team.

Contact us to learn more about Elasto Proxy, or watch this short video about ASTM standards for rubber gaskets.