Custom silicone gaskets provide strong environmental sealing and excellent temperature stability. They resist water, ozone, sunlight, weathering, and aging; withstand high temperatures; and maintain their flexibility at low temperatures. Silicone rubber is also chemically inert and provides good dielectric properties. Custom silicone gaskets can be categorized in various ways, but there are three basic types: solid, sponge, and foam.
For product designers and technical buyers, it’s important to understand the differences between these three types so that you can choose the right one for your application. Type is just one of many specifications you’ll need to consider, but it’s a good place to start. For example, depending on your application, you may need to choose a silicone that’s UL listed for flame-resistance or FDA approved for medical or food processing applications.
For over 25 years, Elasto Proxy has been helping companies like yours get the custom silicone gaskets that they really need. In addition to design assistance and help with compound selection, we provide gasket fabrication services that are fast, dependable, and cost-effective. From prototyping and custom fabrication to warehousing and shipping, Elasto Proxy saves you time and money.
Solid Silicone Gaskets
Solid silicone gaskets are made of silicone elastomers with a tightly-packed molecular structure. They’re available in a wide range of durometers (hardness), and are a good choice for heavy-duty sealing and submersion. Lower durometer gaskets require relatively low closure force. Solid silicone gaskets with higher durometers require greater closure force and are used commonly with metal or rigid enclosures.
Using water jet cutting, Elasto Proxy can cut solid silicone sheets or extrusions to the precise dimensions you require. Unlike die cutting, water jet cutting doesn’t require tooling. This makes water jetting a cost-effective choice for prototyping and low-to-medium volumes. In addition to material conversion and gasket cutting, Elasto Proxy can apply acrylic or silicone adhesives to your custom gaskets.
Sponge Silicone Gaskets
Sponge silicone gaskets are made of sponge-like silicone rubber that provides padding and cushioning. For gasket designers and material buyers, it’s important to specify the correct cellular structure for your application’s requirements. Open cell silicone gaskets contain interconnected pockets that allow air, chemicals, and water to pass (unless the gasket is compressed). Closed-cell silicone gaskets have pockets filled with nitrogen gas that prevents the passage of air, chemicals, and water at low pressures.
Open cell silicone gaskets are often used to seal out air, dust, and light. Closed cell silicone gaskets are used for water-spray sealing. Remember that lower-durometer elastomers support sealing at lower closure force. Some grades of silicone sponge rubber meet National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) standards such as NEMA 4, or Ingress Protection (IP) standards such as IP64 or IP65. Elasto Proxy can help you select the right rubber without “over-engineering” the part and adding unnecessary expense.
Foam Silicone Gaskets
Foam silicone gaskets are similar to sponge silicone gaskets, but have a smoother skin because of how most silicone foams are cured. Silicone foam gaskets can have either open cells or closed cells, too. Open cell silicone foam gaskets provide resistance to dust, shock, and vibration. Closed-cell silicone foam gaskets are a good choice for environmental sealing, including water-spray sealing.
Custom Silicone Gaskets from Elasto Proxy
Elasto Proxy is ready to apply its application knowledge and technical expertise to all of your gasket designs. For custom silicone gaskets, our water jet cutting machine makes fine, fast, cost-effective cuts and can create precise bolt-hole patterns that support the use of fasteners. We also offer taped gaskets to help speed installation in the field or on your assembly line.
To learn more about how we can support your sealing application, contact us.