Foam Rubber Gaskets for Long-Term Sealing

Video: Foam Rubber Gaskets
Video: Foam Rubber Gaskets

Effective long-term sealing with foam rubber gaskets is a function of compression set and stress relaxation. Learn what these material properties are, why they matter, and how to select the right sponge profiles for custom gaskets under compressive loads. Then, download the Sealing Essentials Guide.

Foam rubber gaskets provide reliable sealing, cushioning, and insulation in a variety of applications. Products designers and technical buyers can choose sponge profiles made from many different types of foam, and compound selection can be a complex task. In addition to material properties and compliance with industry or regulatory standards, there are many other factors to consider. For example, long-term sealing under constant compression is required for some industrial applications.

Let’s take a look at two material properties, compression set and stress relaxation, which you may need to consider carefully when choosing foam rubber gaskets for compressive loads. We’ll also look at some common foam rubber materials. Elasto Proxy isn’t a rubber compounder, but we want you to understand how the rubber that’s used in the sponge profiles you ask us to custom-fabricate can affect long-term sealing performance. We keep hundreds of foam rubber profiles in stock, but which one is right for you?

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Extruded Rubber Profiles for Custom Seals and Gaskets

Video - Extruded Rubber Profiles
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Learn how extruded rubber profiles are made, and how custom fabrication converts elastomeric stock materials into specialty seals and custom gaskets. Click here for Elasto Proxy’s catalog of standard profiles.

Rubber extrusion is a manufacturing process that creates stock materials or profiles with a fixed cross-section such as a U-shaped channel. First, uncured elastomers are pushed or drawn through a specialized metal tool called a die. Later, the rubber compound is cured through vulcanization, a chemical conversion process that uses heat and sulfur to impart durability and improve mechanical properties.

Rubber extrusion is used with many different types of elastomers, and this rubber manufacturing method supports complex cross-sectional profiles with an excellent surface finish. Because extrusion mixes and blends the raw materials, the cured rubber offers consistent strength and a uniform appearance along the length of the profile. Standards from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) define part tolerances based on physical dimensions and an RMA class of high precision, precision, or commercial. (more…)

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