Foam Rubber Gaskets: An Economical Alternative

“Small but strong” is perhaps the perfect to way to describe gaskets, as they are products that go unnoticed in almost all of their applications but remain one of the largest reasons mechanisms are able to perform at peak efficiency. Made in all kinds of sizes, shapes and materials, a gasket is a rubber cushion that is compressed between two joining, often rigid materials to create a seal, while also assisting materials unable to interlock on their own because of surface imperfections. Gaskets can be found as an O-ring in a hose nozzle, as the head gasket in automobile engines or as intermediaries in fuel or coolant systems in aeronautics.

Depending on their applications, gaskets can be made out of numerous materials, from the traditional rubber rings and pads most people are familiar with, to specially cut foam rubber products like neoprene that can compress and seal. The greatest benefit of a rubber neoprene gasket, as well as other foam varieties though, is the cost-effectiveness over traditional materials like rubber, metals and silicone.

Neoprene is a particularly valuable gasketing material because of its structural resistance to many compounds that can damage or breakdown other materials. Staying soft and flexible enough to be compressed, it remains strong and resistant to the Ozone, sunlight, oxidation, many chemicals and petroleum derivatives as well as breakdown by water and air. This kind of versatility makes it perfect for low-pressure applications where the seal should not have to be changed frequently. Another benefit of foam gaskets is the customization potential. With the state of today’s cutting technologies, nearly any shape or design can be made in as many pieces needed, while minimizing product waste. So whether you’re looking at a large project or single piece, consider foam for your next gasketing application.