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A beginner’s guide to gaskets

A beginner’s guide to gaskets

Rubber gaskets are innovative mechanical seals that ensure the prevention of leaks between two surfaces. This blog will guide you through the basics of what is a rubber gasket and highlight both how they work and why they are used.

What is a gasket?

An EPDM gasket seal fills a space between two substrate sections to avoid liquid or gas leaks, capping the intersection between two surfaces. This flexible component can be used for a range of purposes, due to its versatility. 

Rubber gaskets can be used for:

  • Anti-vibration
  • supporting mounts
  • noise reduction
  • Sealing (the most common use)

You’ll most commonly find these types of gaskets between two pieces of pipe.  Gaskets can also be used as a barrier between two objects, such as two metals or chemicals and are often used as protection from outside elements as well, such as in a camera lens, to combat moisture and dust.

What materials can be used to make gaskets?

Gaskets can be created to standard specifications or bespoke to suit the needs of the application. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be created from a range of materials. These include a variety of common polymers; gasket sheet materials, such as synthetic, silicone and high performing engineering rubbers, as well as plastics, such as Acetal and PTFE. The range of materials available to create gaskets ensures that whatever the application there is an appropriate gasket material to fit the situation.

How a rubber gasket works

A rubber gasket is a smart component that seals against both liquids and gases. They are the perfect solution to fill in irregularities and connect two surfaces together. The characteristics of a gasket are to be manipulable and able to warp into the tight space it is designed for.

Gaskets’ diverse properties make them suitable for a broad range of applications and can be used across many industries, such as:

  • Food Processing
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Water
  • Petrochemical
  • Oil and Gas. 

However, the specialist property of the gasket will be dependent on the material that it is manufactured from. With this in mind you should select a gasket material that possesses characteristics you want to take advantage of.

How are rubber gaskets made?

There are various techniques that can be used in order to create a gasket that ideally fits the purpose of use and provides a solution to an assortment of problems including gasket cutting, gasket punching and rubber moulding.

Here at Martin’s Rubber, we create all of our rubber gaskets through the process of rubber moulding. This method takes raw rubber compound, places it into a mould, then puts it  under pressure at a high temperature to vulcanise. There are two ways to mould rubber – compression moulding and injection moulding.

Creating rubber gaskets with compression moulding

Rubber compression moulding is the simplest form of rubber moulding. The rubber material is placed in a mould cavity directly, and it takes the shape of the cavity once the mould is closed and placed under pressure and heat. Rubber compression moulds differ in size and shape and can produce a variety of moulded parts, not just rubber gaskets.

Creating rubber gaskets with injection moulding

Injection moulding can also be used to create rubber gaskets. This method places uncured rubber material into an injection barrel, which is then warmed by an auger screw in a temperature-controlled barrel. The rubber  is then injected into mould cavities by an injection press, with the auger screw turning to refill the injection barrel when the material is cured in the heated mould. 

Find out more about rubber gaskets

Here at Martin’s Rubber , we have over 150-years of manufacturing experience in solving problems using rubber technology. We have some of the most highly skilled rubber moulding industry experts working both with and for us who are ready to create a gasket type to suit your needs. 

If you want more information regarding rubber gaskets or would like some assistance in choosing the right gasket for your needs, contact Martin’s Rubber Company today on +44 (0) 23 8022 6330. Or drop us an email at [email protected]. A member of our team will be more than happy to assist you in your search for the perfect gasket type!

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