Over the years, human beings have become accustomed to the different rubber products on the market. And, these rubber products like gloves have proved to be part of our day-to-day items. However, not too many people ever stop to think of the materials used to create these products.
And, one such material is the Neoprene gasket from Gorilla Gasket official. But, before we can dive into learning more about neoprene gaskets, let’s look at the definition of gaskets.
What are Gaskets?
These are mechanical seals, which fill the space between two or more joined components. This sealing feature prevents fluid from entering or escaping the assembly. Gaskets are available in different materials, offering exceptional characteristics that make them suitable for other sealing applications. The most common material used today is neoprene. Hence, the name neoprene gasket.
Properties of Neoprene Gasket
Neoprene, which is also commonly referred to as “polychloroprene,” was initially introduced as the world’s first fully marketable synthetic elastomer in 1931 by DuPont. It was used originally as an oil-resistant replacement for natural rubber. And is derived from two processes: the limestone process and the oil-derived process.
Of the two processes, the limestone process is more environmentally friendly, but the oil-derived process is more popular. Some of its top five properties include:
- Strength and Durability: Neoprene gasket materials exhibit a tensile strength that ranges from 900 to 1,000 PSI; however, this depends on its exact formulation. Its tensile strength makes it durable and resistant to degradation and damage stemming from chemicals, abrasion, oxidation, sunlight, ozone, combustion, and temperature, among others.
- Elasticity and Flexibility: Just like a gasket, neoprene can fit snugly within gaps between components. These features enable the material to form a fluid-tight seal, making it perfect for wetsuits. It is also flexible, making it easy for the material to bond mechanically with several types of metal, like brass, copper, aluminum, and stainless steel. It can also bond with cotton, hence its use in the manufacture of wetsuits. However, to perfectly bond with other materials, a basic bonding agent has to be included in the process.
- Heat Resistant: Another significant property of the neoprene gasket is its heat resistance. This material can function at high temperatures of up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. The best part about this feature is that this material will not degrade physically, even at such high temperatures. This makes it suitable for use on a long-term basis, especially when exposed to high temperatures. Also, when heat degradation occurs, the material doesn’t melt or stretch; it hardens.
- Cold Resistant: Apart from being heat resistant, the neoprene gasket is also cold resistant in up to -50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, unlike other rubber materials, the neoprene gasket becomes increasingly stiff and completely nonfunctional for most of the material’s uses.
- Chemical Resistant: Neoprene gasket is chemical resistant, and this gives the material the ability to withstand petroleum-based mixtures like greases, solvents, and oils. It can also withstand salt solutions, methyl, mineral acids, and alkalis.
Common Applications of Neoprene Gasket
The above features have made neoprene gasket material useful in different ways. Some of its typical applications include:
- Electronic and Electrical Uses: Its heat, water, and cold-resistant features make the neoprene gasket useful in the electronic and electrical industry. It is commonly used in light bulbs, power transformers, insulators, and wires. It can also serve as a protector for electronic appliances like laptops.
- Industrial Uses: Its chemical-resistant property makes the neoprene gasket a valuable material for industrial applications. It can be used as a base or a corrosive-resistant coating for several adhesives.
- Safety Equipment: Neoprene gaskets can function in a wide range of temperatures while still maintaining their shape and flexibility. This feature makes the materials useful in the production of safety equipment like protective wear and gloves. Also, its oil, water, and chemical resistant properties further enhance the safety of the neoprene gasket.
- Automotive Uses: Its tear, weather, oil, and abrasion features make the neoprene gasket quite useful in the automotive industry. These materials can be found in belts, door and window seals, shock absorber seals, vibration mounts, and hose covers.
- Marine Uses: The last most common use of neoprene gasket is in the marine industry. It can be used to make diving and wetsuits, thanks to its water-resistant nature. Also, nitrogen can be added to the material to increase a wet suit’s insulation. This helps increase the suit’s overall buoyancy, ensuring the diver can dive deep into the water.
And, with the numerous properties neoprene gasket has, the future has more to offer in the development of products with this material.