At this time of year, when the temperatures can dip below zero in the UK and much lower in other parts of the world, identifying the most appropriate gasket materials is important. The weather can be hard on gasket materials and extremely cold temperatures can have an especially adverse effect on gasket performance, especially when combined with moisture.
Frozen gaskets are very susceptible to cracking and failing, however, the problems don’t stop there. If gaskets don’t crack, gasket materials can expand and grow stiff in freezing temperatures. The problem is, when temperatures start to rise, and ice begins to melt, gaskets loosen up and are much more likely to leak. Open cell gasket materials are certainly a no-no for use in extremely low temperatures as they will absorb moisture, freeze and expand, destroying the material.
When temperatures get low, gaskets are likely to get wet, so it’s always advisable to choose closed-cell gasket materials. Open cells absorb moisture, so open-cell materials are a recipe for gasket failure – as soon as the gaskets take in water, freeze and expand, material will quickly be destroyed.
Ideal gasket materials for use in winter weather conditions
Whilst Nitrile rubber gaskets can withstand extreme temperatures of as low as -20°c and also exhibit good resistance to oil and solvents in general, if used in an outdoor application, Nitrile does not provide strong resistance against ozone and UV light, so a more expensive material is recommended.
EPDM rubber gaskets provide an ideal outdoor gasket material for applications not involving oils or solvents. EPDM provides a good level of resistance against water absorption, ozone, UV light and general resistance. Importantly, in winter weather conditions, EPDM can resist extreme temperatures of as low as -40°c, which is much colder than ever recorded in the UK.
At CB Frost, we can provide EPDM rubber gaskets in a wide range of thicknesses and shore hardness to suit different applications.
Gaskets for extreme winter temperatures
In parts of the world, particularly Northern Norway, parts of Russia, Canada and the USA, temperatures of less than -40°c are often recorded during the winter months. This means that gasket materials with an extreme resistance to low temperatures are necessary to prevent regular gasket failure.
At CB Frost, we supply many grades of gasket materials that are designed to withstand temperatures of colder than -40°c. In addition to being fire and smoke resistant, specialist rail materials such as BISCO® HT-200 and MF775 solid Silicone rubber can resist temperatures of as low as -55°c. These materials also offer outstanding resistance to UV and ozone and are well suited to many different applications.
General purpose Silicone rubber gaskets can withstand temperatures as cold as -60°c (and temperatures as high as 230°c). These gaskets can be supplied in a fair range of thicknesses and shore hardness and are well suited to outdoor applications. By choosing general purpose silicone rubber gasket material, your gaskets are likely to withstand a cold winter outdoors without warping or failing.
For more advice on gasket material selection in different conditions, please feel free to call our highly knowledgeable team on 0121 773 8494.