Choosing the Right Gasket Material to Stand Up To the Elements
There are always a lot of different factors to consider when deciding on the right gasket material for your application to ensure the best possible performance, as well as longevity. One of the key considerations is where the gasket will be located, for example, will it be used as a weather seal to prevent the ingress of the elements?
In this case, it’s essential to choose a highly weather resistant material – consider all of the elements that could impact the effectiveness of your gasket. At different times of the year, gasket material could be faced with rain, hail, sleet and snow, as well as contact with direct sunlight, low and high temperatures and ozone.
How the weather can effect unsuitable gasket materials
In the colder months of the year, gaskets and weather seals are likely to encounter very low temperatures that can be very damaging to materials that don’t have the right resistance characteristics. Freezing temperatures can cause some materials to become brittle and crack. In other cases, gaskets that have been frozen are much likely to fail as temperatures increase. As the temperatures gets higher, gaskets that have been expanded and stiffened by cold temperatures are more likely to leak.
Continued exposure to high temperatures and UV light can also have a very damaging effect on non-weather resistant materials.
Weather resistant gasket materials
At CB Frost, we keep a wide range of weather resistant gasket materials in stock and can cut gaskets to size in-house from rolls or sheets. A number of rubber, sponge and foam materials are well suited for outdoor use and weather sealing applications:
HT800 Silicone sponge – HT800 is widely used in the rail industry and is a highly versatile material. It is often used to protect against moisture, wind driven rain, dust and fire in outdoor communications, electronic and lighting applications. Due to excellent weather resistant properties, the performance of HT800 stays consistent in any environment. Other rail materials, such as BF1000 and BF2000 Silicones are also well suited to outdoor applications as they have a high level of resistance to UV light, ozone, extreme temperatures and flame.
Solid Neoprene rubber – Neoprene rubber is very commonly used in the manufacture of sealing gaskets for protection against water and dust particles. Neoprene has a wide temperature range of between -35°C and +125°C and a great resistance to UV, ozone and all weather conditions. CB Frost can produce all sizes of Neoprene rubber gaskets in-house.
EPDM rubber – EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is a synthetic rubber that is widely used as a gasket material, largely due to its resistance to weather conditions, ozone and UV rays. EPDM also withstands both very low temperatures (as low as -40°C) and very high temperatures (up to 130°C).
When it comes down to making a decision on the right gasket material, it’s essential to look at the specific conditions and extremes that the gasket will face. For example, if a gasket is unlikely to be exposed to direct sunlight or high temperatures, a versatile material such as HT800 may not be necessary and less versatile material may suffice.
If you need advice on selecting the right gasket material, call CB Frost on +44 (0)121 773 8494 and our experienced sales team will be on hand to help.