3 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Gasket For Your Enclosure
No matter how well your container is designed, it can be rendered virtually useless if it isn’t properly sealed. The contents of your enclosure can be compromised if exposed to outside elements, and the gasketing you choose can be the difference between a high-quality design and an ineffective design. The right gasket will not only function as expected, but also continue to provide optimal performance even when challenged by factors such as physical stress and extreme environments.
When selecting gasketing for your enclosure, pay special consideration to the following qualities to ensure that your design will be able to perform as expected:
Even if the materials that make up your enclosure are designed to avoid expansion and contraction, the seal you choose should be flexible enough to compensate for minor fluctuations. Without a flexible gasket, you risk allowing elements such as moisture and temperature to damage the product inside your enclosure. Softer materials, such as those that are rubber-based, will be more flexible and resistant to abuse.
HEAT AND SUNLIGHT RESISTANCE
Heat and direct sunlight are common causes of failure for improperly specced gaskets. While materials such as nitrile can break down after consistent exposure to the sun, EPDM is resistant to the damage that sunlight can cause. If your design is likely to be used outdoors, considering this factor is crucial to protecting the integrity of your enclosure.
High-heat environments can completely destroy a gasket (and the contents it’s protecting) if the wrong material is used. Silicone and fluorocarbon gasketing can generally withstand heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, but neoprene, nitrile, and EPDM materials are usually unable to maintain their structural integrity past 400 degrees. However, modifications can be made to gaskets to enable them to withstand higher temperatures and fire.
The material inside a container can ultimately be what renders a gasket ineffective. Consider what media may come into contact with your gasket, and spec the proper gasketing into your design accordingly.
Nitrile, for example, is usually a good gasketing material for enclosures likely to come into contact with oil. However, natural rubber generally isn’t compatible with oil. Steam is also a common media that should be considered when speccing a gasket into a design, especially when you factor in how temperature can determine in the effectiveness of a gasket. For instance, EPDM is a popular and reliable gasketing material and can safely come into contact with most steam, but it can be compromised when it comes into contact with steam that’s hotter than 400 degrees. If the gasket you choose doesn’t work well with the material it comes into contact with, both the gasket and the design as a whole can fail.
A SEAL YOU CAN COUNT ON
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right gasket for your enclosure, and failure to account for them can yield unfavorable and even disastrous results. When selecting the right gasket to spec into your design, pay special attention to its required flexibility, temperature and sunlight resistance, and media compatibility to ensure the quality and durability of your enclosure.
Contact us today to learn more about choosing the right gasket for a worry-free seal on your design.