Urethane is the toughest of all elastomeric materials and is the preferred material for gaskets due to its ultra-high strength and durability under pressure. Learn more about the distinct advantages urethane offers over rubber for gasket applications, plus how PSI Urethanes can support your gasket needs with precision cast urethane sheeting for gaskets.
What’s A Gasket?
First things first: What are gaskets and how are they used? A gasket creates a seal between two parts. It stops dirt, gas, dust, or fluid from leaking out of, or into the pieces it’s joining. This is accomplished even when temperatures or pressures change or when applied to imperfect mating surfaces. A proper sealing gasket will prevent leaks and fill irregularities.
Gaskets come in a variety of designs, sizes, thicknesses, and materials. The final material and design of a gasket will depend on its application, but in general, the benefits of urethane gaskets far outweigh those made of rubber.
Advantages of Urethane Gaskets
Highly Flexible In A Variety of Temperatures: Urethane gaskets, unlike rubber, can be formulated to remain flexible in arctic-like conditions and to withstand fluctuations in temperature, from -100°F to 250°F. Our standard formula’s will remain flexible at -40°F on the Bell Brittle Test.
Abrasion Resistant: Abrasion resistance refers to a material’s ability to resist wear caused by friction, a condition that’s inherent to most gasket applications. When severe abrasion is a factor, PSI Urethane’s products have been known to outwear other materials.
Resistant to Natural Elements: They can withstand changing weather conditions—wet, damp, or dry, and are more resistant to sunlight and changing weather conditions than rubber. When submerged in water, PSI’s urethane gaskets will absorb almost no water.
Higher Load Bearing Capacity: Urethane has a markedly higher load bearing capacity than conventional rubber, which is an important characteristic to have for applications that are inherently high-stress and/or a high-load. To do their job effectively, gaskets must create a reliable seal, even under heavy vibration and intense pressure.
Formulation Diverse: PSI Urethanes can tailor-make precision cast urethane gaskets to meet the specifications of your industry or its environment. Almost every detail can be customized, including the tooling or sheet size, durometer, thickness, and available in a wide range of colors. PSI’s precision cast urethane can be formulated to meet FDA wet or dry food application requirements. We can also make sheet material with no mold release on one or both sides. This is necessary if you are going to cut gaskets from sheet material, and you need to adhere a PSA backing.
Disadvantages of Rubber Gaskets
Degradation: Rubber will rot and degrade over time, especially when exposed to the elements. Rubber gaskets tend to swell and crack much sooner than urethane gaskets.
Less Than Ideal Physical Properties: When formulated to 90 or 95A durometer, rubber can have compromised physical properties. This could pose a serious problem when it comes to making sure seals are secure, strong, and reliable. Urethane, on the other hand, will maintain its advantageous physical properties and superior performance characteristics regardless of its hardness.
Cost: Rubber parts can sometimes require machining and grinding, which could drive up costs. Additionally, rubber gaskets may need to be replaced more often, which could lead to increased downtime and decreased productivity.
Call PSI Urethanes For Precision Cast Urethane Sheeting For Gaskets
Urethane and rubber may both be elastomers, but urethane trumps rubber when it comes to toughness and durability. More and more companies are discovering that urethane parts offer distinct and attractive advantages over conventional rubber parts, and that includes gaskets. Call PSI Urethanes toll-free at (800) 888-5156 to learn more about the benefits of urethane and get a quote for your gasket project today. Or, online at a time that’s most convenient for you!