Rubber

A.J. Rubber & Sponge Ltd. fabricates the bulk of its seals and gaskets from rubber materials including neoprene rubber, EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber, silicone rubber and others. Rubber, available in both natural and synthetic form, has been the material of choice for the fabricators/manufacturers of sealing and gasket materials due to its unrivaled ability to reform to their original shape and state even after the application of an exterior compressing, depressing or deforming force. This characteristic is also directly related to the tensile strength of various kinds of rubber. At A.J. Rubber & Sponge Ltd., we help guide customers through the many choices of rubber material available to them in an attempt to ensure that they have the best rubber gasket material for their seal or gasket application. Over our lifetime in the rubber seal and rubber gasket manufacturing industry, we have learned that rubber is better suited for low temperature applications than high temperature ones. Rubber materials are most applicable for gaskets that are intended to operate in a medium temperature range, so that both the shape and functionality of the rubber gasket are preserved.

One thing we always emphasize to clients seeking custom rubber seals and/or custom rubber gaskets is that there are many types of rubber gasket materials available and that each has different characteristics. The majority of rubber gaskets used in commercial settings are of a rubber material called SBR, also known as, red rubber. Although SBR, or red rubber, is the most common seal and/or gasket we fabricate/manufacture, there are actually a myriad of other rubber types in the industry. Other rubber materials that are commonly incorporated into the fabrication/manufacturing of seals and gaskets include neoprene rubber, nitrile rubber, EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber, EP (ethylene propylene) rubber, butyl rubber, natural rubber, fluorocarbon rubber and silicone rubber. Each material is best suited for a different set of circumstances and parameters. Such factors can include temperature ranges, subjection to harsh chemicals such as hydrocarbons, abrasion and ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. In addition to these environmental and circumstantial parameters, there exist a number of intrinsic characteristics that rubber materials possess, and they include compression set, flange load, tensile strength and rubber aging. More often than not, the industry uses fillers and additives to achieve the aforementioned properties. A.J.. Rubber & Sponge Ltd. stocks and can source many kinds of rubber materials, ensuring fast turnaround times for the production of custom seals and custom gaskets. The experienced team over at A.J. Rubber & Sponge Ltd. will happily work with you to make sure that you have selected the optimal rubber gasket material for your sealing and gasket needs.

SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) gaskets:

SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) is a material that A.J. Rubber & Sponge Ltd. commonly fabricates seals and gaskets from, and as such, has learned quite a bit about the gasket material. SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) usually transitions into a glass-like substance at a temperature of approximately -55°C (131°F) [also referred to as the “glass transition temperature”]. Further, SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) gasket material has a recommended operational temperature range of -40°C to 100°C (-40°F to +212 °F). Other common names for SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) include GRS, buna-s and buna s. The typical elongation percentage of SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) is approximately 500%. Another unique feature of SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) that has to be considered when advising applications is that it is not resistant to ozone, sunlight, rain, sleet, snow and/or other weather elements. Although custom SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) gaskets and seals are quite versatile products, we do not recommend utilizing them in any electrical application. SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) gaskets are composed of a material that is very commonly incorporated in pneumatic tires, tubes, heels and soles, as well as for many custom gasket manufacturing applications.

Buna-n rubber gaskets:

Nitrile rubber gaskets:

A.J. Rubber & Sponge Ltd. can custom manufacture or custom fabricate gaskets from a variety of rubber materials, including but not limited to, nitrile rubber gaskets, buna-n rubber gaskets, SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) gaskets, EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber gaskets, CI (cloth inserted) rubber gaskets, silicone rubber gaskets and other types of rubber gaskets. Although some of the rubber gaskets we manufacture are composed of a natural rubber, nitrile rubber/buna-n rubber belongs to a family of synthetic rubber gasket materials that are comprised of a copolymer of acrylonitrile and butadiene. Although A.J. Rubber & Sponge Ltd. does not use trade names such as Nipol, Krynac, and Eroprene, nor do we custom fabricate nitrile rubber o-rings or nitrile rubber molding components, we do completely custom manufacture nitrile gaskets of all shapes and sizes using our die cutting presses and other related machinery.

NBR (acrylonitrile butadiene rubber) gaskets are part of the family of nitrile rubber gaskets whose physical and chemical properties vary quite a bit depending on the composition of the specific acrylonitrile species involved. The higher the concentration of acrylonitrile in the polymer, the higher the final rubber gaskets resistance to oils will be. However, there is a trade off. The more acrylonitrile that is used, the less will be the flexibility of the rubber gasket. This makes NBR (acrylonitrile butadiene rubber) generally quite resistant to oil, gasoline, diesel, grease and other chemicals. Therefore, we advise these types of rubber gaskets for use in applications where components are exposed to chemicals on a regular basis. A.J. Rubber & Sponge Ltd. has a long history (over 45 years) of manufacturing custom die cut and custom kiss cut rubber gaskets, and more specifically, has actually even custom fabricated nitrile rubber gaskets for use across many different industries.

CI (cloth inserted) rubber gaskets:

Cloth inserted (CI) rubber gaskets are composed from a rubber sheet material that is usually reinforced with one or more plies of cloth or materials such as polyester, nylon, cotton and/or fiberglass fabric for strength. In fact, this added reinforcement gives the cloth inserted rubber gaskets added stability when used in flanged gasket applications requiring mechanical fastening and where mechanical tension due to compression loads is high. At A.J. Rubber & Sponge Ltd., our gasket inventory includes cloth inserted neoprene rubber gaskets, SBR red rubber gaskets and Nitrile (buna-n) rubber gaskets.

Cloth inserted neoprene rubber gaskets are suitable in applications that require minimal oil resistance due to their inability to perform well in such conditions. Cloth inserted rubber gaskets are best suited for applications where hot and/or cold water and gases are being transferred. Such applications might include water meters, control devices, batching devices, regulators, booster pumps and diaphragms. Cloth inserted SBR red rubber gaskets, on the other hand, are typically more suitable for use in applications concerning hydraulics and where air, water or low-pressure steam will be produced/passed through the system.

Military specification rubber (mil. spec. rubber) gaskets:

The military specifications regarding rubber gaskets are designed to ensure that elastomeric materials support the mission by meeting standard performance requirements. Requirements and specifications for the Canadian & U.S. military are authorized by the Department of Defense (DOD), and are used by defense contractors throughout North America. A.J. Rubber & Sponge Ltd. is proud to do their part in supporting the defense of North America by supplying neoprene rubber gaskets, sponge gaskets and any sort of mil. spec. gaskets that may be required. Tier 1 and tier 2 mil. spec. gasket suppliers are usually somewhat familiar with these standards, but may not fully understand how the details of a particular gasket specification can affect purchasing and manufacturing decisions from the standpoint of the military.

As technology advances, so does the design and manufacturing methods of producing military grade/mil-spec rubber seals and gasket products. A.J. Rubber & Sponge Ltd. offers a variety of types of rubber seals and rubber gaskets for use in sealing devices that meet the various military rubber specifications set forth by the Department of Defense and other counterparts in other nations. It is common that the rubber gaskets used for military applications must have the ability to withstand aggressive environments overseas. Seal and rubber gasket performance is very much affected by drastic fluctuations in temperature, and this is something that needs to be considered at the time of choosing appropriate gasketing materials. A.J. Rubber & Sponge Ltd.’s military specification gasket materials are capable of being utilized in applications with continuous service temperatures as low as -51ºC to as high as 200ºC (-60ºF to as high as 401ºF).

Silicone rubber gaskets:

Silicone rubber is a rubber material commonly used in our custom gasket fabrication processes since it boasts excellent high temperature capabilities as well as the ability to be used in liquid silicone injection molding applications. Further, silicone rubber can be used as silicone gum in the compression molding process. Silicone rubber is designed to be operational between -55°C and +300°C (-67°F and 572°F). This unique characteristic makes silicone rubber components ideal custom gasket materials for use in high altitude situations in the aerospace or medical industries. These industries typically contain many high temperature sterilization environments, where lesser seal or gasket materials simply will not do.

As far as custom seals and custom gaskets are concerned, silicone rubber gaskets are used in a wide range of industries for a few main reasons. Firstly, as mentioned above, silicone gaskets have extreme temperature properties. Secondly, silicone gaskets are far more superior to conventional rubbers as far as properties such as tensile strength, elongation, tear strength and compression set are concerned. Furthermore, silicone rubber is an extraordinarily inert material, which means that it does not react with most chemicals in any given environment. This makes silicone rubber gaskets, and silicone rubber in general, a highly used material in molding applications for use in the medical industry. It is also very useful for the production of implants. Finally, as anybody in the custom seal and custom gasket manufacturing business can tell you, silicone rubber is an excellent insulator of electricity and is often used in electrical connector insert applications in electronics manufacturing.

Silicone rubber, the kind that’s used in fabricating custom rubber gaskets, contains a "backbone" of silicon-oxygen links as opposed to the traditional, organic rubber that has a carbon to carbon (C to C) backbone. The silicon-oxygen links of silicone rubber is the main factor in silicone rubbers’ resistance to such environment factors as ozone exposure, ultraviolet radiation (UV), heat and other factors contributing to the aging process.

Neoprene rubber gaskets:

Neoprene rubber gaskets are composed of a synthetic rubber known as neoprene rubber. Neoprene rubber is a very versatile rubber used in a wide variety of applications ranging from construction to medical. Neoprene rubber seals and neoprene rubber gaskets resist degradation from sunlight, ozone and poor weather conditions. Since they are a synthetic rubber, neoprene rubber also tends to perform well when in contact with oils and chemicals. Neoprene rubber gaskets always maintain their form as well as their tensile strength over very wide temperature ranges, much like silicone rubber gaskets and EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) rubber gaskets. The versatility of neoprene rubbers gaskets are best showcased in their applications in various industries.

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber:

EPDM rubber, which is a shorthand version of ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber, is best known for its superior resistance to harsh and toxic chemicals. A.J. Rubber & Sponge Ltd. has the expertise as well as the capability to die cut this material to your exact specifications for use as seals or gaskets in any industry. Although EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber gaskets have great chemical resistance, it is true that EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber gaskets are ideal for sealing environments that are not exposed to any sort of oils, gasoline, kerosene, aromatics, aliphatic hydrocarbons, halogenated solvents and/or concentrated acids.

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber is very often incorporated in the process of fabricating weather seals and weather gaskets, and actually functions as a source of noise reduction and/or sound/acoustic insulation in the automotive industry. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber is an excellent source for manufacturing or fabricating gaskets or producing gasket sealing against atmospheric conditions including sunlight, ozone, ultraviolet light exposure, wind and/or rain. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber gaskets can typically withstand temperatures ranging from -50°C to 150°C (-58°F to 302°F).

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