Which Gasket Materials Offer The Best Resistance to Weather?
If a gasket will be exposed to several different kinds of weather, it only makes sense that it be made from materials that will ensure a long life. But weather resistance means many things, including resistance to the sun, ozone and temperature as well as actual weather conditions. When a gasket is able to resist weather, chemicals and other similar items, it is called an environmental gasket or environmental seal.
Here at BSCL we provide gaskets to fit all weather conditions, you can always speak to a member of our team who can give advice on which gasket is best required for your needs!
Temperature, Ozone and UV
Direct and constant exposure to sunlight can actually increase the internal temperature of a gasket to as much as 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Freezing temperatures during part of the year can cause gaskets to crack. However, the problems don’t end there; when temperatures rise, materials expand, causing gaskets to leak.
Although we only think of ozone as the substance that protects us from the sun’s rays, ozone can be found in many other places. For example, ozone can be generated in enclosed areas where electrical components are housed. In these situations, ozone exposure can damage gaskets, negatively affecting their integrity as well as their lifespan.
That is why gaskets that will be used outdoors are usually made of ozone and UV-resistant material. For gaskets exposed to weather, materials that will allow the gasket to maintain its integrity and last are those that will work best.
There are several types of materials that are used in the gasket making process to make them weather resistant:
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer rubber, or EPDM for short, can be combined with many other materials to make a gasket weather resistant. A synthetic rubber, EPDM resists weather, ozone, heat, steam and oxygen as well as oils, acids and various chemicals. In addition, it can be used in extreme temperatures, from -40 to +250 Fahrenheit.
This synthetic rubber is fluorocarbon-based and resistant to environmental extremes. Not only can this type of rubber withstand ozone, oxygen and high temperatures, but it can also withstand mineral oil, fuels and many types of synthetic hydraulic fluid. During continuous service, fluoroelastomer gaskets can withstand up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, 500 when in intermittent service.
This material is incredibly versatile, as well as suitable for many temperatures due to its ability to maintain its original elasticity. Silicone gaskets are highly resistant to UV light, oxygen, aging, ozone, extreme temperatures and weather. Common temperature ranges for silicone gaskets run from -67 to +400 degrees Fahrenheit when run continuously. Silicone has no organic polymers, which can make materials prone to attack from weather, temperature and other circumstances.
Obviously, the kind of gasket chosen will completely depend on where it will be operating, as well as under which kinds of circumstances. When trying to identify the best type of gasket for a particular application, it can help to speak with a professional. They will be qualified to provide the information needed to choose a gasket that will work for as long as possible as well as maintain its strength over its lifetime. Speak to one of our team members for help!