For many years, foam has been one of the leading materials used in gasketing applications. While rubber and certain types of plastic can be used in gasketing, foam offers a large range of benefits, including the sheer number of foam types to choose from. No matter where you are using your gasket, foam can be an effective material. From neoprene foam to other low-permeability foams, there are plenty of options for your gasketing applications.
What makes foam an ideal gasketing material?
Diversity in Material Options
Different gasketing applications (depending on what you’re trying to keep out) require different types of foam. For liquid gasketing applications, closed-cell foams that prevent liquids from moving from place to place are ideal. Foams like neoprene or silicone are ideal for these types of applications.
If you are trying to prevent dust from entering a system, and liquids are not a factor, open-cell foams like polyurethane are well-suited for the application. These lightweight and non-dense foams are effective at keeping out debris while allowing for maximum airflow, a feature that is critical in air conditioning units and other similar applications. Open-cell foams also resist compression well, allowing the foam to return to its natural shape after compression.
Whether you are trying to keep air, gas, or liquid from passing, there’s an ideal foam for your application.
Foam can be custom fabricated into nearly any shape, size, etc., allowing you to create a custom piece that perfectly fits any space. The material can also be die-cut and kiss-cut to achieve intricate shapes within the piece of foam, allowing it to fit into any application, no matter how complex the parts are. It’s crucial for gaskets to be cut to size, and foam materials make it simple for fabricators to achieve this fit repeatedly across thousands of pieces during a production run.
Foam gaskets can also be used in conjunction with a large variety of pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs), allowing them to be securely attached to a large variety of substrates, even allowing for two different surfaces to be joined together.
Resistance to Environmental Hazards
Environmental hazards are common in many gasketing applications, so the materials you use need to be able to withstand heat, flames, and many types of oils, chemical solvents, etc. The diversity in foam options allows you to choose a material that is heavily resistant to any number of things, including:
- Heat and flames (meeting MVSS302 and UL94 requirements)
- Moisture and mold/mildew
- Oils, fuels, and grease
- Chemical solvents
- UV light
Many types of foam also insulate well against heat, sound, and vibration, making them ideal for engine compartments, industrial machinery, and many other applications.