Many types of foams can be used as the primary material for industrial gaskets, but a common choice is neoprene foam. Neoprene foam, which has the chemical name polychloroprene, offers many advantages when used in foam gasket applications.
What is Neoprene Foam?
Neoprene foam is a material that is similar to rubber in that it is considered to be an elastomer (a natural or synthetic polymer that has elastic properties). It is a flexible, durable, and soft sponge rubber that is commonly used in many products across the medical, aerospace, and industrial industries, among others. The material is available in both closed-cell and open-cell variants. Closed-cell neoprene foam is waterproof, which makes it ideal for gaskets, while open-cell neoprene foam allows some air and liquids to pass through so long as it is not fully compressed. This can make the material more ideal for industrial filtration foam.
Neoprene is commonly used in foam gaskets and mechanical seals that fill the space between two or more surfaces and prevent leaks in gas or many types of liquids.
Why is Neoprene Foam a Good Material for Gaskets?
Neoprene foam has a wide variety of capabilities and characteristics that make it an ideal choice for industrial gaskets. The material:
- Has a high chemical resistance
- Will not break down when it comes in contact with water or oils
- Is a good insulator
- Is naturally form–fitting, increasing its ability to properly form an airtight seal
- Will not degrade due to exposure to sunlight, ozone, and other weather conditions
- Is physically tough, durable, and tear–resistant
- Is resistant to heat and flames
- Has vibration dampening capabilities
- Has good compression set resistance, stress relaxation, and compression recovery
- Can be used with a variety of adhesives
- Is lightweight
- Meets many industrial quality and safety standards
Neoprene is also very easy to fabricate, allowing it to be custom cut and shaped based on the needs of the application. It can also be made into a variety of thicknesses depending on the size of the gasket. The material generally comes in a roll or a sheet but can be fabricated with die and kiss-cutting machines.