Common Aerospace Applications for Rubber Seals & Spacers

Rubber is a very effective sealing solution for various industries, especially the aerospace industry. Rubber is frequently chosen for sealing due to its numerous advantageous properties. It is a strong material that maintains flexibility and optimal performance even in extremely high and low temperatures, which is essential to the aerospace industry.

Rubber has additional benefits, such as low chemical reactivity; low outgassing; and resistance to acids, bases, water, oil, and fungus. Additionally, rubber is easy to mold into various shapes and provides excellent insulation for electrical components. Throughout the aerospace industry, rubber seals are found in many applications, from engines and windows to the cockpit and cabin.

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Top 5 Uses of Rubber Seals in the Aerospace Industry

Rubber seals and spacers are used widely throughout the aerospace industry in applications relating to both space exploration and aviation. Rubber extrusions, such as O-rings, are used in connectors and bleed air valves. Rubber is also used to produce T-seals; hatch seals and covers; tubing; as well as protective boots, bellows, and many other components. Let’s take a look at the top 5 applications for rubber seals in the aerospace industry.

Thermal Insulation and Protection

The aerospace industry requires equipment to function correctly at high altitudes, where temperature decreases significantly. In these challenging environments, rubber seals are a critical solution as they offer reliable protection and thermal insulation. During atmospheric reentry, high levels of friction occur which creates extremely high temperatures on the surface of the vehicle. Rubber seals can withstand these extreme temperatures, protecting inside passengers.

In the aviation industry, aircraft systems rely on pneumatics and hydraulics to operate components such as landing gear and wing flaps. These systems require rubber gaskets to keep out dirt and air and ensure aircraft components function correctly. Rubber is an optimal material for applications that require a compressible gasket.

Interior Components

Normal aircraft operation creates a significant level of noise and vibrations that could disturb passengers. When used on internal components, rubber seals provide a more comfortable and safe environment by significantly reducing these sounds and vibration levels. Rubber seals can be used on many interior components, from hatches to gaskets for LED lighting systems.

Ventilation

Rubber seals are found in HVAC seals, gaskets, and vent ducts throughout aircraft to provide ventilation. In commercial and military aviation, rubber seals are used to keep air from escaping the aircraft through gaps around windows and doors. This ensures that cabin pressure and oxygen levels remain stable and at appropriate levels.

Engine Components

Rubber seals’ high heat and corrosion resistance make them optimally suited for several engine-related applications. They are frequently found in several engine components, such as gaskets, to support the engine when it experiences high temperatures during lift-off. They also provide shock absorption and improve aircraft safety while reducing maintenance costs.

Additionally, aerospace turbine engine shaft seals function by sealing the main shaft bearing compartment and oil sump to ensure correct operation. Seals around aircraft firewalls are an essential aspect of the engine compartment. To protect passengers from an engine fire, a sturdy fireproof barrier is needed between the engine and the cockpit, and rubber seals are an important component of this barrier.

General Mission Critical Equipment

Throughout mission-critical systems, rubber seals’ fire-retardant and grounding capabilities make it an excellent choice to protect vital electronic components. Rubber seals are used to keep out environmental contaminants and are also used throughout motion control, communication, and navigation systems. Rubber seals can be used to seal instrument panels and other electrical systems in the cockpit. This helps protect printed circuit boards from the risks associated with extreme altitude.

Rubber Seals & Spaces from Thomas A. Caserta, Inc.

Lightweight but highly durable, rubber is a frequently chosen material for aerospace applications due to its reliable performance in challenging environments. Thomas A. Caserta, Inc. understands the unique needs of the aerospace industry and has been manufacturing high-quality rubber products for over 70 years. We are highly experienced at producing rubber seals and spacers with the level of precision that the aerospace industry requires. All of our products can be manufactured to precise specifications and are carefully crafted in the USA. To learn more about our products and services, contact us today.

An Intro to Rubber Spacers for Holsters

Rubber washers are important components of many devices and systems. They are used for a variety of purposes.

For example, in holsters, they are commonly utilized as small spacers between other parts in the assembly. Below, we go more in-depth on this use case.

The Importance of Holsters

Among gun owners, holsters are the second most important piece of equipment. While the primary function of these devices is to house and hold the firearm, they can serve other purposes, such as:

  • Concealing the firearm. When you don’t want to advertise your firearm or are in a state without open carry laws, a holster is essential. Shoulder holsters or waistband holsters allow you to conceal the gun under a jacket.
  • Providing convenient access to the firearm. If you are going to carry a firearm, it needs to be convenient and accessible. A holster allows you to keep it close to you but easily reachable when you need quick access.
  • Ensuring firearm safety. A key concern with firearms is safety. Keeping your firearm in a holster prevents accidental firing or unauthorized access outside of a gun safe.
  • Reducing load needs. A holster provides a safe place to secure a loaded gun, eliminating the need to store ammo separately and load the gun before you use it.
  • Improving user comfort. Using a holster to carry your firearm is much more comfortable than carrying it in your waistband or pocket.

How Are Rubber Spacers Used in Holsters?

Many people overlook spacers when thinking about the components used in holsters. Since they do not have a visual impact, they are often forgotten. However, they have a significant impact on the performance of the holster. For example:

  • They give the holster the proper hardness balance and spacing between components needed to ensure the firearm is secure when reholstered.
  • They provide the right amount of clearance between the holster and mounting hardware to ensure they do not interfere with each other’s performance.
  • They increase the distance between the holster and the wearer’s body to improve access when wearing protective apparel or equipment.

Types of Spacers Used in Holsters

The three main types of rubber discs integrated into holsters are:

  • Black rubber spacers
  • 2-hole spacers
  • Rubber O-rings

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Rubber spacers are a vital component of firearm holsters. They greatly improve the functionality of the devices, ensuring they work reliably and fit comfortably.

Looking for a supplier of rubber spacers for your holster manufacturing operations? Thomas A. Caserta is the ideal partner. Equipped with over 70 years of experience manufacturing rubber washers for various customer needs, we have what it takes to deliver high-quality products that suit your exact requirements and restrictions. We offer stock and custom washers in a variety of rubber materials, including neoprene, EPDM, Viton®, nitrile, SBR, and silicone. All of our washers are made in the USA, so you can trust them for your most critical applications.

To learn more about our rubber washer products and services or discuss your holster washer needs with one of our representatives, contact us today.

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Common Applications of Rubber Seals in the Electrical Industry

Rubber seals are used throughout the electrical industry because of the reliable protection they provide. Rubber materials feature excellent electrical insulation capabilities, making them useful for preventing the dangerous effects caused by electricity transferring to other objects. Rubber slows down electrons, making it the most natural and efficient insulator in the world.

This allows manufacturers to create compact electrical or electronic components with no risk of electricity transfer. Rubber electrical insulators are used for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Energy Efficiency. Rubber seals ensure electricity doesn’t dissipate or transfer outside of the required pathway, allowing for more efficient performance.
  • Environmental Protection. Rubber seals mitigate pollution emissions.
  • Safety. Rubber seals contain electricity in an electrical circuit. They can even contain high-voltage electricity to protect nearby people and environments from shock hazards.
  • Soundproofing and vibration prevention. Rubber seals can dampen sound and vibration to reduce or eliminate noise, shaking, and disruption.

Rubber can perform all of these functions because of its many advantageous mechanical properties including elasticity, flexibility, friction, a high degree of strength and resistance to physical damage, and the ability to create an airtight and watertight seal.

Common Applications for Rubber Insulators

Rubber Washers & Gaskets for the Electrical Industry

The core advantage of rubber seals is that rubber is a powerful insulator. The materials bind and prevent the flow of electricity, even at a high voltage level, to stop potential conduction and shock hazards. Rubber insulator seals are used throughout the electrical industry for a wide range of products. Nearly every device or electrical installation will have insulative seals to protect both the system and the surrounding area. Some of the most popular applications include:

  • Circuit boards
  • Coating cables
  • Coating electric poles
  • Coating electrical wires
  • Heavy-duty switchgear components
  • High-voltage appliances and machinery

Because rubber seals can handle such a diverse array of applications and voltage levels in different environments, they’ve become increasingly specialized. It’s important to choose insulator seals with the right materials and shape to guarantee optimal performance.

Two key types of rubber seals are rubber gaskets and rubber washers.

Rubber Gaskets

Rubber gaskets are seals that provide both electrical insulation and environmental sealing to keep dust, debris, and moisture away from sensitive electrical parts. These protective gaskets are often used to line doorways, removable front panels, and electrical access panels. They are also commonly used in cabinet-like enclosures that contain equipment or machinery, such as a generator.

Rubber gaskets fully seal the gap between the panel and the housing. Not only do gaskets provide reliable weatherproofing and protection from the elements, but they can also resist flames or chemicals to protect the contents from hazardous environments. Rubber gaskets also provide excellent acoustic insulation, making them suitable for applications that require vibration dampers or sound absorbers.

Rubber Washers

Rubber washers often sit between a fastener and the body of an electrical component. They provide a soft, slightly compressible seal to stop two metal parts from biting into each other or causing wear. Washers also insulate the fasteners from electricity and prevent environmental hazards like moisture, dust, and dirt from entering the system through the fastening point. Rubber washers can act as seals, bumpers, spacers, and electrical insulators for a wide range of fasteners, including:

  • Rivets
  • Screws
  • Wire clamps or clips
  • And more

Any large-scale machinery and appliances, such as HVAC units, electrical equipment, and industrial systems, will include rubber washers to extend the lifespan of the system. They can even be found in smaller appliances, such as electric motors and consumer appliances.

Both rubber gaskets and rubber washers come in a wide variety of options. When choosing a rubber product for your specific application, it is crucial to select the right size and material to ensure optimal performance. Before you finalize your purchase, always check with the manufacturer’s guide or datasheet to ensure the product is rated for use with your required power levels.

Choose High-Quality Rubber Seals From Thomas A. Caserta

Rubber Washer Experts in the USA

At Thomas A. Caserta, we specialize in creating safe, reliable rubber gaskets and washers. We have been manufacturing rubber gaskets and washers for a wide range of applications for over 70 years. Whether you need a stock or custom-designed product, we can work with you to deliver a rubber solution that fits your needs. To learn more about our rubber product offerings, browse our selection of rubber seals or contact us today.

The Use of Rubber & Silicone Seals in the Construction Industry

The construction industry relies on well-made rubber and silicone seals for the completion of many types of projects. These seals serve many purposes, such as providing protection from shock, binding materials together, and protecting structures from moisture damage. The usage of rubber seals comes with several significant benefits, making it one of the most popular industry choices for ensuring a watertight and airtight fit.

High-quality rubber seals are durable and easy to install. They can protect structures from heat and environmental pollutants while standing up well to daily wear and tear. Within construction applications, silicone rubber products are a popular choice as their adhesive quality allows them to be easily bonded with many widely used materials, such as glass, metal, concrete, plastics, and more.

Applications of Rubber Seals in the Construction Industry

Typically, applications for rubber seals within the construction industry involve outdoor weather conditions, UV rays, and the potential for extreme temperatures. Due to this fact, it’s essential that they be made from durable, high-performance materials. Some of the most common applications for rubber seals within the construction industry are:

  • Skylight and window seals
  • Edge trim and guards
  • Glazing seals
  • Expansion joints
  • Bumpers
  • HVAC seals
  • Air duct insulation
  • Vibration dampening

These applications require different types of rubber seals. There are three main types to be aware of: rubber washers or spacers, rubber gaskets, and rubber bushings. These products might seem similar, but they each have unique characteristics that make them best suited for differing applications.

Rubber Seals & Spacers for the Construction Industry

Rubber Spacers and Washers

Rubber spacers are very useful with machinery that has moving parts. Spacers can be used to ensure a uniform distance is maintained between different parts of a machine. Washers and rubber ring spacers within the construction industry are most commonly used to support threaded fasteners.

Rubber Gaskets

The construction industry frequently uses rubber gaskets in HVAC systems and doors due to their excellent ability to stop air and liquid leakage.

Rubber Bushings

Rubber bushings are ideal for the construction industry because they are very flexible and easy to install. They are most commonly used in highway and drilling equipment.

Considerations When Selecting Rubber Seals for the Construction Industry

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Rubber and silicone seals offer quality solutions for the construction industry. When choosing the type of seal for your applications, there are many factors to consider to ensure your select the right option. Making the wrong choice can lead to costly defects, poor performance, and potentially serious injuries. Common questions you should ask when choosing a seal include:

  • How much pressure will the seal need to withstand?
  • What is the seal’s application?
  • What weather conditions will the seal be used in?
  • What temperature will the seal be exposed to?
  • What chemicals will the seal be exposed to?

The answers to these questions will ensure that you select a seal type and material that will function well for the needs of your specific application.

Industrial Rubber Products from Thomas A. Caserta, Inc.

There are many applications for rubber seals within the construction industry. Due to their high degree of durability and watertight and airtight fit, they provide a long-lasting solution for many uses.

Thomas A. Caserta, Inc. has been providing custom-manufactured rubber products since 1948. Our experts use the newest equipment along with a variety of rubber materials to deliver top-of-the-line products at a competitive price. To learn more about how we can meet the needs of your specific application, you can request information here.

How the Fastening Industry Utilizes Rubber Washers & Seals

Conventional fasteners—which include bolts, rivets, nuts, and screws— can efficiently mount a number of items to surfaces or surfaces to each other. In certain industrial applications, however, regular fastening isn’t enough to prevent unwanted and unintentional flow of potentially damaging gases and liquids.

When used in conjunction or fused with a rubber product like a rubber washer or rubber gasket, fasteners form a much more effective seal against all kinds of external contaminants.

Rubber Products and Their Benefits

At Thomas A. Caserta, we provide high-quality rubber hardware for a broad spectrum of fastening applications. Available in a variety of designs and configurations, rubber fastener components work well in conjunction with metal fasteners to create reliable, durable seals. The most popular rubber fasteners include washers, spacers, gaskets, and bushings.

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Washers

Rubber washers are round, flat discs with a hole in the middle, which allows fastening components such as washer screws to pass through the center. Manufacturers use screws with rubber washers distribute the force of the screw head, which keeps the screw head from digging into surfaces and creating damage. They can also be used to dampen vibrations and prevent air or fluid leaks around the fastener. Rubber washers for screws come in a wide range of materials, thicknesses, and diameters to meet the needs of particular applications.

Spacers

Spacers are also round rubber discs with holes, similar to washers, although they are often thicker. Spacers are designed to separate two parts or objects by a specific distance. Rubber spacers for bolts are especially useful for securing fasteners in high-vibration applications because the rubber will absorb the vibration to keep the fastener from loosening unexpectedly.

Gaskets

Gaskets are available in a variety of shapes and thicknesses and are often used with metal screws to create a tight seal between two parts. Rubber gasket screws are metal screws that come with the rubber gasket already affixed, allowing users to easily fasten components together while establishing a physical barrier against the intrusion of air, fluids, particulate matter, and electromagnetic interference. They also help to keep parts from creeping or extruding in extreme operating conditions.

Bushings

Industrial rubber bushings isolate vibration between components to minimize wear. The rubber bushing absorbs the vibration energy produced by the interaction of the attached components, ensuring smoother operation and reduced friction between components.

Benefits of Using Rubber Components in the Fastening Industry

Rubber components offer a variety of benefits over more traditional metal fasteners. Some of the primary advantages of using rubber hardware include:

  • Added flexibility. Rubber is more flexible than traditional metal components, which provides a more secure fit with less potential for leakage and creep.
  • Broader load distribution. Rubber washers help to distribute pressure from fastener loads, which reduces the potential for damage to surrounding surfaces.
  • Reliable and accurate spacing. Rubber washers and spacers help to establish a reliable amount of space between components, ensuring optimal operation and preventing unwanted contact between components.
  • Vibration absorption. Rubber hardware helps to absorb vibration, reducing the potential for wear, creep, and displacement.
  • Sealing protection. Flexible rubber gaskets seal components to prevent fluid and other substances from leaking. They are available in a variety of materials that can withstand corrosive chemicals, extreme temperatures, and other harsh operating conditions.
  • Surface protection. The flexibility and load distribution properties of rubber washers help to prevent surface damage and corrosion, which helps to mitigate the risk of equipment damage, cross contamination, and inefficient processes.
  • Enhanced stability. Rubber fastening hardware can be manufactured in a variety of shapes, sizes, and configurations to ensure a stable, dependable fastening solution with a reliable seal and low creep potential.

When to Use Rubber Hardware? fastening industry

From rubber bolts and rubber washers to sealing gaskets and industrial rubber bushings, fastening hardware is critical to a wide range of industries and applications. Examples include:

  • Aircraft engines and motors (fastenings for fuel pumps, satellites, and robotic equipment)
  • Circuit boards (insulate connections, mitigate vibration)
  • Conveyor belts (seal process machinery, prevent leaks, and reduce vibration)
  • Home appliances (seal doors, prevent process fluid leaks, reduce vibration)
  • Electric-charging vehicle units (protect from fluid leaks, unwanted electrical flow)
  • HVAC systems (seal process fluids, prevent intrusion of unwanted materials into the system)
  • Medical equipment (facilitate reliable operation of medical assistive devices and equipment)
  • Sensors (keep air and fluid pressure consistent, prevent the intrusion of unwanted materials)

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Made in the USA Rubber Products

Rubber washers and gaskets are essential in the fastening industry when they are used with traditional fasteners like nuts, bolts, and screws; the rubber components provide extra sealing protection against the environment and foreign substances. This can save equipment from excessive damage and expensive repairs, maximize productivity, and minimize operational downtime.

Thomas A. Caserta, Inc. manufactures quality rubber products for diverse and demanding industries. With more than 50 years of experience, we can design our rubber products to any specification to ensure they are the right fit for your needs. We also utilize the latest equipment that produces high-quality parts at competitive prices and quick turnaround times. Regardless of how big or small your job is, we can meet your needs. Our skilled and dedicated team strives to fulfill our number one goal: customer satisfaction. Contact us to request your custom rubber product quote today!

Rubber Seals in the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry relies on an expansive range of parts and components to build the critical systems and support infrastructure that come together to make a completed automobile. These integrated systems must reliably withstand the effects of motion and vibration from driving surfaces, the engine, and other factors. Rubber seals and gaskets provide cushioning and firm seals to prevent liquids and gases from leaking. Rubber sealing solutions are found throughout vehicle systems, from the engine and transmission to the doors and windows.

Automotive rubber seals must be tear-resistant, non-flammable, flexible, durable, and able to stand up to high speeds, extreme temperatures, and intense pressure. Automotive rubber components minimize rotational or translational movements between two joined parts to prevent fluids from leaking out or gases from seeping into the passenger cabin. Using high-quality seals ensures each part operates efficiently and independently.

Different Types of Automotive Seals

Automotive gasket manufacturers produce several types of rubber seals, including:

  • Rubber washers. These flat rubber rings have an open center that allows fluid to pass through the connected parts. They provide a tight, non-abrasive seal in pipe and hose fittings to protects against leaks, vibration, and electrical charges.
  • Rubber gaskets. Gaskets are cut into various shapes and sizes from large sheets of rubber, which makes them highly customizable to meet the needs of specific fittings. They are widely used in the automotive industry to prevent leakage between connected parts due to their durability, color stability, temperature resistance, and general affordability.
  • Rubber bushings. Bushings absorb shock, minimize vibration, resist abrasion, and minimize or eliminate the need for lubrication between components. They are flexible and easy to use for parts like gear sticks, internal combustion, and suspension systems.
  • Silicone rubber tubing. Silicone tubing is a highly versatile product that resists frequent or continuous exposure to weather, UV radiation, heat, and ozone. This type of tubing sees extensive use in the automotive industry as an insulator for electrical cables and wires.

Applications of Rubber Seals in the Automotive Industry

rubber seals in car systemsAutomotive rubber products play an important role in many applications in the automotive industry. Their primary uses in mechanical equipment include filling gaps between components, minimizing damage from vibration, preventing the leakage of liquids or gases, or hindering contamination from moisture or dirt.

However, various applications require different types of protection. Now that we’ve identified the differences between the various types of automotive rubber solutions, let’s look at some applications that use them:

  • Cooling system gaskets. These gaskets seal components within the system to prevent the coolant from leaking out.
  • Differential seals and gaskets. Highly flexible differential seals and gaskets are attached to the transmission axle to protect it from dirt, grime, and other contaminants that could damage the transmission.
  • Electrical junction boxes/fuse boxes. Electrical seals stop moisture and dirt from getting into the electrical system where they could cause sparks, fires, shorts, or other malfunctions.
  • Engine seals and gaskets. These seals and gaskets absorb excess heat and compression while ensuring that oil, fluids, or coolant don’t leak into or out of the engine compartment.
  • Fuel supply gaskets. Placed in between the fuel pump mounting surface and the fuel pump space, fuel supply gaskets maintain pressure within the engine compartment.
  • Transmission seals. Transmission seals and gaskets are used in internal and external transmission components to create pressure-tight connections in accumulators, servos, clutch packs, and transmission axle cases.
  • Windshields. The seals and gaskets used around windshields are an important factor in safety and comfort, maintaining air quality, cushioning the windshield against flexing movements, and protecting the occupants from wind, water, and noise.

Partnering With Caserta

Rubber Components Made in the USA

Thomas A. Caserta is a premier global supplier of high-quality rubber seals to a diverse range of demanding industries. For decades, our customers have depended on our ability to design and supply prototypes or production parts with fast turnarounds, regardless of project size. Our products come in a variety of rubber materials, such as EPDM, SBR, nitrile, neoprene, silicone, and Viton. We offer a broad portfolio of rubber seals for the highly competitive automotive industry, including:

Please contact us to see how our automotive rubber solutions can benefit your operation.

How to Design the Right Gasket

Gaskets are mechanical seals used to fill the gap between two mated components. When designed, constructed, and installed correctly, they prevent process fluids from escaping and contaminants from entering sensitive equipment. As these sealing materials play a critical role in many fluid handling and processing operations, industry professionals follow strict guidelines dictating how to design, construct, and install them properly.

In the following article, we cover some of the considerations regarding the design of rubber gasket seals.

Key Design Considerations for Gaskets

The installation of the wrong gasket can result in leaks, damage, and other issues in a fluid system. It can also cause the premature wear and failure of the gasket, which translates to frequent investment in gasket repair and replacement operations. With these consequences in mind, it is important to use the right gasket for the given application. Below we outline some of the factors to consider when designing a gasket to ensure it functions as intended.

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Construction Material

The construction material chosen largely determines how the gasket will perform. As such, it is essential to consider what qualities are expected of the finished gasket and what materials fit these requirements. When vetting potential material options, some of the properties to keep in mind include:

  • Density: the material’s mass per volume (lbs./ft.3)
  • Hardness: the material’s ability to resist plastic deformation resulting from indentation, penetration, and other mechanical forces
  • Elasticity: the material’s ability to return to its shape and size after experiencing deformative forces

rubber gaskets

These properties are critical to the sealing performance of the gasket. However, the levels required depend on the system in which the gasket will be installed. For example, sponge rubber (both open-cell and closed-cell) generally exhibits lower density and better elasticity than solid rubber, which makes it suitable for some—but not all—applications. It may be helpful to acquire samples of materials to determine which one best fits a given system.

Some of the most common materials used in the manufacture of gaskets are:

  • Silicone: Silicone is a highly versatile and resilient material that is available in solid, foam, and sponge variations. It does not react with or deteriorate when exposed to many chemical substances. It is often used for gaskets due to its ability to form a tight seal, remain flexible in high or low temperatures, and resist water, shrinking, and UV and ozone damage.
  • Neoprene: Neoprene is a synthetic rubber compound that exhibits good durability, resisting damage and degradation stemming from exposure to UV radiation, ozone, chemical and corrosive compounds, and oils and other petroleum-based products. It also remains flexible in temperatures as high as 120° C and as low as -40° C.
  • Nitrile: Nitrile is a synthetic rubber that finds use in a wide range of applications. However, it is particularly suitable for environments exposed to grease, oil, and water.

Gasket Design

The design of a gasket depends on the system in which it will be installed. Tailoring the gasket to fit snugly between the mated components is essential; otherwise, it will not function as intended. The design elements to consider include:

  • Shape: the geometric form of the gasket (from the face)
  • Cross-section: the geometric form of the gasket (from the profile)
  • Thickness: the distance between the gasket’s faces

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Application Environment

The operating and environmental conditions to which the gasket will be subjected affect what construction materials and gasket designs are appropriate. When determining the above two factors, it is critical to keep in mind the following:

  • What temperature ranges are expected?
  • What operating pressures ranges are expected?
  • What chemicals will the gasket be exposed to during operations and maintenance services?

The above list of questions is not all-inclusive. There are many other operating and environmental factors that can affect a gasket’s performance. Partnering with an experienced and knowledgeable gasket supplier can help determine which gasket materials and designs are suitable for a particular application.

Get Your Custom Made Gaskets From the Experts at Thomas A. Caserta

At Thomas A. Caserta, we’ve provided precision engineered rubber products—including gaskets—for over 70 years. Equipped with extensive industry experience and quality materials, our team has the knowledge, skills, and tools to design and manufacture custom rubber gaskets for any industrial application. To learn more about our gasket making capabilities or partner with us for your molded gasket needs, request a quote today.

Tubing in the Medical Industry

Manufacturers specializing in medical grade tubing must meet strict regulatory requirements to ensure the safety and efficacy of these products. Medical rubber and silicone tubing can be found in an array of medical devices, from respiratory equipment and IVs to laboratory equipment.

A curing process removes potentially harmful plasticizers from silicone, making it an ideal material for medical applications. Medical grade silicone tubing is flexible, easily sterilized, and biocompatible.

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Advantages

When manufactured with the proper expertise, medical grade rubber and silicone tubing has many benefits, such as:

  • Available in different grade options: Grades of silicone tubing include FDA Grade, Class VI Grade, and Platinum Cure Grade. These options allow for greater flexibility when choosing an appropriate product—Platinum Cure Grade tubing, for example, is particularly strong and commonly utilized in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Biocompatible: Many types of medical equipment must be placed directly into a patient’s body, meaning that it is vital for the equipment to be biocompatible to reduce the risk of complications. Since approximately three million people in the U.S. are allergic to natural rubber latex, silicone is an excellent synthetic alternative.
  • Clear: Material clarity makes it easier for medical professionals to monitor the flow of fluid when the medical tubing is used in applications such as IVs and blood drainage. Silicone has a high level of natural transparency, although it can also be customized with various pigments if desired.
  • Chemically inert, odorless, and tasteless: These properties mean that medical grade rubber and silicone tubing will not interact with the materials it touches, thus greatly improving its versatility. It is ideal for the administration of any type of medication, oxygen, or food.
  • Compatible with multiple sterilization processes: The medical industry requires frequent sterilization to eliminate contamination and ensure patient safety. Rubber tubing holds up to multiple sterilization processes, including steam autoclaving and dry heat.
  • Extreme temperature resistance: Rubber’s ability to withstand immense heat makes it ideal for use in critical medical equipment, as medical professionals can easily sterilize and disinfect it with heat-based processes. In fact, silicone tubing can resist temperatures of up to 440° F.

In addition to the benefits listed above, silicone elastomers have an incredibly advantageous trait: their silicone-oxygen bond gives them a molecular stability that creates strong biodurability. This means that silicone tubing is particularly well suited for applications that must have consistent contact with skin or bodily fluids, such as catheter tubing. Silicone also remains flexible without the use of additives, another property that improves its biocompatibility.

Applications of Hoses and Tubes

rubber and silicone tubing for medical

Medical grade silicone and rubber tubing is incredibly versatile. Some common applications include:

  • Anesthesiology and respiratory equipment
  • Biopharmaceutical laboratory equipment and processing
  • Cell and tissue culture systems
  • Dialysis
  • IVs and catheters
  • Management and drainage of blood and fluids
  • Oxygen transfer
  • Peristaltic pumps
  • Surgical drains

As there is such a wide array of possible uses for medical tubing, it is important to account for the desired properties of the tubing to select the most appropriate option. For example, tubing intended for internal human contact may need to be flexible, while tubing intended for laboratory equipment may need to be more rigid. The proper medical grade silicone tubing supplier will be able to provide tubing in a variety of sizes, styles, and lengths to ensure that all requirements are met.

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Work With the Trusted Tubing Manufacturers at Thomas A. Caserta

Medical rubber tubing is a vital component in many critical, life-saving devices. At Thomas A. Caserta, Inc., we understand the importance of this equipment, and we create each part with expertise, precision, and a strong knowledge of the medical industry. For over 70 years, our clients have trusted us to provide the highest quality medical grade tubing. Our offerings include medical grade silicone tubing and rubber tubing and cords.

Contact us or request your quote today to learn about our medical tubing solutions.

The Advantages of Silicone for Rubber Products

Silicone rubber is a highly versatile material valued for its flexibility, biocompatibility, and resistance to temperatures, UV light, radiation, and ozone.

Its unique properties make it particularly useful in the medical, aerospace, and electrical sectors for a variety of components, including tubing, washers, gaskets, and other sealing hardware.

At Thomas A. Caserta, we specialize in manufacturing rubber products from a variety of quality rubber materials, including silicone rubber.

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Why Silicone Rubber?

Silicone rubber is one of the most commonly used synthetic rubbers on the market. It is composed of silicone bonded with hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen to create cross-linked polymers reinforced with silica. The result is a unique synthetic elastomer that offers the ideal balance of mechanical and chemical characteristics for the most demanding applications.

Silicone rubber offers distinct advantages over other elastomers, including:

  • Environmental resistance: Silicone rubber exhibits a high level of resistance to harsh environmental factors, including UV radiation, open flames, extreme temperatures, and corrosive chemicals.
  • Thermal stability: Silicone rubber will retain its shape, durability, and flexibility in extreme hot and cold temperatures.
  • Moisture sealant: Silicone rubber is water repellent and malleable, which makes it an excellent sealant.
  • Highly versatile: Silicone rubber can be molded and shaped to meet even the most detailed specifications. The formulation can be adjusted to enhance or downplay characteristics, such as electrical conductivity, flexibility, and toughness.
  • Easy sterilization: Silicone rubber can withstand high temperatures, harsh chemicals, and radiation exposure required with FDA regulated sterilization methods, making it a useful medical-grade material.
  • Color friendly: Silicone rubber is easy to color prior to the curing process, so that it exhibits a lasting, vivid shade.
  • Electrical properties: Silicone rubber is an excellent electrical insulator, however the addition of metal or carbon black can improve its conductive properties.
  • Range of hardness: Silicone rubber can be formulated to exhibit different ranges of flexibility and hardness, depending on the needs of the application.
  • Durable and reliable: Silicone is highly durable and retains its shape and flexibility in extreme conditions, making it a particularly reliable material for use in critical applications.

With its ability to conform to the needs of nearly any application, it is no surprise that silicone rubber is one of the most widely used materials.

Properties of Silicone Rubber

silicone rubber parts

Silicone rubber exhibits unique physical, mechanical, and chemical properties that enhance its usefulness, including:

  • Flame retardant: Silicone rubber exhibits high thermal stability.
  • Steam resistant: Its high thermal stability also allows silicone rubber to retain its shape and consistency when exposed to high temperature steam.
  • Food-grade and medical-grade ratings: Silicone rubber is highly resistant to temperatures, chemicals, and radiation used for the sterilization of food processing and medical equipment, making it an ideal food-grade and medical-grade material.
  • Excellent compression set: Silicone rubber exhibits a high compression set, and will retain its shape under high levels of repeated or extended compression and extreme temperatures.
  • UV and radiation resistance: Silicone rubber will not degrade with repeated or prolonged exposure to UV or other types of radiation.
  • Rebound and resilience: Depending on the formulation, silicone rubber is highly flexible and will rebound or return to its original shape and configuration after it is flexed or bent.
  • Metal adhesion: Silicone rubber exhibits excellent adhesion to metals, particularly during molding and extrusion processes.
  • High tensile strength: Depending on the formulation and manufacturing process, silicone rubber exhibits tensile strength from 200 to 1,500 psi.
  • Chemically and biologically inert: Silicone rubber reacts to very few chemical or biological agents.

Silicone rubber’s highly resistant, physically resilient, and durable nature makes it ideal for molded rubber components in a broad range of temperatures and environments.

Made in the USA Rubber Products

Custom Silicone Seals From Thomas A. Caserta

At Thomas A. Caserta, Inc., we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality rubber parts and components in the industry. For more than 70 years, we have been a reliable manufacturer of stock and custom tubing and sealing components for medical, dental and food industries, among others.

Our state-of-the-art facilities and knowledgeable experts are capable of creating FDA, medical- and surgical-grade tubing, among other quality products from a variety of rubber materials, including silicone rubber. To learn more about our superior silicone rubber products and services, contact us today or request a quote.

Nitrile vs. Neoprene: Which Material Is Best?

Nitrile and neoprene are rubbers that exhibit similar properties, but with differing characteristics that make them useful for different applications. Both materials are elastic, and will return to their original shape when stretched. Nitrile is particularly resistant to chemicals, abrasion, and temperatures, while neoprene is valued for its weather resistance and durability.

Below we provide a more in-depth look at the properties and advantages of nitrile and neoprene and their industrial uses.

Browse through our product catalogs:

Neoprene Products     Nitrile Products

Properties & Advantages

Although nitrile and neoprene display similar properties, they are different substances, each with its own unique chemical makeup.
Nitrile is composed of acrylonitrile and butadiene polymers, which are chemically treated to enhance branching. The molecular composition of the polymers is not highly organized, so different fillers can be added to enhance or improve properties such as tensile strength and heat resistance.

Neoprene, or polychloroprene, is a synthetic rubber made up of polymers of chloroprene molecules through a process of free radical polymerization and various chemical reactions. The polymers are chemically treated to enhance polymer branching, for a more flexible material.

Nitrile Properties

Nitrile displays numerous properties that make it ideal for industrial applications, including:

  • Extremely high chemical resistance. Nitrile is highly resistant to oils and solvents, such as engine oil, gas, alkalis, acids, and petroleum-based hydraulic fluids. This makes it useful for components frequently exposed to harsh chemicals and fuel.
  • Exceptional abrasion resistance. Nitrile is resistant to abrasive forces and does not tear easily. This makes it ideal for components that encounter a great deal of friction, such as washers and diaphragms.
  • High water resistance. Nitrile is highly resistant to water-based corrosion and will not break down or become waterlogged when exposed to water. It is particularly valued for use in waterproof gloves.

Neoprene Properties

Neoprene also has a variety of physical properties that make it useful in industrial applications, including:

  • Exceptional weather resistance. Neoprene displays resistance to weather, ozone, UV radiation, freons, and mild acids. This makes it ideal for use in outdoor applications.
  • Excellent impact resistance. Neoprene is highly durable and impact resistant, which makes it valuable for gaskets and seals in high impact industrial machinery.
  • Elastomeric. Neoprene is highly flexible and returns easily to its original shape. Its resilient nature makes it useful for industrial components that require both strength and flexibility.

Material Advantages

As evidenced above, both nitrile and neoprene offer distinct advantages for use in industrial applications. Nitrile is valuable for its superior chemical, abrasion, and water resistance. Neoprene, on the other hand, is prized for its particular resistance to weather and impact. Due to their particular properties, each material is used for a different range of products.

Standard Rubber Products

While both nitrile and neoprene display similar elastomeric properties, their differing chemical and physical characteristics make them useful for distinctly different applications and industries.

Nitrile rubber products are highly valued in the aerospace, defense, infrastructure, medical, and mobile equipment industries. Common nitrile product applications include:

  • Fuel systems. Nitrile is used in fuel tanks, gas hoses, oil seals, and other fuel system components.
  • Mobile equipment. Nitrile is often used in mobile equipment components, such as carburetors and hydraulic hoses.
  • Military vehicles. Military vehicles rely upon nitrile seals and gaskets in their fuel systems and hydraulic hoses.
  • Medical gloves. Nitrile is a popular option for highly durable and disposable medical gloves.

Neoprene is commonly used for rubber washers, gaskets, bushings, and tubing. Neoprene is popular for sealing and insulation applications such as:
nitrile vs neoprene

  • Shock absorbers. Neoprene is often used in seals for shock absorbers.
  • Power transformers. Neoprene noise isolators are used to reduce sound vibrations from power transformers.
  • Structural support. Neoprene is highly valuable for use in expansion joints and bearing pads for load-bearing structures.
  • Windows and doors. Neoprene seals are useful for sealing windows and doors.
  • Electrical. Neoprene is non-conductive and is therefore widely used to seal electronic enclosures and VAC units.
  • Hose covers. Neoprene’s weather resistance makes it a common material for hose covers.

Ask the Experts at Caserta, Inc.

Custom Rubber Products & Tubing

Depending on your application’s specific needs and requirements, both nitrile and neoprene offer a variety of benefits. For more information on the best material for your needs, consult with the rubber product specialists at Caserta, Inc.

How To Design The Right Gasket

Nitrile Vs Neoprene