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
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 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 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:
- 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
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.