A seal can make or break any good component, part, or piece of equipment.  Whole production lines can go down if a seal is compromised.  A good seal goes unnoticed, while a bad one cannot help but be noticed – in the form of a leak, poor closure, and more.

Rogers recently put together a Sealing Design Guide to help design engineers prepare up front for ensuring a good seal. Often times the process of selecting and understanding gasketing materials is last minute, and it should be factored in earlier. This fact, among others, is explained in this tutorial.

Some other facts:

1.  Sealing effectiveness is not dependent on an open or closed cell structure.  Do not plan your design around a cell structure.  What counts is the performance of the compression set of that material.

2.   Multiple factors, including enclosure and gasket design, contribute to successful sealing, but material selection is also critical.

3.  Losing a seal is costly. Once water or other fine materials break into a component, further expenses are incurred as well as lost time to repair the part.

4.  The most common materials used to seal enclosures and devices include Silicone, Vinyl Nitrile, Neoprene, EPDM, Polyurethane, PVC, Polyethylene.

5.  Stress relaxation (A material’s loss in force resistance over time under continuous compression) and compression set resistance (material rebound after constant deflection for a specified time and temperature) are two key attributes that significantly impact long-term performance.

6.  Significant stress relaxation could result in compromised sealing if a gasket no longer fills a gap with enough force. Greater force retention can help to keep a consistent closure force on a door or panel.

to get all the details, specifications and information about choosing gasketing material that makes a strong, lasting seal.