The Foam Gasket: A Versatile Form of Fiction Protection
Friction, abrasion, they can really take a toll on machinery. They force companies to spend thousands of dollars every year on replacement parts. Stopping, or even slowing down, this process of wear isn’t easy but there are certain steps companies do take to keep parts protected, and one of these steps is the use of the foam gasket.
Foam gaskets are popular for a variety of reasons and serve a variety of functions. They can be found in many industries ranging from aerospace to outdoor lighting. There are many different kinds of foam gaskets, enabling companies to find a product particularly suited for their application.
Design and Advantages
The foam gasket is used for a number of reason, but it is generally placed between two mating services for the purpose of reducing friction.
Foam gaskets are often made from a polyurethane mixture. Polyurethane is an open cell material, which means it’s flexible and easy to cut.
Not all foam gaskets are the same though. There different types and, although the differences may be subtle, some are better suited for certain environments than others. Differences between gasket types often lies in the chemical mixtures from which the foam is made.
The following are some popular foam compositions and their advantages:
– Microcellular Urethane: Popular because of its propensity for thermal and acoustic insulation.
– Cross-Linked Polyethylene: A very versatile foam; particularly known for its chemical and heat resistant properties.
– Silicone: A foam known for being very flame resistant. It’s often used in light enclosures and portable data acquisition.
– Ensolite: A closed cell foam, it’s well-known for its low flame rating and low density.
– EMI Foam: A popular choice for applications with lots of sensitivity to electromagnetic interference.
Few things slow down production like a part breaking down. Sometimes a new part must be ordered and shipped, which takes both time and money. The use of high quality foam gaskets is a popular way to extend the service life of important parts and tools. There are foam gaskets suited for all types of applications, no matter how demanding. Whether a company is looking for heat resistance or EMI shieling there’s a foam gasket suited to its needs.