Neoprene, a versatile synthetic rubber, is a tolerant material. Used in gaskets, this well-established polymer retains its fluid-sealing characteristics when a fluid turns hot. It’s physically and mechanically stable, abrasion resistant, equipped with a handy flame retardant feature, and the rubber won’t break down in the presence of a petroleum-based fuel. That’s an attractive list of material traits. Neoprene gaskets obviously deserve more coverage, so let’s get going.
Deconstructing Neoprene Gasket Materials
Polychloroprene, also known as Neoprene, is ozone resistant, so expect to find this material in use in sealing products in outdoors applications. In automobiles and vehicles with superbly sealed fuel lines, there we find the polymer, faithfully generating a strong fluid seal. Chemically adept, the synthetic rubber also offers a -40°C to 121°C spread of temperature handling pliability. As long as the application stays inside that tolerance range, the selected Neoprene gasket will compress and seal. Accordingly, these rubber rings are commonly used in heater elements, air conditioners, freezers, and many other thermally active situations.
Conforms to Other Surfaces
This is a singularly beneficial feature, a material trait that suits the roughest surfaces. To put it another way, Neoprene gaskets are physically tough yet unusually yielding. When the seal is fitted between two surfaces, it will instantly adjust its outlines to match the underlying flange face, even when those surfaces are raised or formed from special locking profiles. As a ring of fasteners bears down on the polymer, it compresses readily without ever surrendering that inbuilt quantity of elasticity. Viewed from a fabrication engineer’s perspective, those key properties dovetail neatly back at the production factory, for this material is a work-friendly commodity. Die shaped or water cut, Neoprene gaskets roll off the production line in their thousands every day because of that workability quality.
Neoprene Versus All The Rest
Here’s a gasket material that hits the exact centre of the industry sweet spot. The synthetic is ozone resistant, although perhaps not as sun-friendly as EPDM. Meanwhile, Neoprene is a better option for oil and fuel resistant utilization. Additionally, the -40°C to 121°C temperature range covers practically every imaginable subzero and water-boiling scenario. This rubber is also remarkably dense. It’s simply not a permeable polymer, so Neoprene is commonly employed in the medical industry, perhaps as a series of peristaltic pump seals.
All-purpose by design, Neoprene gaskets are thermally stable and fuel friendly. They compress readily while conforming to complex raised flange faces. In plain English, this material, when it’s used as a sealing medium, can suit many possible applications, at least until those thermal/compression ratios reach exorbitantly high extremes. At that point, it’s time to consider an alternative synthetic rubber.
Compressed Non-Asbestos gaskets go where that heat-resistant but potentially deadly silicate mineral cannot. Shortened to CNA, the following gasketing materials are every bit as thermally capable as that now defunct fibre, plus they’re chemically inert. Let’s check out some common applications, places where these fibre-based products function as entirely safe gasket materials.
High-End HVAC Sector
Far away, at the terminating end of this heat chain, hot radiators sip water from a multi-storied heating system. There are no CNA gaskets in range here. No, they’re located way back at the first-stage boiler room. The flames are licking around a tiny window above the furnace, all while the aramid fibres produce a formidable layer of heat-restraining weave around the pressurised vessel. The temperature might be topping the 260°C mark in there, but the nitrile-bonded gasket resolutely endures.
Robust Power Generation Barriers
Utilized in the generation of electrical energy, this particular application has much in common with the boiler and furnace scenario mentioned above. Only this time, we’re referring to the pressurized realms and super-heated steam that powers massive turbines. Water, the source fluid medium, is heated by some heavy fuel source, perhaps a nuclear reactor or crushed coal. The steam generates motive force, it circulates a special chamber at high velocity, and the resulting force impacts a series of spinning turbine blades. Like a jet engine, the energy creates massives amounts of rotating torque. CNA or Compressed Non-Asbestos Gaskets are equipped to deal with this form-crushing quantity of thermal energy.
Introducing Caustic-Qualified CNA Gaskets
In furnaces and industrial boilers, compressed non-asbestos fibreglass seals prevent seal breaches. Meanwhile, out on a distant offshore installation, the same gaskets are handling raw petroleum. At the other end of the processing chain, blended aramids and fillers are bonded to EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), a synthetic rubber that can take a great deal of punishment. The die cut substance is inserted into a flanged joint that conveys petroleum-based fluids and pressurized gasses. Further away, a cryonics facility is utilizing the same gasket class while a caustically active food processing factory is pumping a vinegary substitute towards its final destination.
This has been something of a whirlwind journey. We’re dizzy from visiting oil platforms and chemical processing facilities. Then the journey caused whiplash to the neck as we sped over to a food processing site and a material refrigeration plant. Even a wastewater treatment installation, a place that transforms raw sewage into potable water, gets a mention, for CNA gaskets function under the most adverse conditions imaginable.