The Difference between Sponge and Foam Gasket Materials

06 November 2020

Food processing, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and other industries all utilise the capabilities of gaskets. Gaskets are mechanical seals that can cover the intersection and fill the space between two or more mating surfaces. They are typically made to be flexible so they can effectively withstand vibration, reduce noise, resist chemicals, and provide significant sealing.

Gaskets can be made from different materials. Some of these materials are paper, metal, and copper. Aside from these materials, these sealing components can also be manufactured out of sponge or foam. Sponge and foam are two distinct materials that may be similar in some ways. However, they also have key differences that make them suitable to select applications.

To know more about sponge and foam gasket, then here are some of their qualities and differences.

Sponge Gaskets

Sponge gasket materials are made by heat curing certain elements such as neoprene, nitrile, and silicone that would create a closed-cell sponge structure for their overall structure. Numerous compressible air pockets or bubbles are then formed through the expanding process. Manufacturers have the liberty to control the size and distribution of the pores. Nevertheless, their closed cellular structure allows these gaskets to absorb little moisture, withstand extreme temperatures, and resist ultraviolet light and ozone. It also provides gaskets with much-needed vibration isolation and shock resistance qualities.

What is unique about sponge gaskets is that their pores can conveniently affect their overall properties. Compressing sponge gaskets allows them to obtain a strong compression set resistance and superb compression recovery. Additionally, the closed cellular structure of these gaskets can easily block any movement of gases and liquids, making them ideal for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning sealing applications. And even the edge pores of these gaskets are cut and exposed, their body can still serve as a barrier against different surrounding elements.

Foam Gaskets

Unlike sponge gaskets, foam gaskets are known to possess an open cellular structure. The overall structure of foam gaskets comes from the carbon dioxide gas that is created by the chemical reaction in a liquid mixture. The open structure of foam gaskets may look like a mesh, giving these gaskets appropriate stiffness and rigidity. Still, the overall properties of foam gaskets would depend primarily on the type of polymer used. Some types of polymer that are used in creating foam gaskets include polyethylene, polyurethane, and polyvinyl chloride.

Aside from being stiff and rigid, foam gaskets also boast other qualities that make them recommended for a lot of applications. They have a superior barrier and bonding capabilities that are suitable for a wide array of industries such as automotive, medical, electronic, lighting, and many more. Some characteristics that make foam gaskets great for these industries include proper insulation, effective electrical absorption, fluid and noise restriction, and weather resistance. With shock or vibration applications, the best type of gaskets that one should choose would be foam gaskets with open cellular structure. If you need more information about sponge and foam gaskets, then feel free to contact us at Gasketech. We are a manufacturer and supplier of gaskets and sealing washers, extrusions, and mouldings for all industries.

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