Industrial gasket production: EPDM and thermoplastics | GB

With more than 40 years’ experience in the production of industrial rubber and thermoplastic gaskets, at GB we are familiar with the process required to achieve the perfect gasket. The key is to identify the requirements and the respective technical characteristics the product must have. For the latter, the material is a crucial factor. However, working with rubber differs greatly from working with steel or plastics. Here we explain why this is true, and how to navigate between the most common rubberised materials – such as EPDM – and thermoplastics.  

Rubber gaskets: the material dilemma

Unlike other materials, rubbers are poorly regulated. This means that mixtures and technical parameters can be extremely variable. For this reason, choice of material and careful analysis of the relative technical characteristics are essential factors in achieving an efficient and durable product. In addition, the range of available rubbers is increasingly ample, posing further difficulties and opportunities for companies in identifying the right material. At GB, thanks to collaboration with external R&D laboratories, we offer a service to design new made-to-measure materials. Some applications, in fact, may require a combination of features not present in any currently available material; at GB we can help you to create a fully customised product. What characteristics of materials should be taken into account when manufacturing industrial rubber or thermoplastic gaskets?  

The right features for a durable gasket

Each material has its own characteristics, and these play a crucial role in the production of efficient industrial gaskets. At GB, we consider the following characteristics to be essential:
  • Resistance to permanent deformation
  • Resistance to abrasion and tearing
  • Elastic performance
  • Air and gas impermeability
  • Resistance to UV radiation
  • Resistance to fire
  • Dielectric properties
  • Chemical compatibility with gases and liquids
  A set of indicators that, at a glance, provides an identikit for rubbers and thermoplastics. Let’s take a look at how this information is applicable in the case of EPDM, one of the most commonly used rubbers in the production of gaskets.  

Industrial EPDM gaskets: technical specifications

EPDM stands for Ethylene-Propylene Diene Monomer and is a type of synthetic rubber used in a wide range of applications, particularly in the automotive and hydraulic industries.   EPDM has the following technical characteristics. Resistance – Fair to very good resistance to permanent deformation – Fair to good abrasion resistance – Excellent resistance to UV radiation – Virtually zero flame resistance   Excellent chemical compatibility in terms of contact with: – Ozone and the elements – Water and steam up to 130 °C (150 °C), saline solutions, strong mineral bases, derivative solutions – Glycols and derived brake fluids – Alcohols, ketones and other oxygenated solvents   Insufficient chemical compatibility in terms of contact with: – Mineral oils and fats – Aliphatic, aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons – Silicone-ester-based hydraulic fluids – Apolar liquids   Other characteristics – Excellent colourability – Excellent dielectric properties These characteristics render EPDM an excellent material for the production of window gaskets, gaskets for heating and cooling systems, and various types of O-ring and sleeve. EPDM is an extremely versatile material, but it is not always the right material for the project! For example, thermoplastics are a more suitable choice for certain applications.  

The perfect material for the production of your gaskets

At GB, we have over 40 years of experience in the precision moulding of industrial gaskets even to minimal tolerances. Our experience, our machinery and our constant collaboration with the best external R&D laboratories mean that we can offer services ranging from advice on designing the right material to moulding the finished product. In addition to rubbers, our range of materials also includes thermoplastics and rubberised fabrics. Our goal is to provide a custom solution to every moulding requirement. Are you looking for the security of an experienced partner for the production of your industrial gaskets? Contact us and tell us your ideas!