Silicone Gaskets: A Comprehensive Overview (2023)

The gasket industry is a large and thriving industry. In the United States, the gasket industry generates annual revenue ofabout $8 billion.

In recent years, the gasket industry has been shifting how it approaches the manufacture of gaskets. The gasket industry often used asbestos to manufacture gaskets in the past. Because of its abundance and unique texture, gasket material would often contain up to 80% white asbestos


After learning the dangers of using asbestos, the industry has shifted its processes. New and advanced technology has been on the rise resulting in higher profit margins and longer lifespans. Unsurprisingly, companies have turned to silicone gaskets to fulfill their gasket needs.

Silicone gaskets offer a wide range of benefits that make them a top choice for gasket manufacturing. Do you want to learn more about the uses and benefits of silicone gaskets? If so, you’re in the right place. Keep on reading for a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about silicone gaskets.

Types of Gaskets

Gaskets is a seal or grommet that holds two things together. They’re in practically everything you use. You canuse gaskets made from rubber, plastic, metal, or other materials.

They reduce leaks by ensuring reliable sealing. Theyareused in many industrial applications, including food processing, petrochemical, plumbing, machinery, and gas. Find outmore about gaskets here.

The type of material of your gasket depends on what you need to use it for. For example, if you’re dealing with a rigid object, you need a gasket that fits the set shape. Doors and moving structures need something more flexible.

It would help if you considered your needs, including temperature, pressure, corrosion resistance, availability, and cost.

Gaskets need to be solid, so they don’t allow materials to pass through. Some also need to deal with energy discharge. You can have many different types of gaskets, including:

  • Pipe gaskets
  • Gasketing tape or adhesive
  • Gasketing foam

You can also have many different materials for these gaskets, including silicone, neoprene, EPDM, Teflon, Gore-Tex, and Graphite. This guide will only discuss silicone gaskets, but you canlearn moreabout the other types of materials here.

(Video) Silicone on valve cover gasket

What is a Silicone Gasket?

As recently as the 1980s, companies manufactured asbestos gaskets. The Environmental Protection Agencyfound that asbestos gaskets pose an unreasonable risk to the health of consumers and bystanders. Many advocates are pushing for a ban on asbestos gaskets.

If you’re looking for other materials for your purposes, you should consider silicone gaskets. Dr. William H. Dow Corning Company invented silicone gaskets in 1953. They are high-performance mechanical seals with high resilience and durability.

Silicone gaskets can withstand high and low temperatures making them a versatile material. You can use it for a wide range of applications, including:

  • Food processing
  • Medical equipment
  • Industrial processes
  • Automobile engines
  • Aerospace
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Mobile technologies
  • Energy

You can use silicone gaskets when you need a material with high-temperature resistance, a low compression set, and good electrical insulation.

Trying a new product can end up increasing your cost and risk. You canrequest a sampleof a silicone gasket from Strouse today to try them without a huge upfront expense.

What Are the Benefits of Silicone Gaskets?

There are thousands of materials to make gaskets with, but silicone gaskets stand out from the rest because of all the benefits they offer. They are used in both indoor and outdoor applications.

Ability to Withstand High and Low Temperatures

Silicone gaskets can withstand temperatures of up to 392 degrees Fahrenheit continuously. This makes it great for many industrial applications. It can be exposed to high heat levels without degrading or wearing out.

Silicone gaskets can also withstand heat up to 428 degrees Fahrenheit on an intermittent basis.

On the other hand, they can also withstand extremely cold temperatures. They can remain flexible at as low as -94 degrees Fahrenheit.

Excellent Insulation

Silicone gaskets are excellent insulators of electricity. By blending silicone with nickel-graphite or silver-plated aluminum particles, silicone gaskets can shield electromagnetic interference (EMI) because of their conductive capabilities. This is especially useful for use in electronic equipment.

Silicones are found in most high voltage insulators and other electrical components. They can be cross-linked by different chemical reactions making them non-reactive at high temperatures. The electrical industryrelies significantlyon these non-reactive materials.

Where electromagnetic discharge is a problem, silicone can also be blended with a semi-conductive carbon to provide electromagnetic discharge.

Highly Durable

Silicone gaskets are highly durable. They’re resistant to UV light, ozone, and extreme weather conditions. This makes them ideal for outdoor use.

Their durability also makes them highly economical. They are a reliable and stable material. You can use silicone gaskets for a long time without them showing wear. They also don’t require a lot of maintenance once they are installed.

(Video) Engine RTV silicone gasket maker types application instructions comparison uses demonstration 2.0t

FDA Approved

Because silicone gaskets areFDA-approved, they can be used in medical equipment, health care instruments, and food processing plants. They can also be mixed with other FDA-approved materials to get high tear strength.

Unlike asbestos gaskets, silicone gaskets are physiologically inert. This means that it’s not toxic and doesn’t harm people.

These reasons make silicone gaskets useful for healthcare, food processing, medical diagnostic equipment, and pharmaceuticals.

Compression Set Reliance

Compression set reliance means that silicone gaskets work well under pressure. They return to their original thickness even after being compressed for long periods. If you’re concerned about a compression set, then silicone gaskets are your best bet as they have a lower compression set.

A compression of 100% means that the material will never return to its original thickness. You need to look for lower compression set reliance materials to ensure that the material doesn’t get deformed with use in certain temperatures.

If the gasket material deforms, then the seal will fail. This will lead to leaks and contaminations.

Flame Retardant

Silicone gaskets have low flammability levels, which makes them ideal for industries that generate excessive heat. They can be used in telecommunications equipment and mass transit systems.

Silicone gaskets meet the testing requirements from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for fire safety and flame resistance. This means that silicon gaskets can achieve UL94V0, UL94V1, and UL94HF1 flammability standards.

Water-Repelling Material

Silicon gaskets have a water-repelling material. They repel waters, resist moisture, and still maintain a watertight seal.

So, it’s great for those industries that deal with moisture or water. It’s also great for outdoor use in areas that have wet weather conditions.

Great Aesthetic Finish

You have several options for an excellent aesthetic finish when choosing silicone gaskets. You can get silicone gaskets in different colors that can be useful for retail or commercial use. You have a variety of custom options when using silicone gaskets.

What Are the Types of Silicone Gaskets?

Silicone gaskets are incredibly versatile. They can come in sheets or rolls in many different thicknesses. Depending on your needs, you can also have solid, sponge, or foam silicones.

Solid Silicone Gaskets

Solid silicone gaskets are tightly-packed. They are not always soft but are more rigid than sponge silicone. If you need a seal rating of IP67 or higher, you should choose solid silicones.

Solid silicones can offer exceptional sealing capabilities, but you should remember that they are difficult to compress because of their hardness. They will need 15 to 20% compression.


Sponge Silicone Gaskets

Sponge silicone gaskets offer more cushioning and padding. They can be open-cell or closed-cell. Open-cell silicones contain pockets that allow water, air, and chemicals to pass unless the gasket is compressed.

Closed-cell silicones have pockets filled with nitrogen to prevent water, air, or other chemicals from passing through even at low compression. They will need at least 50% compression.

Sponge silicone gaskets have a higher temperature threshold of 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Foam Silicone Gaskets

Foam silicone gaskets can be soft, medium, firm, or extra-firm. They offer different levels of compression. Like sponge silicone gaskets, foam silicone gaskets will also need at least 50% compression.

They can be open-cell, closed-cell, or a mixture of both. They have a temperature threshold of 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Die Cut Silicone Gaskets

Die-cut silicone gaskets are the typical type of gasket. It’s a more economical option, especially for large volumes.

You can produce thousands of die-cut silicone gaskets per hour. They can come in many different sizes and thicknesses.

Molded Silicone Gaskets

Molded silicone gaskets provide a higher performance seal than die-cut silicone gaskets.

Conductive Silicone Gaskets

Conductive silicone gaskets are made up of a mix of high-quality silicone and conductive particles. They are generally used for electronic equipment. They are filled with conductive materials like nickel, carbon, silver-plated nickel.

FDA (Food Grade) Silicone Gaskets

FDA-approved silicone gaskets are generally used in the food processing industry. They are odorless, tasteless, and fungus resistant. They also can handle the extreme cold and heat, making them ideal for places with food around, like dough or cake mixers.

Fluorosilicone Gaskets

Fluorosilicone or fluorinated silicone rubber is similar to silicone. Silicone is not ideal for use with oil or petroleum-based chemicals. That’s when fluorosilicone comes into play.

They can withstand extreme temperatures. They also are resistant to fuels, oils, and other petroleum-based chemicals.

How Do Silicone Gaskets Compare to Rubber Gaskets?

While rubber for rubber gaskets comes from a rubber tree, silicone is synthetic. In some instances, silicone gaskets can be more efficient and perform better. For example, silicone gaskets are a better choice when dealing with extremely high temperatures.

Natural rubber can work well in temperatures from -58 degrees to 176 degrees Fahrenheit. Silicone can handle more extreme temperatures from -58 degrees to 446 degrees. Natural rubber starts to wear down at 176 degrees and melts by 248 degrees.

(Video) Applying Permatex Water Pump Silicone Gasket Maker for the RB25DET Rebuild

Rubber is not used with ozone, strong acids, fats, oils, and grease. Silicone, on the other hand, can be used with these materials. You can use silicone gaskets in extreme weather conditions and UV for outdoor application.

What Are the Uses of Silicone Gaskets?

You now know how versatile silicone gaskets can be. Because of their versatility, they have many uses in many different industries.


Silicone gaskets are resistant to extreme temperatures, UV light, ozone, and chemicals. This makes them the best fit for airplanes, space shuttles, and similar vehicles. They can handle extreme weather and temperatures without wearing down.

They can be used in engine gaskets to vent ducts. They are also ideal for use in windows, doors, and HVAC seals.


Silicone gaskets are stable and durable. They maintain their resilience and strength even in extreme conditions. They can handle unnecessary stress without issues.

That’s why they are great for use in personal, commercial, or industrial vehicles. They can also be used for mass transit systems like buses and trains. They also reduce vibrations and provide high-quality seals for radiators.

Commercial Applications

Silicone gaskets are used as seals for HVAC systems and doors in the construction industry. They are used in food processing machinery and industrial oven seals in the food industry. In the medical industry, they are used for medical and healthcare equipment.

Contact Your Silicone Gaskets Expert Today

Now you know everything there is to know about silicone gaskets. You know all the benefits of silicone gaskets, making them a versatile option for many different industries. If you think silicone gaskets are the right option for you, you probably wonder where to buy them.

You need a company that solves problems, helps answer all your questions, and provides the necessary expertise you require, as Strouse does. Strouse is a reputable company known for producing top-quality silicone gaskets. Contact us today torequest a customized quotefor your business needs.

Silicone Gaskets: A Comprehensive Overview (1)

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Written by Scott Chambers

As the VP of Marketing for Strouse, Scott oversees the content creation team and drives demand to the sales team. Scott graduated from Coastal Carolina with a degree in Business Management. He then attended the University of Baltimore School of Law, earned his JD, and passed the bar in 2016. In addition to marketing and business development, Scott serves as Strouse's In House Counsel. Scott is currently earning an MBA from Indiana University.

(Video) Using Liquid Silicone Sealant For Engine Gaskets


What are silicone gaskets used for? ›

Silicone gaskets are used as seals for HVAC systems and doors in the construction industry. They are used in food processing machinery and industrial oven seals in the food industry. In the medical industry, they are used for medical and healthcare equipment.

What is a silicone gasket? ›

Silicone rubber gaskets are high-performance mechanical seals with an extraordinary resistance to extreme temperatures. Silicone gaskets are used to prevent leaks between different substrate sections in a wide range of applications.

Is silicone a good gasket material? ›

Silicone rubber is known for its exceptional resistance to extremely high and low temperatures. The material offers additional benefits for gaskets because of its excellent tensile strength, elongation, tear strength, and compression set.

What is the most important factor when selecting a gasket? ›

The first consideration when selecting a material for your seal or gasket is temperature since it can change the characteristics of the material. Extreme heat, cold, or widely fluctuating temperatures can affect material sealing properties, maximum allowable stress, and overall performance.

Do silicone gaskets need sealant? ›

Most of our gaskets do not require sealant. If a solid gasket is being newly fitted to new products/flanges sealant is not necessary.

How do you seal silicone gasket? ›

Unless a primer is required, you should apply the sealant to the prepared surface. Apply an even coat to all sides of the gasket. Where there are broad surfaces, apply in a thin ribbon of 6mm or less in diameter around the surface edges. Allow the sealant to air-dry until it becomes tacky when touched.

Can silicone stop leaks? ›

Silicone is one of the most frequently used sealants to achieve a waterproof, protective joint seal. The flexible, rubbery plastic has high heat resistance and low toxicity, making an ideal sealant choice for plumbing pipes, aquariums, ships, and other metal fabrication projects that require a watertight seal.

Are silicone gaskets waterproof? ›

Features of Silicone Gaskets

Silicone is highly compressible and remains flexible at low temperatures. It will not shrink over its lifetime due to temperature fluctuations and is not affected by UV rays or ozone. Silicone gaskets also offer optimal waterproofing and are resistant to a wide range of substances.

Which is better silicone or rubber? ›

Rubber is less resistant to heat, chemicals, fungi, ultraviolet light, and ozone. Because silicone has a higher heat resistance than natural rubbers, it can be used to complete insulation more efficiently. Silicone has a longer life expectancy than elastomers.

Can silicone replace a gasket? ›

Gasket maker or silicone sealant should never be used as a glue or means of keeping a gasket in position when you reassemble your engine. Mechanics often do this believing, erroneously, that a gasket maker will not only hold the gasket in place, but it will add to the seal.

Which is better sealant or silicone? ›

Silicone sealants are mostly easier to apply due to their elasticity and consistency. All a while silicone caulk may have a flawless finish, impeccable results are reserved when applied by caulking professionals. Silicone based sealants are higher priced than regular residential sealants.

What is the three 3 categories of gasket? ›

Spiral wound, Metal Jacketed, and Kamprofile gasket are well known in the composite gasket category. They are used in a wide range of pressure and temperature services.

What are the 3 types of gasket? ›

There are 3 main classifications of gasket: metallic, semi-metallic and non-metallic.
  • Metallic Gaskets. These gaskets are made from one metal or a combination of several metals. ...
  • Semi-metallic Gaskets. These gaskets are made from a combination of metallic and non-metallic components.
May 3, 2015

What determines gasket thickness? ›

Depending on the type of gasket material being used, the size of the gasket, application parameters, and flange condition can affect the gasket thickness needed for your application.

When should you not use silicone sealant? ›

The most damaging element to silicone sealant is not heat or cold, but moisture. Before applying a bead of sealant, one should be absolutely sure to dry the surface completely, as failing to do so will result in a weak seal. Never apply silicone sealant in the rain, snow, or even heavy fog.

How long does it take for silicone gasket to dry? ›

Many mechanics believe that 4 hours of cure time is sufficient to return a vehicle back to service when using silicone gasketing products. There are gasketing formulas that allow an immediate return to service, such as Permatex The Right Stuff®. However, most gasketing products require 24 hours of cure time.

How long does a silicone seal last? ›

A silicone sealant can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, depending on the quality chosen and the location of the caulking in relation to the elements, such as the sun and high winds. Silicone caulking offers the best resistance to UV rays.

Is silicone good for rubber gaskets? ›

Silicone rubber exhibits many properties that make it ideal for use in gaskets, such as: Resilience over a broad temperature range. Silicone rubber is resistant to chemicals, moisture, oxygen, ozone, and sunlight, and it maintains these qualities in both extremely low and extremely high temperatures.

What is the best sealant to use with a rubber gasket? ›

Permatex Ultra Rubber Gasket Sealant and Dressing is formulated specially for rubber gaskets and will condition gaskets for longer life and seal potential leak paths. It also functions to hold gaskets in-place during installation. The non-hardening, soft-setting formula makes gasket repositioning quick and easy.

What is the disadvantage of silicone sealant? ›


Possibility of surface dirt retention due to static charge. Not successfully paintable (in general for high quality silicones) Primers may be required on some surfaces. Lower tear and abrasion resistance.

What happens if silicone gets wet before it cures? ›

Silicone coatings are moisture cured, meaning the more moisture in the atmosphere, the faster they cure. Rain doesn't wash the coating off, it actually cures it in place. Now, this doesn't mean you want to apply silicone in the rain. The rain will leave dimples in the coating that are harmless but are unsightly.

Why does my silicone keep cracking? ›

This can be due to a number of reasons such as the age of the caulking, poor surface preparation, or even an imbalance in the bathroom surfaces. In order to fix this problem, you may need to use a different type of caulk or even just apply a wider bead of caulk.

Can water get through silicone? ›

While silicone sealant is a water resistant material, it isn't waterproof, and nor would you want it to be! Water resistant means that air and, yes water, can still pass through in trace amounts (water tends to infiltrate silicone seals when submerged for 48 hours or more).

Can you apply silicone when wet? ›

Concrete Silicone 2 sealant is weatherproof, permanently flexible, shrink-proof and crack-proof, and offers strong adhesion. It can be applied to either wet or dry surfaces.

Do gaskets need to be glued? ›

Topics: Gaskets

A majority of the time, an adhesive holds them in place, depending on the application (of which there are literally thousands). Yet, not all gasket applications require an adhesive. For instance, some are held on by mechanical fasteners: bolts (classic car engine) or screws (watch).

Does silicone gasket maker Harden? ›

Silicone dries in 1 hour, and fully cures in 24 hours, at 70°F – 50% relative humidity.

What does RTV stand for in silicone? ›

The “RTV” stands for room temperature vulcanising, which means that these single part products cure at room temperature, with no need for any mixing or external energy. RTV silicone sealants require moisture from the air to cure, so RH (relative humidity) is an important factor for cure speed and depth.

Can silicone withstand pressure? ›

For example, certain high-consistency rubber (HCR) silicone products have a tensile strength of more than 1800 psi., and are functional in temperature ranges from -75° C up to 220° C or higher.

Can you reseal over old silicone? ›

Can I apply new silicone atop, or alongside old silicone caulk? It is recommended that any old silicone is removed. While new, freshly applied silicone can be applied & will bond to old silicone – the bond isn't as strong as if it were applied to a clean surface.

Which lasts longer rubber or silicone? ›

Natural rubber exhibits much higher tensile strength, tear strength and abrasion resistance than silicone.

Why is silicone sealant so expensive? ›

The very simple reason behind silicone's rapid increase in price is due to supply chain issues. Granted, these supply issues are grappling most industries at present, but the adhesive and sealant industry are especially feeling the effects. Some of the raw materials that make up silicone are in very short supply.

What is the strongest sealant? ›

Adiseal is the record breaking strongest adhesive & sealant. In an independent strength test, Adiseal finished over 3 times stronger than the nearest competitor. In fact it was so strong that the screws holding the test rig down started to rip out forcing the test on Adiseal to be stopped.

What is the best type of gasket? ›

Flexibility and weather resistance plus electrical insulating properties make silicone rubber a very popular choice for gasket material. Silicone maintains high performance at extreme temperatures, remaining functional between negative 60 and more than 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the most common gasket? ›

Because it is readily available, and has such a wide range of properties, silicone is the most commonly used material for FIP gasket production.

What type of gasket is better? ›

Non-Asbestos Sheet Material Gasket

Non-asbestos materials are considered the most reliable option for all sealing flanges and are used in various applications.

What are the difference between seal and gaskets? ›

Generally speaking, gaskets serve as a static seal between flat surfaces, such as joints, while seals are used in more dynamic environments between active components such as rotating shafts, pumps, and engines.

What are the basics of gaskets? ›

A gasket is meant to form a mechanical seal that fills the space between two or more mating surfaces. Its goal is to prevent leakage from, or into, the joined objects while under compression. Gaskets allow for less-than-perfect mating surfaces on machine parts.

What happens if a gasket is too thick? ›

The thicker gasket has more surface area exposed to the pressure, which pushes it out of its rightful spot between the cylinder head and the block or between the cylinders. The extra surface area increases permeation or leakage through the gasket material.

Do thicker gaskets seal better? ›

However, the advantages of using a thicker gasket can be misleading. While the thicker gasket seals more flange irregularities, it can also lead to other problems. A thicker gasket is more affected by heat, so has a higher creep relaxation.

What is the ideal gasket thickness? ›

The most commonly used thicknesses for Standard Flange gaskets are 1/16" and 1/8".

Can I use silicone instead of rubber gasket? ›

Can I use silicone instead of rubber gasket? Virtually all silicone sealers can be used instead of a gasket, to make an old and broken gasket seal or to help a complete gasket make a better seal.

Does water leak through silicone? ›

Silicone is designed to prevent water from breaching the gap between the wall and floor joints. Unlike tile grout, silicone can withstand the stress of building movement and foundation shifting.

How long does silicone seal last? ›

A silicone sealant can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, depending on the quality chosen and the location of the caulking in relation to the elements, such as the sun and high winds. Silicone caulking offers the best resistance to UV rays.

Will silicone stop a leak? ›

Silicone is one of the most frequently used sealants to achieve a waterproof, protective joint seal. The flexible, rubbery plastic has high heat resistance and low toxicity, making an ideal sealant choice for plumbing pipes, aquariums, ships, and other metal fabrication projects that require a watertight seal.

What percentage compression for silicone gaskets? ›

The compression must not be so high that gasket damage occurs. With surface mounted knitted mesh and elastomeric gaskets,the aim should be to limit the compression of the gasket to between 10% and 50%, 10% being the minimum with a solid silicone style of gasket and up to 50% with a hollow tubular style.

Is silicone good under pressure? ›

Optimal Sealing Material

As a sealant, silicone rubber is impervious to moisture and, under ordinary pressure, steam. It can withstand immersion in cold, warm, or boiling water for extended periods of time with approximately 1% water absorption—without affecting its mechanical strength or electrical properties.

What will silicone rubber not stick to? ›

Generally, silicone RTV mold making rubber does not stick to anything, and nothing will stick to it. The exception is that it will stick to itself, other silicones, silica, and glass. If you need to release silicone from itself, use our mold release for silicone.

What kind of silicone for gasket? ›

Easily forms 100% RTV silicone rubber gaskets for mechanical repair and household use. Forms a durable, waterproof seal.


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