EPDM gasket material is highly valued as an outdoor rubber material that is able to stand up well against the damaging effects of environmental factors and is commonly used in outdoor industrial applications. Both solid and cellular EPDM materials are ideal for use in the production of industrial seals, gaskets, and O-rings because are highly resistant to harsh environmental factors as well as abrasive temperatures and most industrial chemicals. EPDM sheeting will not be negatively affected by degradation caused by UV rays, ozone, and oxygen, making EPDM products a reliable and long-lasting choice for outdoor applications. Additionally, EPDM elastomers are highly resistant to abrasive temperatures and retains a wide operating temperature range of extreme highs and lows. Furthermore, as a synthetic rubber, EPDM elastomers, both solid and cellular, will resist damage caused by most industrial chemicals, making an EPDM seal, gasket, or O-ring a versatile industrial product.
1. What is EPDM Gasket Material?
EPDM gasket material is an outdoor rubber material that is resistant to damaging environmental factors, chemicals, heat, and moisture, making it a popular choice in material for making outdoor industrial rubber parts. EPDM materials are available in two forms: solid and cellular sheets. Despite their difference in form, EPDM sheeting is highly resistant to damage caused by unforgiving UV rays, ozone, or oxygen. In fact, EPDM is valued for its endurance against long-term exposure to UV and ozone. Solid EPDM materials are able to offer better shock-absorption and abrasion resistance compared to cellular EPDM materials. To clarify, EPDM sheeting is offered in a 60A durometer rating – a considerably hard material. Cellular EPDM sheeting, contrastingly, is better suited for highly compressive applications or for applications that require a tight seal. Cellular EPDM materials are differentiated from their solid counterpart by their lightweight and airy composition that is comprised of numerous air pockets. Open cell EPDM gasket material, as its name implies, is also a highly compressible material; however, due to its larger air pockets, it is best used for dry applications. EPDM materials have a large working temperature range which allows them to be used in dry applications with abrasive temperatures. Solid EPDM can withstand temperature of up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, closed cell EPDM can withstand temperatures of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and open cell EPDM is able withstand temperatures of up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Overall, EPDM sheeting is the ideal gasketing material used in outdoor industrial settings.
What is EPDM Gasket?
An EPDM gasket is an industrial rubber part that is used to protect two surfaces from damage when colliding with each other. The EPDM materials used for creating gaskets can be either solid or cellular, depending on the type of application. A solid EPDM gasket will be better suited for heavy-duty and abrasive applications whereas a cellular EPDM gasket is best suited for compressive applications. Solid EPDM retains excellent shock-absorption and abrasion-resistance capabilities (a property that is enhanced in synthetic rubbers) which allows EPDM gaskets to efficiently protect surfaces from repeated and heavy impacts. Cellular EPDM is softer and less dense making it unfit for use in abrasive applications; however, its airy structure allows for a tight seal in between small space where objects still have enough room to hit each other and cause damage. Closed and open cell EPDM materials are generally used for different applications due to the difference in densities. Closed cell EPDM gaskets are often used for moisture-related applications because its tight-knit structure of air pockets allow a less than 5% absorption level, making it difficult for liquids to permeate. On the other hand, open cell EPDM is better used for long-term compressive applications. An EPDM gasket, whether solid or cellular, can be used outdoors despite their difference in structure and properties.
What is an EPDM Seal?
An EPDM seal is an industrial rubber part that is used to seal an opening on a machine to prevent the leakage of solvents or air. An industrial rubber seal is “a device that is used to prevent the leakage of lubricating oil in mechanical equipment by closing the spaces between the moving and stationary components of the equipment” (petropedia.com). However, since EPDM elastomers are not oil resistant materials, an EPDM seal is often used for weather sealing purposes rather than oil sealing. An EPDM seal is the ideal product for weatherstripping due to its superior resistance to outdoor damaging factors. EPDM materials are ideal for creating seals due to its excellent flexibility and resistance to tearing. For example, “EPDM is often referred as ‘crackles rubber’ since it has a high tear resistance” (sciencedirect.com). Although an EPDM seal is best used for weatherstripping applications, it does have moderate resistance to most industrial chemicals. As a case in point, “As a saturated non-polar rubber, it has outstanding heat, ozone, and weather resistance, good electrical resistivity as well as outstanding resistance to many polar solvents such as phosphate esters, silicone oils, hot water and steam, diluted acids and alkalis, ketones (MEK, acetone), and alcohols…However, they are not compatible with mineral and synthetic di-ester lubricants, and hydrocarbon oils, fuels, and solvents” (polymerdatabase.com). This moderate level of chemical resistance allows an EPDM seal to provide a sturdy application in moderately chemical-related industrial applications. An EPDM seal is best suited for weatherstripping applications due to their superior weather resistance capabilities, but it can also be used in applications involving moderate to light contact with chemical solvents.
What is an EPDM O-Ring?
An EPDM O-ring is a seal that is designed to protect against weathering, ozone, moisture, and heat. To specify, an O-ring “is a mechanical gasket in the shape of a torus; it is a loop of elastomer with a round cross-section, designed to be seating in a groove and compressed during assembly between two or more parts, creating a seal at the interface” (Wikipedia.org). EPDM materials are not compatible with gasoline or petroleum; therefore, an EPDM O-ring is not recommended to be used in oil-related applications. Instead, “EPDM O-rings are often used in high temperature water, steam, and brake fluid” (polymerdatabase.com). EPDM materials are able to stand up well against moisture and will not let moisture permeate through the material itself or the seal. For this reason, EPDM O-rings are often found being used in moisture-related applications or for outdoor applications where the possibility of moisture leaking through an interface. Furthermore, an EPDM O-ring is capable of being used in the outdoors and will provide a durable and long-lasting application due to its outstanding tear resistance and resistance to ozone cracking.
2. What is an EPDM Membrane?
An EPDM membrane is a commonly used roofing material that is used to insulate and protect from weather. A membrane is “used to create a watertight roof covering to protect the interior of the building. Membrane roofs are most commonly made from synthetic rubber, thermoplastic (PVC or similar material), or modified bitumen” (Wikipedia.org). EPDM materials are the ideal roofing membrane due to its superior all-weather properties. As an extremely, if not most, moisture resistant elastomer, EPDM membrane will not be damaged by wet weather. Furthermore, EPDM materials are able to resist degradation caused by UV rays, ozone, and oxidation. An EPDM membrane will offer excellent insulation, protection against harsh environmental factors, and moisture, making it the ideal material used for roofing.
What Does EPDM Membrane Mean?
Due to it being a synthetic rubber material, it means that an EPDM membrane is liner that is capable of resisting damaging environmental factors. There are three separate types of membranes: synthetic rubber (thermoset), thermoplastic, and modified bitumen. Thermoset membranes “are widely used roofing materials due to their ability to withstand damaging effects of sun-rays and chemicals found on roofs” (Wikipedia.org). Thermoset membranes are made of synthetic rubber materials with the most popular used being EPDM materials. Unlike other roofing membrane materials which are either welded, or melted, together, EPDM membrane roofs along with other thermoset roofs are “made of large, flat pieces of synthetic rubber or similar materials. These pieces are boned together at the seams to form one continuous membrane” (Wikipedia.org). EPDM materials will provide reliable coverage and protection that will not fail even when exposed to the outdoors.
EPDM materials, both solid and cellular, are excellent outdoor rubber materials that are often used in the outdoors and in abrasive industrial settings. EPDM sheeting is ideal for producing outdoor rubber products as well as industrial rubber parts due to their excellent resistance against UV rays, ozone, and oxygen. In addition to outdoor products, EPDM materials are also ideal for creating versatile industrial rubber parts. Solid EPDM sheeting will offer excellent shock absorption and abrasion resistance while its cellular counterpart offers high compressibility for applications that require a tight seal. Despite their difference in structure, solid and cellular EPDM materials are capable of providing a long-lasting and durable application in outdoor environments as well as abrasive industrial settings.