Top 5 Considerations For Choosing Adhesive For Custom Gaskets

Adhesives can quite literally be the glue that holds operations together. Whether it’s tape, glue or a spray, adhesives can be found in nearly every industry due to their bonding strength and flexibility for numerous uses.

In the context of gaskets, using adhesives can prolong the life of the gasket and increase the effectiveness of the system as a whole. Recently, we wrote about The Top 5 Considerations For Custom Gasket Materials. Considerations for selecting the right adhesives for these gaskets follow much of the same thought process. Five considerations when choosing adhesives for custom gaskets, and why they matter.

1. Temperature

One of the first considerations to think about in selecting an adhesive for custom gaskets is to establish the temperature range it will be exposed to. There are two different aspects to focus on.

First, it is important to think about both the external and internal temperatures the adhesive will be experiencing on a day-to-day basis. This would include any potential outdoor weather extremes, as well as the internal temperature of what the adhesive, and by extension, the gasket, is keeping in.

Once that has been established, it is time to turn your attention to what type of adhesive you intend to use, and more specifically, what it is made of. There are a number of effective industrial adhesives on the market, but not all of them boast the same temperature tolerances. Selecting an adhesive that is effective for the entire potential temperature range it will be exposed to is crucial for your application.

2. Surface and substrate condition

To select a proper adhesive, considerations need to be made on the different substrates that will be attached to each other.

The first step is to analyze the properties of the substrate that may affect adhesion. Substrates can be rigid, flexible, smooth, coated with a certain chemical or material, and everything in between. These variables can all influence how well the adhesive performs.

Next, it’s important to account for the type of substrate itself. Metals, coppers, foams, polycarbonates, and a host of other materials can all be found in or around a gasket, so picking an adhesive that performs well with the surrounding materials it will encounter is an important aspect.

3. Method of application

Determining exactly how the adhesive will be applied to the custom gasket system can easily narrow down viable adhesive options.

If the adhesive will be applied by hand, there can be roadblocks to certain methods of application. Would it be feasible to use tape? Maybe a spray or glue is more practical? If the adhesive will be applied by an automatic process, maybe there is only a handful of feasible adhesive options during production.

Coming to terms with how the adhesive will be applied can narrow down choices based on practicality and ease of use alone.

4. Environment

Going almost hand-in-hand with temperature considerations when choosing a gasket adhesive are the environmental factors. Some of the most important to be aware of are:

  • Chemical resistance: There is a possibility that the adhesives used in a gasket system could be exposed to the fluids or chemicals that the gasket will be holding in. Are they corrosive or toxic? Certain chemical resistances should be factored in when deciding on a proper adhesive if there is potential for exposure.
  • UV: Consistent exposure to UV rays can easily compromise any exposed adhesives that do not have adequate UV resistance.
  • Moisture: Moisture from either internal or external sources can come in contact with adhesives in a gasket system and could potentially compromise the seal.
  • Function: Will the gasket be static throughout its lifetime? Or will it be exposed to movement and/or vibration? This will be an important factor when selecting a proper adhesive because if movement and vibration are present on a day-to-day basis, specific adhesives will need to be used.

5. Compressional forces

Compression set refers to a gasket’s ability to return to form after being exposed to a high compressional force. This is a crucial variable because, over time, gaskets that are exposed to force and have a minimal ability to return to form (otherwise referred to as a high compression set) can result in gaps or leaks.

The compression set of the gasket can greatly influence the type of adhesive used in the project. If the gasket will be exposed to high compressional forces, the chosen adhesive will need to be able to withstand the constant pressure and release of the system. Improper consideration on this front can result in the use of adhesives that quickly break down and compromise the gasket system.

We can help

Deciding on a proper adhesive for your custom gasket can be a complicated process. Whether you have questions about adhesives used in the gasket system or questions about the gasket itself, we can work with you to find a solution that fits your needs perfectly. SRP is proud to be a Preferred Converter for 3M Adhesives and Tapes.

Contact us today.