Seals and Gaskets
Gaskets provide a solution for sealing pipes and various tanks and prevent leakage of liquids or gases, such as: water, oil, air, oxygen, nitrogen and more. They are usually made of rubber, silicone or other materials that have sealing properties. Gaskets are used in the industry in a variety of locations and can be found in a wide variety of types and sizes. Gaskets can be flat and made in different thicknesses or shapes, such as O-RING plugs. There are also gasket profiles that come in different lengths that are bonded between two surfaces to form a seal. A familiar example is: sealing refrigerators doors or sealing baking ovens doors.
Any material used for sealing has properties defined for the sealing type. Requirements include: working temperature, pressure on the seal, the type of material which is leaking, chemical resistance of the seal, sealing interval, fire resistance, UV resistance and other requirements that define the correct seal.
There are standard gaskets, but it is sometimes necessary to design a gasket for a new product or replace a special gasket that has been damaged with a new and more durable gasket. With laser cutting it is possible to create custom seals according to a computerized drawing.
Laser cutting of Seals and Gaskets
The laser cutting process reduces both production cost and delivery time of seals whether it is a small series or variable series (in which not all seals are identical). Each of the mentioned materials can also be cut for other purposes, such as insulators, spacers or as parts to increase or reduce friction, dampening and braking of mechanical shock.
The range of materials used for sealing which can be cut by laser is large and the following are just few of them:
- Rubber - exists in several types and several rigid levels. Rubber is cut well with a laser and can be cut in thicknesses of up to 8 mm depending on the type of rubber.
- Silicone - a flexible and durable material for high temperatures. It is cut in thicknesses up to about 6mm. The edges of the material get a uniform finish but covered with soot following the laser cutting, which can be cleansed later with soap and water.
- Cork - Waterproof material used in a variety of applications. The material can be laser cut up to a thickness of about 10 mm (depending on the type of cork) The cut line is covered with soot in the cutting edges and looks black but can be cleansed with a cloth.
- Polyethylene foam - also known as 'PALZIV' which is its commercial name. A type of foam with closed cells and great flexibility used for sealing in special cases. Comes in a variety of thicknesses and can be used with double-sided adhesive.
- Other materials - neoprene, silicone sponge, EPDM - Each of them has different properties and different durability.
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