Flexible Solutions

Compression Force Deflection Demonstration of PORON and BISCO Foams

Posted by Katie Sullivan

Jul 7, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Marian has a brand new demonstration piece to share with the world! Strategically named "Test My Memory," the demo illustrates the impact of compression cycling over time with 4 different foams. Neoprene, Polyethelyne, PORON Urethane, and BISCO Silicone are tested by being compressed for 48 hours.

Foam Material Compression

In the demonstration, you will see that certain foams depreciate as they take on impact over time, whereas other foams resist the compression set by returning to their original thickness. The material characteristic of being able to take a compression set, also called compression force defection, is extremely important in long-term sealing applications. The ability of the material to "push back" to fill in any potential gaps that would allow water or dust to pass through is critical. This makes such materials an excellent option for sealing gaskets. We wrote an entire blog post about compression force defection, you can read it here: Compression Force Deflection in Foam Gaskets: A Critical Property

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Topics: Foams, BISCO Silicone, Compression Force Deflection, PORON, PORON Foam

Compression Force Deflection in Foam Gaskets: A Critical Property

Posted by Katie Sullivan

Feb 2, 2016 9:56:28 AM

Compression Force Deflection

Applications that experience periodic compression cycling over time may require a gasket that is capable of compression rebound. In the event that your application uses a material that does not resist compression force, the material may depreciate over time. When your gasket has dwindled or has deteriorated from all of the periodic compression cycling, your gasket will become ineffective and will need to be replaced. In a perfect world, your gasket should rebound to fill any potential gaps. Using a material with great compression resistance will guarantee a long-term sealing performance that will work just as effectively each time you reseal your application.

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Topics: Foams, Foams for Low Clamping Force Seals, BISCO Silicone, Compression Force Deflection, PORON Foam

Ingress Protection Rating (IP Rating) Explained

Posted by Katie Sullivan

Apr 13, 2015 10:53:56 AM

Ingress Protection (IP) Rating is a common international test method (IEC 60529) to rate enclosure protection from objects and liquids.  

Why is an IP Rating important?  

UL, CSA and CE Mark Standards often require certified products to hold a specific IP rating. Some examples of such products include IT equipment, laboratory equipment, electronic measurement equipment, plus anything claiming to be "dust tight" or "water-resistant", etc. These terms indicate that a device is able to operate successfully in harsh environments with potentially wet and dusty conditions. The IP rating scale provides a range of two numbers that indicate the level of protection provided.

The IP Rating looks like this:  IPXX

1.  The first number indicates protection from solid objects or materials

2.  The second number indicates protection from liquids

For example, an enclosure that is rated IP54 is dust-protected. It will allow limited ingress of dust with the operation of the equipment for two to eight hours. The enclosure is also protected against water splashed from all directions, limited water ingress permitted.

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Topics: Pressure Sensitive Adhesive, Foams, IP Rating

PVC Vinyl Foam Material

Posted by Katie Sullivan

Oct 16, 2014 11:00:00 AM

PVC (Vinyl) Foam is the last foam variety that we will explore in our blog series "Foams for Low Clamping Force Seals".  Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Foam is a lightweight closed-cell foam material. It is often used for sealing out water, dirt, and air. It resists weathering and is often laminated with adhesive to create a dynamic foam tape. 

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Topics: Foams, Foams for Low Clamping Force Seals

XLPE or Cross-linked Polyethylene Foam

Posted by Katie Sullivan

Oct 2, 2014 10:00:00 AM

XLPE Foam or Cross-linked Polyethylene Foam is the next material we will explore in our blog series, Foams or Low Clamping Force Seals. XLPE Foam is an extremely fine closed-cell material formed of polymers or molecules that are chemically bonded together (cross-linked). The strength of these microcellular molecule bonds is reflected in the strength of the material. XLPE foam can stretch, bear loads, and return to its shape. It works well in insulation, gap filling, and gasket applications that require thicker foam. It can also be used for packaging and medical device packaging. It can be made in a variety of colors, the most common being black, white, and gray.   

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Topics: Foams, Foams for Low Clamping Force Seals

Light Density Polyester or Polyether Urethane Sponge or Foam

Posted by Katie Sullivan

Sep 26, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Light Density Polyester and Polyether Urethane Sponges and Foams have an open cell structure. The evenly spaced structure of these materials and a high proportion of open cells make them suitable for an infinite number of applications. The open-cell structure makes it highly flexible and conformable compared to its closed-cell counterpart. 

Check out a related blog post: Open-Cell or Closed-Cell Foam, Which is Best?

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Topics: Foams, Foams for Low Clamping Force Seals

Closed Cell Neoprene Sponge and Blends

Posted by Katie Sullivan

Sep 17, 2014 11:00:00 AM

As we explore different categories of foams that are used for Low Clamping Force Seals in this blog series, we move to Closed Cell Neoprene and Sponge Blends. As stated in the previous post, closed-cell sponge and foam materials do not allow air and moisture to pass through, making them good materials for general sealing and gasketing applications. Keep reading for additional features and benefits of these materials. 

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Topics: Foams, Foams for Low Clamping Force Seals

Closed Cell EPDM Sponge

Posted by Katie Sullivan

Sep 8, 2014 3:43:00 PM

What is Closed Cell EPDM Sponge?

Closed Cell EPDM Sponge is the third material we will explore in our blog series:  Foams for Low Clamping Force Seals.  EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. "Closed Cell" describes the material at a microscopic level. The material is made with tiny bubbles that are inflated with gas, resulting in a closed cell structure that will not allowing moisture to pass through. This is what makes this material excellent for sealing and gasketing. EPDM is commonly used in the automotive and construction industries for various seals and gaskets due to its excellent environmental factors such as UV, Ozone and weathering. When comparing EPDM to Silicone, EPDM falls short when it comes to temperature resistance.

Features and Benefits of Closed Cell EPDM Sponge

  • Non-crystalline material. Contains no plasticizers that can migrate and lead to premature membrane failure.
  • Can be formulated in a variety of combinations with other polymer modifiers.
  • Performs well in the -40°F to 175°F temperature range.
  • Excellent moisture resistance, does not absorb fluids easily
  • Used in many applications that require water, UV, ozone, or indirect sunlight resistance (superior to neoprene in this regard)
  • Does not meet UL flame rating without additives and will not withstand oil and fuels.
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Topics: Foams, Foams for Low Clamping Force Seals

Microcellular Polyurethane Foam

Posted by Katie Sullivan

Sep 3, 2014 11:00:00 AM

We are continuing with our blog series: Foams for Low Clamping Force Seals. This week we will review the features and benefits of Microcellular Urethane Foam.  Along with the many benefits this foam offers for low clamping force seals, it die-cuts cleanly and adheres to a broad range of pressure sensitive adhesives. 

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Topics: Foams, Foams for Low Clamping Force Seals

Foams For Low Clamping Force Seals: Silicone Foam

Posted by Katie Sullivan

Aug 25, 2014 9:05:00 AM

Adding a gasket to seal a device, whether it is keeping out dust, air, water, or something else, seems like it would be an easy part of design.  However, there are a multitude of material options available for most applications.  Choosing the right one may require some research.  This is why we are starting a blog series outlining the features and benefits associated with the many foams that fit into this large subset of gasket material options:  Foams for Low Clamping Force Seals

We are starting this series with SILICONE FOAM

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Topics: Foams, Foams for Low Clamping Force Seals