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Elasto Proxy's Sealing Solutions Blog Blog

Elasto Proxy's Sealing Solutions Blog

Elasto Proxy's Sealing Solutions Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about the design and custom fabrication of rubber and plastic components. For nearly 25 years, our family-owned company has provided high-quality, low-volume seals to a variety of industries. Doug Sharpe, Elasto Proxy's co-founder, is a former president of the International Sealing Distribution Association (ISD), a not-for-profit trade association that enhances member success through information, education, and interaction. By blogging for CR4 in this same supportive and collaborative spirit, Doug and other members of the Elasto Proxy team will share our experiences with you.

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Silicone Gaskets with High Flex-Fatigue Resistance

Posted January 17, 2017 4:45 PM by Doug Sharpe

Silicone gaskets have many desirable properties. They’re chemically inert, resistant to ozone and ultraviolet light, offer thermal stability over a wide temperature range, and can repel water and form watertight seals. Silicone rubber is used in a variety of sealing and insulation applications, but some silicones have inadequate flex-fatigue resistance – a measure of a material’s ability to withstand repeated flexing or bending without cracking.

In some industries, however, flex-fatigue resistance is required. For example, aerospace engineers need silicones with high flex-fatigue resistance for door seals, window seals, and vibration-isolating mounts used with alternators, compressors, and assembly bolts. Members of the mobile equipment industry need crack-resistant silicones for engine mounts and exhaust hangers. Designers of aerospace and defense electronics need silicones that can flex without cracking in high-performance keypads.

3B Silicone Gaskets

Elasto Proxy, a leading provider of specialized sealing and insulation solutions, can custom-fabricate gaskets made from silicones with high flex-fatigue resistance. The elastomers we convert pass the DeMattia Flex Resistance Test, a dynamic test that measures crack growth over thousands of flexural cycles. These 50, 60, and 70-durometer silicones also meet the A-A-59588 3B specification from the U.S. General Services Administration, an important consideration for military and aerospace designs.

The GSA’s A-A-59588 standard contains six alphanumeric classes or sections: 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B. Each class specifies multiple material properties, but only Classes 3A and 3B include requirements for flex-fatigue resistance. Within the A-A-59588 standard, each class contains grades that correspond to a silicone’s hardness or durometer (Shore A). For example, A-A-59588 Class 3B contains Grades 50, 60, and 70 for 50-, 60-, and 70-durometer silicones, respectively.

Certified 3B Silicone Rubber

Some suppliers claim that their silicones are flex-fatigue resistant, but industry-wide compliance has been inconsistent. Other companies say that their silicones meet the A-A-59588 3B standard, but these elastomers aren’t certified to meet the flexural requirements of 3B. That’s why Elasto Proxy recommends specialized silicones that have been independently-tested and fully-certified to the 3B specification. With our supply chain strength, we can source flex-fatigue resistant silicones that are third-party verified.

These fully-compliant A-A-59588 3B silicones pass the DeMattia Flex Resistance Test, a critical fatigue test for demanding applications. For engineers in industries such as defense, aerospace, and mobile equipment, silicone gaskets with high flex-fatigue resistance can strengthen product designs through longer service life. A trusted standard, the ASTM D813 – 07(2014) Standard Test Method for Rubber Deterioration-Crack Growth, defines the testing protocol for the DeMattia Flex Resistance Test.

Value-Added Gasket Fabrication

In addition to compound selection, Elasto Proxy offers design assistance that leverages our application experience and 25+ years of gasket fabrication expertise. With our water jet cutting capabilities, we can make fine, fast cuts without long lead times or tooling charges, an important consideration when you need prototype gaskets. Water jet cutting is also a high-quality, cost-effective choice for low-to-medium volume production runs.

By listening to all of your requirements and analyzing all of your needs, Elasto Proxy can custom-fabricate sealing solutions that strengthen your product designs. For silicone gaskets with high-flex fatigue resistance, ask Elasto Proxy about certified A-A-59588 3B silicones that pass the DeMattia Flex Resistance Test. Our solutions providers are ready to answer your questions about value-added gasket fabrication, too.

Learn More. Get the White Paper.

For more information about silicone gaskets with high flex-fatigue resistance, Elasto Proxy invites you to download our new white paper.

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