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Checklist for Choosing the Best Custom Gasket Manufacturer

No matter your industry, choosing the best custom gasket manufacturer is important. The custom gasket manufacturer you choose will be the partner to take your design or idea from concept to reality.

We've outlined a few key attributes you should look for in a custom gasket manufacturing partner. Read on to learn more and don't hesitate to reach out to the experienced team at Frank Lowe for high quality custom gaskets.

The Gasket Manufacturer Should Offer a Wide Array of Materials

When it comes to gaskets, it's of the utmost importance that the company you choose has access to the materials you need. The materials used in manufacturing gaskets are exceptionally important for their durability, applicability, and reliability.

Make sure the manufacturer has access to different types of industrial gasket materials including:

  1. Rubber, such as silicone, pure gum, cloth-inserted neoprene, thermoplastics, neoprene, Viton, FDA-approved white rubber, and more.

  2. Foam, such as open-cell foams, reticulated foam, closed-cell foam, polyurethane foams, polyethylene foams, and more. 

  3. Composition cork-n-rubber materials ranging from high quality all the way up to high spec materials.

  4. Sponge, such as nitrile (Buna-N) sponge, ethylene-vinyl acetate sponge, neoprene sponge, silicone sponge, rebonded sponge rubber, and more. 

The ability of the custom gasket manufacturer to quickly access or source materials can be key to the turnaround time of your custom gasket order. When choosing a partner, make sure to discuss their ability to do so. In the most ideal scenario, the custom gasket manufacturer will offer a large, readily available supply of materials. 

Your Custom Gasket Manufacturer Should Offer Materials Selection Expertise

While the manufacturer's ability to offer an expansive array of different materials is key, the ability to offer guidance and expert assistance is just as important. Your custom manufacturer should have the ability to listen to your needs and make informed suggestions as to the best materials for your application.

At Frank Lowe, we specialize in offering expert materials assistance and guidance. Depending on the application of your gasket, we will guide you to the best, most effective and cost-efficient solution. 

In the process, we will cover all of the bases to ensure the gasket material meets or exceeds application requirements. Some of the most common areas we typically discuss are:

  • Temperature
  • Ozone and UV
  • Pressure
  • Electromagnetic interference
  • Media considerations

Temperature Conditions

One of the starting points in materials selection for your gaskets is the temperature the gasket will operate in. Why? Because the operating temperature can alter the material's performance characteristics, such as:

  • Sealing properties
  • Compression set
  • Allowable stress

We will make sure to consider internal and external temperatures because gaskets in direct sunlight can quickly climb to temperatures over 140 degrees. On the other hand, freezing temperatures can cause the gasket to become stiff and brittle, which can increase the likelihood of failure.

Your custom gasket manufacturer should understand and discuss all of these potential temperature implications. 

Ozone and UV Considerations

UV and ozone are both sources of gasket degradation. These environmental factors can break down carbon bonds, which can lead to:

For example, natural rubber, synthetic isoprene, Buna-S, and Buna-N will break down in exposure. However, silicone and EPDM are two materials that may be better suited to resist UV. 

Pressure Considerations

Gaskets can begin to deform when certain amounts of pressure are applied. As a result, it's important to consider pressure when choosing gasket materials. 

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Considerations

Manufacturers of industrial electronics, consumer electronics, automotive components, and aerospace parts are required to meet Federal EMI standards. When EMI radiation is involved, it must be controlled. 

Media Considerations

Another common consideration is the media the gasket will be exposed to. Chemicals can change the functional properties and structural integrity of the gasket. And considerations should be made as to the impact that temperature has on chemical resistance. 

Consider the Custom Manufacturer's Capabilities

When choosing a custom manufacturing partner, their ability to do what you need is imperative. But considering your needs just for today may not be the best solution. 

Instead, it's best to choose a partner who has expanded capabilities to meet your gasket needs for today and custom manufacturing needs for tomorrow. Look for a manufacturer who offers:

In the end, choosing a capable partner can help save you time and money. 

Technical Support, Design, and Manufacturing Assistance

While you may have engineers in your organization responsible for designing gaskets and parts, your custom manufacturer can help you refine and update your design for optimized efficiency. This strategic eye often leads to improvements in production and assembly, reduced long-term costs, and reduced lead times. 

Having a partner who examines your design with a critical eye is priceless, so it's best to choose a custom manufacturer who offers technical support, design, and manufacturing assistance. 

Testimonials and Customer References

Just as you would do your due diligence and research when hiring a potential employee, you should do the same for a custom gasket manufacturer. When you partner with a custom manufacturer, you are essentially trusting them to create a gasket that is key to the functioning of your machinery, application, or product. 

If the partner fails to provide accurate materials selection or offers subpar work, it can lead to machinery failures, product failures, or worse. Because of this, ask the potential custom manufacturer for customer testimonials or references. While any custom manufacturer will rave about their abilities, nothing speaks louder than real customer references or testimonials

Contact the Best Custom Gasket Manufacturing Team at Frank Lowe

Most gaskets play an imperative role in processes and products, so it's important to know how to choose the best custom gasket manufacturer. At Frank Lowe, we are the leading custom manufacturer offering custom gaskets for a wide variety of applications.

When you partner with us, you'll immediately open the door to nearly 70 years of expertise. Our product and materials engineers will listen to your concerns, problems, and needs to guide you to the best solution. At Frank Lowe, we offer

  • A full catalog of non-metallic materials
  • Expert materials selection assistance
  • Design and manufacturing support
  • Prototyping services
  • And much more

Simply put, when you partner with Frank Lowe, we will act as an extended arm of your business — adding value in every instance. 

Contact Frank Lowe today to inquire about our gasket manufacturing services.

About the Author Randy Cohen

Since 2002, Randy Cohen has served as the Senior Vice President of Frank Lowe — leading Sales and Marketing as well as a variety of Administrative operations. Randy has 25 years of experience with a background in sales & marketing, production and business management, serving both government agencies and private industry. He holds a B.A from Syracuse University and a Masters and Professional Diploma from Fordham University. Randy uses his unique set of experiences to help businesses and entities across all sectors explore, pursue, and create better solutions.

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