Improved Sealing with Liquid Gaskets

Liquid Gasketting: Superior Seal, Reduced Cost

Pre-moulded or die cut peel and stick gaskets have long been used in manufacturing applications. Dispensing of liquid gaskets is a technology that has been gaining strength and is now seen as an viable alternative for a variety of manufacturers – including automotive, medical, appliance and electronics manufacturing applications. 

The process for this technology is described in a variety of ways and includes the following processes:


Cure-In-Place Gasketting (CIPG):

Also called "dispensed-in-place gasketting," this process involves dispensing the liquid gasket and curing it "in-place". This product will become a permanent seal on one or both mating surfaces. 


Form-In–Place Gasketting (FIPG):

Similar to CIPG, the liquid gasket is applied to one side of the mating surface and cured in place before the final assembly of the product.


Form-In-Place Foam Gasketting (also FIPFG)

This process injects another material, usually a gas into the liquid gasket polymer at the application point. The result is that the gasket obtains a foam-like structure after cure.


Mould-In-Place Gasketting (MIPG):

The mating parts create a mold into which the liquid gasket is injected. The result is usually a semi-to permanent gasket.

The growth of liquid gasketting techniques is spawned by needs for increased productivity and cost reduction. The established reasons for using liquid gasketting include improved seal integrity, inventory reductions, reduced assembly and handling costs and a higher product quality. In one case, the actual cost per part savings has been well over 20% versus the use of die cut gaskets. 


Typical applications for liquid gasketting include the following:


Automotive applications: transmissions, oil pans, window seals, front engine plates, cam covers and noise reduction for windows, alternators, etc.

Electrical/Electronic applications: module assemblies, transformer sound deadening, motor housing and computer hard drive assemblies. 

Appliance applications: refrigerator seals, water and steam assemblies for irons, vacuum cleaner sole plates and coffee warming plate assemblies. 

The use of single and plural component dispensing equipment combined with X-Y-Z motion systems play a critical part in liquid gasketting applications. 

Their importance is directly related to the precision in size, placement and thorough mixing of the two component material used to create the gasket.

Typical two component liquid gaskets will usually have mix ratios ranging from 1:1 to 10:1. However, ratios up to 46:1 have been achieved. When wide mix ratios are combined with bead diameters as low as 1.6 mm (0.0625"), it is critical that precise, positive displacement meter, mix and dispense equipment is considered.

The use of true positive displacement dispense valves for single component materials is also important when accurate beads are required. These systems will typically use stepper or servo motor drives and linear actuators that insure the dispensed bead holds true to size, while working in direct link with the X-Y-Z motion system. 

With common dispensing speeds of 51 to 152 mm (2 to 6 inches) per second, a standard X-Y or three-axis X-Y-Z motion system must be designed with a high degree of precision. Some of the best systems use AC servo motor drives with precision ball screws that hold position repeatability to within 0.02 mm (0.0008 inches). 

A good example of this effective dispensing technology involves a recent liquid gasketting (CIPG) application for the front engine plate of off-road vehicles. The application required a 0.13 mm (0.0050") diameter liquid gasket that was 1,031 mm (40.6") in length with a total dispense time of 20 seconds. The combination of the precision dispensing and motion systems described above made this application possible.

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