Silicone gaskets are available in a range of various forms including solid, silicone, silicone sponge sheet and silicone foam. There are also high performance gaskets available which are designed to resist the effects of UV light, high temperatures and chemicals for longer lasting.
The degradation of rubber and gaskets can often be directly linked to UV and ozone exposure. Therefore, for outdoor applications, the correct material will need to be sourced in order to prevent drying, cracking, hardening, flaking and scaling or of any decay of the intended product. These are some of the first signs of failure due to UV and ozone exposure and can lead to equipment damage due to water leaks or other such exposure that can cause damage.
UV light and ozone break down the carbon bonds in a polymer and eventually leads to failure. Organic rubbers break down very quickly with UV exposure and so naturally the material of choice in these applications tends to be silicone. Silicone comes in a range of various offerings including silicone foam, silicone sponge sheet, thermally conductive silicone and electrically conductive silicone.
Typical materials which would be specified for use in UV and ozone environments would be:
Liquid silicone rubber
Gum based silicone
Silicone sponge and silicone foam