Historically Gaskets are used to prevent leakage of fluids or gases by completely filling (sealing) the space between two surfaces. To ensure the seal remains intact and leak-free, the gasket must be resistant to the fluid or gas it is sealing; it must also withstand the joint’s application temperature, pressure and any micromovement.
Liquid, formed-in-place (FIP) sealants provide designers and manufacturers with a much better alternative to solid gaskets for automotive systems. In addition, they eliminate the extreme compressive loading needed by traditional gaskets, seals surface imperfections and adds structural strength.
Using form-in-place and cure-in-place gaskets as opposed to die cut gaskets reduces significantly production costs and makes repairs and changes to the shape of the gasket very quick and easy.
Fabricating cured-in-place gaskets (CIPG) begins with a fluid sealant material that is dispensed onto one surface of a flange joint. The sealant can be applied manually or using robotic dispensing equipment, in any shape or dimension and easily follows complex contours of the substrate, or part.
The material is then cured-in-place before final assembly of the flange joint. UV cured silicone sealants maintain all the enhanced performance characteristics of conventional silicone-based materials with processing speeds unmatched by other technologies. The UV-cure silicone chemistry sealants also provide dual-cure capabilities where a secondary moisture cure effectively eliminates any potential issues associated with shadowing on complex parts and improves adhesion to the component.
UV curable sealants provide several advantages over traditional RTV silicones (room-temperature-vulcanizing silicone) used to produce form-in-place gaskets. Like RTV silicones, UV curable adhesives provide excellent flexibility and easy repair. However, in addition, UV curable form-in-place gaskets offer:
These properties of UV curing cure-in-place gaskets will simplify the production process, save time, and cut costs.
These compounds are presently employed in a wide range of applications in many diverse industries. Some common applications include:
Many organic adhesives emit hazardous and pollutive solvents and diluents during the curing process. However, UV-cure compounds, including Form-in-Place and Cure-in-Place systems, offer 100% reactive cures with no volatile losses. These cures are non-polluting and environmentally friendly.
These compounds are therefore perfect for green energy devices. Furthermore, these cures will make the production process more efficient by eliminating the need for curing ovens and post-cure processes.