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If you want to include a form-in-place (FIP) gasket in your design, you’re not alone. These gaskets are incredibly popular across a large variety of industries because of their precision, durability and affordability. But to actually get that FIP gasket into your prototype, you’re going to have to decide what it will be made of.
There are dozens of possible combinations of FIP gasket materials, each of which brings particular strengths and weaknesses for various applications. Admittedly, the choice of gasket material can quickly become overwhelming. That’s why we put together this guide. Read on to learn more about FIP gasket materials.
Selecting FIP gasket materials is only one step in the process. For top-to-bottom understanding of FIP gaskets, check out our comprehensive FIP gasket guide.
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Types of FIP Gasket Materials
FIP gaskets are versatile, and they derive this quality in part from the large number of materials they can be made of. Regardless of the FIP gasket material you choose, it will come in paste form, which is then dispensed onto the device’s housing as a liquid.
There are two broad categories of FIP materials: base materials and conductive materials. All FIP gaskets will have a base material, but only conductive gaskets or those that act as electromagnetic interference (EMI) shields will need to include a conductive material.
Conductive Materials for FIP Gaskets
In many applications for FIP gaskets, electrical conductivity is a key consideration. FIP gaskets are actually quite adept in these applications. Here is how it works: you select both a base material and a conductive material, and the conductive metal you choose is mixed into the base material paste.
You can use one or a combination of the following conductive materials in your FIP gasket:
Base Materials for FIP Gaskets
The base material you choose will make up the bulk of your FIP gasket. The most common FIP gasket base material is silicone, but synthetic rubber and fluorosilicone are also common options.
Selecting FIP Gasket Materials
Choosing FIP gasket materials can be a challenge if you aren’t sure of the properties each material possesses. But before you dive into endless lists of material descriptions on manufacturer websites, you can rule out several of the options with a few key considerations.
For conductive FIP gaskets, you can use your project budget as a starting point. For example, silver is a highly efficient conductive material, but it is much more expensive than nickel and graphite. If budget is a concern, your choice of conductive material might help.
For base materials, you can start to get an idea of what you want by understanding a few key properties of each of the three typical options. If you’re considering silicone or fluorosilicone, you should know that silicone is more resistant to high temperatures, but fluorosilicone is more resistant to oil and fuel. Meanwhile, synthetic rubber can be less expensive but is typically not ideal for outdoor applications because of its vulnerability to the elements.
Of course, many engineers and designers turn to their manufacturing partner for advice on which materials to choose. The team at Modus Advanced maintains expert and up-to-date knowledge of the available FIP gasket materials so we can answer any questions our customers have.
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Top FIP Gasket Material Manufacturers
There are plenty of manufacturers of FIP gasket materials around the world. We would love to discuss every material available from every manufacturer, but for the purposes of time and readability, we will focus on the top three manufacturers in this industry.
Nolato produces the Nolato TriShield & TriShield 2.0 series of conductive silicone rubber materials. These are the applicable materials in this line:
- Nolato TriShield 8800: silicone rubber base with silver and nickel filler
- Nolato TriShield 8817: silicone rubber base with nickel and graphite filler
- Nolato TriShield 8812: silicone rubber base with nickel and graphite filler
- Nolato TriShield 8813: silicone rubber base with nickel and graphite filler
Parker Chomerics produces the CHO-FORM and ParPHorm line of FIP gasket materials. The company offers these FIP material options:
- CHO-FORM 5513: silicone base with silver and copper filler
- CHO-FORM 5541: silicone base with nickel and graphite filler
- CHO-FORM 5550: silicone base with nickel and graphite filler
- CHO-FORM 5560: silicone base with nickel and aluminum filler
- ParPHorm 1800: non-conductive silicone base
- ParPHorm S1945-25: non-conductive silicone base
- ParPHorm L1938-45: non-conductive fluorosilicone base
Laird Technologies produces conductive FIP gaskets with metal-coated powder fillers. These products include the following:
- SNC70-RXP: silicone base with nickel and graphite filler
- SNK55-RXP: silicone base with silver and copper filler
- SNL60-RXP: silicone base with silver and aluminum filler
- SNN60-RXP: silicone base with silver and nickel filler
- SIL25-RXP: non-conductive white silicone base
- SNC70-HXP: silicone base with nickel and graphite filler
- SNK60-HXP: silicone base with silver and copper filler
- SNL70-HXP: silicone base with silver and aluminum filler
- SNN65-HXP: silicone base with silver and nickel filler
- SIL35-HXP: non-conductive transparent silicone base
Get Top-Quality FIP Gaskets and More
We wrote the guide on FIP gasket materials, and you read it. Now, it’s time to make your design a reality with the perfectly designed FIP gasket. We can help with that, too.
The team of engineering experts at Modus Advanced can take on every phase of the FIP gasket production process with ease, but we take this strength even further with SigShield™. This is our way of vertically integrating multiple phases of the design process so you don’t have to work with multiple manufacturers, risk miscommunications, pay extra shipping costs or wait for weeks on end. With SigShield™, Modus machines the metal housing, applies platings and coatings, dispenses your FIP gasket and adds thermal or microwave-absorbing materials.
Are you ready to cut typical lead times in half and work with a leading FIP gasket manufacturer? We’re ready to hear from you. Contact Modus Advanced by calling (925) 960-8700 or contacting us online.