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You probably already know what a gasket is. It’s simply a seal that fits the space between mating surfaces. As you can imagine, there are dozens of types of gaskets, and form-in-place gaskets are one of them.
So, what is a form-in-place gasket? That’s exactly what we cover below. Read on to learn what a form-in-place gasket is, what it’s used for and the answers to some frequently asked questions about these gaskets.
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Form-in-Place Gaskets: Defined
There is a short answer and a long answer to the question, “What is a form-in-place gasket?” Let’s start with the short answer.
What is a Form-in-Place (FIP) Gasket?
A form-in-place (FIP) gasket is a gasket that is dispensed onto a surface as a liquid. That way, the liquid gasket fills only the space it needs to, and then it is cured either by heat, light, or moisture causing the material to form in place.
That is fairly simple, but there is a lot more to FIP gaskets, of course. You can get a more in-depth FIP gasket definition by learning the answers to some frequently asked questions about FIP gaskets.
FIP Gasket FAQs
Asking what an FIP gasket is makes for a great first step, but there is plenty more to know and understand before you include an FIP gasket in your design. We cover those facts in the FAQ below.
Commonly asked questions about Form-in-Place Gaskets:
- What Is an FIP Gasket Used For?
- What Are the Advantages of FIP Gaskets?
- Can FIP Gaskets Conduct Electricity?
- What Are the Most Common FIP Gasket Materials?
- Can an FIP Gasket Manufacturer Also Machine the Metal Housing?
What Is an FIP Gasket Used For?
FIP gaskets are used to create environmental seals and even electromagnetic interference (EMI) shields. You can find FIP gaskets in use in nearly every industry, but some of the industries that rely on these gaskets the most include the following:
- Military and defense
- Medical devices
From satellites, semiconductors and cellular devices to WiFi routers, radar systems and radiotherapy devices, FIP gaskets are everywhere.
What Are the Advantages of FIP Gaskets?
The reason you can find FIP gaskets in all kinds of devices across all kinds of industries comes down to the unique advantages these gaskets offer. Here are some of the key benefits of FIP gaskets:
- Precision. Because FIP gaskets are dispensed in liquid form, they can fill extremely precise and complex spaces that gaskets produced via other methods cannot.
- Durability. FIP gaskets can withstand extreme heat and cold, corrosion, UV exposure and repeated force. That makes them ideal in a wide variety of engineering applications.
- Flexibility. Although FIP gaskets can fit small spaces with a high degree of precision, they are not limited to these kinds of applications. You can dispense an FIP gasket of almost any size, large or small.
- Waste-free. Unlike other gasket production methods, FIP doesn’t require cutting, binding or any of the other parts of the process that leave wasted gasket materials on the floor. FIP gaskets fill exactly the space they are supposed to and nothing more.
- Reduced assembly steps. Extrusion, die-cutting and similar gasket production methods require someone to apply the gasket to its housing, but FIP gaskets skip this step. That’s because they are dispensed and cured directly on their housing. Reducing assembly steps also reduces production costs.
Form in Place Gasket Guide: The Ultimate Collection of Information about FIP design, dispensing, and production
Can FIP Gaskets Conduct Electricity?
FIP gaskets absolutely can conduct electricity. In fact, they are a common choice for devices that require a conductive gasket. To make an FIP gasket conductive, you have to include a filler material. This is also how you turn an FIP gasket into an EMI shield. Here are the typical materials used to make FIP gaskets conductive:
The conductive filler material you use for your FIP gasket will depend on your device’s needs and the project’s budget. Also, keep in mind that filler materials are sometimes mixed together.
What Are the Most Common FIP Gasket Materials?
Whether you need a conductive gasket or not, you will still have to select a base material. Base materials for FIP gaskets boil down to three choices:
- Synthetic rubber
Each of these materials offers unique strengths for particular applications. To learn more about the available gasket materials, check out our gasket materials guide.
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Can an FIP Gasket Manufacturer Also Machine the Metal Housing?
If you’re in need of an FIP gasket, you probably need someone to manufacture several other related pieces of your design, such as the metal housing for the gasket. Some manufacturers have the skills and tools to machine metal housings, but many don’t.
At Modus Advanced, we put a premium on vertical integration. Being able to manufacture both FIP gaskets and the other parts required for all kinds of designs not only makes sense, but increases efficiency and lowers costs for our customers. That’s why we developed SigShield™.
SigShield™ allows Modus Advanced to machine your metal housing, apply platings and coatings, dispense the FIP gasket and build and install microwave-absorbing and thermal materials. The end result for you? Half the typical lead time you would expect for such a manufacturing project.
Modus Advanced: FIP Gaskets Done Right
FIP gaskets provide an affordable, efficient solution to complex gasket problems — when they are done right, that is. At Modus Advanced, doing FIP gaskets right is what we do. We are prepared to partner with you throughout the gasket design process. We can even manage the other phases of design through our SigShield™ process.
Your design deserves a manufacturing partner who can make it perfect. Give your design what it deserves. To speak with an FIP gasket expert at Modus Advanced, (925) 960-8700 or contact us online.