Revolutionizing the EV Industry with next generation materials and designs: A Closer Look at the Different Types of Gaskets Designed for Electric Vehicles

In 2022, 1 in 10 of new cars sold worldwide was an Electric Vehicle (EV), that’s 7.8 million vehicles. The forecast for 2023 is an increase to 10 million EV Vehicles worldwide, that would represent 14% of the global market.

The rush to capitalise on this rapidly growing market means that there is a big change in technological understanding of not just the vehicles themselves, but the required infrastructure needed to power this change. The technology underlying EVs is sophisticated and needs a number of specialised components in order to perform effectively. The Seals, Gaskets, and Shielding products used in these vehicles and associated infrastructure are critical in ensuring that these different systems work correctly and effectively.

The differences between internal combustion engines and electric engines are substantial, owing to the lesser number of components in electric engines and the sealing requirements.  For example, Electric cars motors have fewer moving parts than an internal combustion engine, so they do not need common auto parts like head gaskets.

Types of EV gaskets:

The sealing of an electric engine is primarily concerned with protecting the electrical components from environmental contaminants. These components, on the other hand, create high temperatures and necessitate the use of coolants, which is a critical aspect in sealing.

There are various varieties of gaskets that may be used in common cars, but the three most prevalent are as follows:

  • Compression gaskets:

A compression gasket is a form of mechanical seal that is employed to seal the space between the two contacting surfaces. They are frequently used to seal oil and coolant passageways in the engine compartment. Rubber, cork, and different synthetic and composite materials are commonly used to make these gaskets.

Compression gaskets are intended to be inserted between two surfaces, such as flanges, and then compressed to form a tight seal. Tightening screws or other fasteners that go through the flanges and into the gaskets compress the gasket. As the bolts are tightened, the gasket compresses and adjusts to the contour of the two surfaces, resulting in a tight seal.

The material employed in a compression gasket is determined by the function and the medium that the gasket would be sealing. A gasket that seals a high-pressure steam line, for example, may be composed of a different material than a gasket that seals a low-pressure water line. The material have to have high temperature resistance, high chemical resistance and also retain their flexibility over a wide range of temperatures. Common materials include, but not limited to:

It is critical to choose the right gasket material for the service circumstances, such as temperature, pressure, chemical resistance, and so on, or else the gasket would break early. Power generating, chemical processing, oil and gas production, and food and beverage production all employ compression gaskets. They are extensively used in various types of equipment and plumbing systems because to their ease of use, low cost, and dependability.

  • Form-in-place gaskets

Form-in-place gaskets (FIPG) are a type of gasket that is deposited in a liquid or semi-solid state and then cured to form a solid, flexible gasket. The liquid or semi-solid material is administered in the region where the gasket will be installed, then cured to create the gasket.

FIPGs have several benefits over other kinds of gaskets. They may be used to encapsulate uneven surfaces and complicated geometries, as well as huge or difficult-to-reach regions. Furthermore, depending on the application, FIPGs can be utilised to manufacture gaskets of varying thicknesses.

They are frequently utilised in situations where installing a pre-formed gasket is problematic, such as unusually shaped or narrow gaps. They are also resistant to temperature fluctuations and vibration, both of which can harm a pre-formed gasket.

There are several different types of FIPGs on the market, including:

  • RTV Silicone: Room-temperature vulcanizing silicone gasket which typically cures at room temperature, but some can cure at elevated temperature.
  • Epoxy: Cures at room temperature
  • Urethane: Cures at room temperature
  • Acrylic: Cures at room temperature
  • Polysulphide: Cures at room temperature or elevated temperature

The type of FIPG used will be determined by the application and the type of media that the gasket will be sealing. RTV silicone and polysulphide, for example, are commonly used in automobiles and other applications requiring high temperature resistance, whereas epoxy is mostly employed in electronic devices due to its strong chemical and moisture resistance.

FIPG gaskets have a wide range of applications, including automotive, aerospace, industrial machinery, appliances, and others. They are frequently employed in instances where a typical gasket cannot be utilised or is insufficient for the service conditions. It is critical to select the suitable FIPG for the individual application, since incorrect gasket material selection may result in a failure to form or operate effectively.

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  • Extruded seals or Gaskets

Extruded Seals or gaskets are created by extruding a continuous profile via a die. The resultant gasket has a uniform cross-section and may be trimmed to length. Because they can be made rapidly and efficiently, extruded gaskets are frequently utilised in automotive and other high-volume applications.

Extruded gaskets are found in a variety of electric vehicle applications, including battery packs, electric motors, power electronics, and charging systems. They can be constructed from a variety of materials, including as silicone, EPDM, neoprene, and TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomers).

Silicone is a popular material for extruded gaskets in EV because of its excellent temperature tolerance and ability to keep flexibility over a wide temperature range. While EPDM is also widely used, it is noted for its high chemical, weathering, and ozone resistance. TPE (thermoplastic elastomers) are increasingly being utilised in EV gaskets because they are more environmentally friendly and more cost-effective than previous materials.

Extruded gasket manufacturing is a reasonably simple and efficient technique. The gasket material is placed into an extruder, which heats and mixes it. The gasket shape is then formed by extruding it via a die. It is then chilled and cut to the appropriate length. This method ensures constant gasket size and form, which is critical for generating good seals in small places.

To fulfil the special needs of electric cars, extruded gaskets may be developed in a number of forms and sizes, with varying levels of hardness, compressibility, and chemical resistance. As a result, it is one of the most used gasket types in the EV industry.

It is important to choose the correct extruded gasket material and design to ensure that it will perform correctly in the specific environment, conditions and requirements of an electric vehicle application.

These three types of gaskets can be employed based on the application, location, and amount of pressure, temperature, and vibration involved. Other types of gaskets that might be utilised in EVs include valve cover gaskets, exhaust gaskets, and transmission gaskets, among others. The best sort of gasket to employ would be determined by the EV’s individual design and the application’s needs.

Our role in EV Industry gaskets

EMI Seals & Gaskets Ltd has provided specialised Seals, Gaskets, and Shielding products for EV Vehicles, Infrastructure, and Power Generation. Whether you’re developing an EV or eVTOL product or parts for Battery compartments or Electronics systems, why not contact us?

We manufacture Seals, Gaskets, and Shielding solutions that meet or exceed regulatory standards for the electric vehicle (EV) industry, for Thermal, Environmental, UV, IP, LSZH, NVH and Fire.

For more information about these products make a direct enquiry at +44 (0)1590 688022 or fill out a contact form on our website.