Polyethylene and Neoprene Gaskets: Which is Which? How to Identify Polyethylene and Neoprene Gaskets Gaskets come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. The thing about gaskets is that sometimes it gets hard to identify one kind of gasket from another. Polyethylene and neoprene gaskets, for instance, are kind of the same. For one, they’re designed for similar and yet different situations. To fully grasp the difference between polyethylene and neoprene gaskets, let’s start with general information about them. Neoprene Gaskets: What is Neoprene? Neoprene is a kind of synthetic rubber, so saying neoprene rubber is actually redundant. This material was developed somewhere in the 1930s, and since then, neoprene has been integrated into a variety of products that we use daily life, from belts to wetsuits to gaskets. A part of the polychloroprene group of synthetic rubber compounds, neoprene can resist extreme temperatures. The material has several other interesting and useful materials – it’s chemical resistant, abrasion-resistant, buoyant, stretchable, and waterproof. Polyethylene Gaskets: What is This Polyethylene of Which You Speak? Just like neoprene, polyethylene is a synthetic material and is a member of the polymer family. A product of the polymerization of ethane, polyethylene first appeared in 1898 in Germany. As with other innovations and inventions in the world of science, polyethylene was accidentally created in an experiment. As it turned out, the waxy compound that was accidentally produced showed impressive abilities, such as the ability to be moulded into functional products that can withstand a wide range of temperatures. By the year 1933, polyethylene production was improved for mass production. It is believed that on a yearly basis, 60 million tons of polyethylene is produced, all of which is used everywhere, from furniture to refrigerator doors to gaskets. Neoprene vs. Polyethylene Gaskets If you compare neoprene and polyethylene gaskets, you’ll immediately note that both are equal when it comes to withstanding heat. However, neoprene gaskets win as they are a lot more superior in the heat endurance category, making them perfect for applications with extremely high temperatures for long periods of time. Polyethylene, on the other hand, is better suited for applications where temperatures are constantly lower. Also, gaskets also need to have high resistance to shielding and pressure for them to perform at their optimal level. After all, the main purpose for using gaskets is preventing gas and fluid leaks. Overall, polyethylene and neoprene gaskets each have their own uses. Neoprene gaskets are suitable for large engines, such as those found in trucks, cars, airplanes, and boats. All of these applications require gaskets that can withstand considerable pressure and temperatures. Polyethylene gaskets work best for sealing doors, such as doors for ovens and refrigerators. They’re also great as sealing lining for windows and doors as well as seals on jars and lids. Lastly, one major difference between polyethylene and neoprene gaskets is that neoprene is designed to offer a more permanent seal, while polyethylene can quickly degrade. Final summation, polyethylene and neoprene gaskets should never be interchanged in certain applications.