EPDM vs silicone gaskets: What’s the best sealant for your requirements?

Read this blog to discover the advantages and disadvantages of EPDM and silicone gaskets. From temperature ranges to weather resistance and insulation.

Whether sealing metal sheets from dust or providing additional NVH (Noise, vibration, and harshness) protection, gaskets play a pivotal role in ensuring various machinery, components, and applications function to the highest operational standards.

With the gasket and seal industry worth 72.95 billion in 2024, a fair chunk of this market belongs to EPDM and silicone gaskets. But are they compatible with the sealant solutions you need, and if so, which one? In this article, we explore the qualities and properties of EPDM and silicone gaskets to help you decide which option best meets your needs. Let’s explore.

Read this blog to discover the advantages and disadvantages of EPDM and silicone gaskets. From temperature ranges to weather resistance and insulation.

What’s the difference between EPDM and silicone rubber?

Despite being classified as rubber and serving as appropriate gasket solutions, EPDM and silicone have different properties and qualities that suit specific purposes. But before we get into all that, let’s see the difference between EPDM and silicone rubber.

What is EPDM?

EPDM stands for “ethylene propylene diene monomer”, a synthetic rubber used mostly for sealing applications. Belonging to the “M-class”, EPDM contains a chain of elastomers and is a polymer made from oil and natural gasses.

What is silicone?

Also known as “polysiloxane”, like EPDM, silicone is a polymer comprised of siloxane units and defined as a molecule by chains of alternating silicon and oxygen atoms. We can recognise silicone as a colourless, rubber substance used as a sealant alongside various other applications, including adhesives, lubricants, medicine, cooking utensils, and insulation.

The difference between EPDM and silicone rubber

As two rubbers commonly applied in industrial applications, alongside the material properties and molecules, EPDM and silicone differ across their width and application. For example, silicone is more suited to general purposes, while EPDM is more established as a speciality sealant. However, we shall discuss various compatibilities and incompatibilities of each material in more detail across the advantages, disadvantages, and final verdict.

Advantages and disadvantages of EPDM rubber

With a global market projected to reach $1513.31 million by 2031, EPDM rubber has various benefits that make it a valuable material as a high-quality gasket:

Advantages of EPDM rubber

The advantages of EPDM rubber include:

Disadvantages of EPDM rubber

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages of EPDM rubber that involve some of the following factors:

Advantages and disadvantages of silicone

Now we know the pros and cons of EPDM, how does silicone compare?

Advantages of silicone

As we can see, silicone is a very versatile material due to its overall chemistry and customisable capabilities.   

Disadvantages of silicone

Despite its numerous benefits, silicone does have some disadvantages:

Silicone has fairly impressive tensile strength capabilities but struggles with abrasion resistance. However, due to its customisable potential, it can formulated to improve its tear resistance.

EPDM vs silicone gaskets: The final verdict

Deciding on whether to utilise EPDM or silicone as a gasket for your requirements relies on the specific compatibilities of both materials. However, as two rubber types, EPDM and silicone have some similarities. Some of these comparisons include:

  • Weather resistance.
  • Electrical insulation.
  • Remain flexible at -50°C.
  • Chemical resistance.
  • Compression capabilities.
  • Used in water-system seal applications.
  • Smooth surfaces.
  • Flame retardant.
  • High-temperature resistance.

Bearing this in mind, silicone is more expensive but has a higher temperature resistance (-50°C – 230°C)˚ compared to EPDM (-50°C – 150°C) while having a greater compression set. However, EPDM provides better weather resistance without modification and higher tensile strength at 14 MPa compared to silicone (5 MPa) alongside superior abrasion resistance.

Therefore, if you need a gasket to resist temperatures above 150˚C, with higher compression resistance, opt for silicone gaskets. On the other hand, if you need a gasket with abrasion resistance and greater tensile strength, choose EPDM.

Another deciding factor for your gasket material should rely on its incompatibilities. So, let’s remind ourselves what environments, conditions and requirements best suit each material. EPDM is incompatible with oils, greases, hydrocarbon fuels, aromatic hydrocarbons, concentrated acids, and halogenated solvents. Instead, EPDM deals with water, alkalis, dilute acids, steam, ketones, and fireproof hydraulic fluids.

Silicone gaskets are incompatible with hydrocarbon fuels, alkalis, acids, steam (over 121°C), trichloroethylene, and aromatic hydrocarbon. Despite these incompatibilities, silicone is compatible with oils, brake fluids, water (salt), high molecular weight chlorinated hydrocarbons and fire-resistant hydraulic fluid.  

Speak to sealant specialists and find your ideal gasket

At Ramsey Cellular Sealing Solutions, we’re a leading gasket manufacturer in the UK, providing technical high-performance gasket solutions. As a global business with over 50 years of material, process and application knowledge, we ensure our products comply with IATF16949, ISO14001 and ISO9001 standards to deliver the guaranteed quality you require. For more details about our EPDM and silicone gasket solutions, get in touch.  


Get in touch

Please feel free to get in touch, to speak with one of our team of experts or simply fill out our online contact form below. We look forward to hearing from you.

  • Max. file size: 8 MB.
  • Please enter a number from 2 to 2.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Scroll To Next Section

Get In Touch
Ramsay Rubber & Plastics Limited
Vulcan Road, Bilston
West Midlands WV14 7HT
T +44 (0) 1902 407150
F +44 (0) 1902 407160