How Stuff Works points to the head gasket as the seal between the piston cylinder head and engine block. Gaskets are essentially used to seal liquids or solids. There are plenty of types available in the market but one of the most popular types of gaskets around is rubber.
Rubber gaskets are versatile enough to be used for a slew of purposes. Since these gaskets use compression fit to create a seal, it’s a good choice for garden hoses to canning lids and more. It’s also quite easy to cut this in any form, shape or size.
When it comes to synthetic rubber gaskets, there’s a range of options you can choose from. These include:
Nitrile rubber. Also known as Buna-N, it’s got great wear resistance. It doesn’t easily crack and is a good choice for a general-purpose rubber.
Ethylene Propylene. These materials are ideal to use when you need to seal in hydraulic fluids that can do a great deal of damage to your skin. With this seal, you can handle and deal with corrosive fluids with greater ease.
Fluorocarbon. Another general-purpose rubber. The only difference is, this one can withstand higher temperatures better than Nitrile rubber can. Known in the market as Viton and is handy to use in a number of applications that require sealing oils, gases and particular types of acids.
Neoprene. A neoprene gasket is best suited to applications of low temperatures, even if you go as low as -65 degrees. This makes it the ideal rubber gasket to use for refrigeration as well as air conditioning units. Just make sure you know how to handle the material to ensure zero health problems.
Polyurethane. This material doesn’t crack even when exposed to low temperatures. While the neoprene’s heat resistance feature is better, it’s a good choice for cold environments.
Silicone. Well suited to extreme temperatures, silicone is a common fixture in many industrial applications.