Neoprene vs. Silicone Gaskets: Which One to Choose?


Neoprene vs. Silicone Gaskets: Which One to Choose?

When it comes to non-conductive gaskets, two commonly used materials are neoprene and silicone. Both neoprene and silicone gaskets are durable, versatile and flexible but have distinct properties that impact their suitability for different applications. By understanding these variations, you will be better equipped to make informed decisions and select the most suitable gasket material for your specific needs. In this article, we take a look at eight critical factors that set neoprene and silicone gaskets apart, helping you determine the best gasket material for your specific needs.

8 Key Comparison Factors of Neoprene and Silicone Gaskets

Although silicone and neoprene gaskets have similar characteristics, there are a few things that set them apart. Here are eight key factors that differentiate them.

1. Material Composition

Neoprene and silicone are both synthetic rubbers that have different properties and applications. Neoprene gaskets are manufactured using a synthetic rubber called chloroprene. Neoprene, commonly used in gasket production, offers excellent resistance to weathering, ozone, oils, chemicals, and moderate temperature variations. Its composition provides durability and reliability in various sealing applications.

On the other hand, silicone gaskets are made from silicone rubber, a synthetic polymer composed of silicon-oxygen structures. This material offers exceptional heat resistance, low toxicity, high flexibility and outstanding resistance to UV rays, ozone and humidity. Because of their exceptional properties, they are ideal for sealing applications in environments where extreme temperatures and harsh conditions are a problem.

2. Flexibility and Compression Set

Flexibility and compression set are two important factors to consider when selecting a foam gasket. Flexibility refers to the ability of a gasket to conform to irregular surfaces and accommodate dimensional variations while compression set resistance measures how well a gasket retains its original shape and thickness after being compressed for a long time. The lower the compression set value is, the better the gasket will go back to its original shape and thickness.

Neoprene gaskets possess good flexibility, allowing them to conform to irregular surfaces and maintain their sealing performance and durability over repeated cycles of compression and relaxation. However, it is worth noting that Neoprene gaskets have a moderate compression set when compared to Silicone gaskets and may experience permanent deformation over time when subjected to repeated compression and release cycles.

Silicone gaskets are more flexible than Neoprene gaskets and demonstrate excellent elasticity. This elasticity enables them to endure repeated compression without significant deformation or loss of their original shape. It also means that silicone gaskets can accommodate larger gaps and tolerances. The low-compression set of Silicone gaskets ensures their longevity and consistent sealing performance over time.

3. Temperature Resistance

One of the factors to consider when choosing a gasket material is its operating temperature range. Neoprene gaskets are capable of withstanding a moderate temperature range, typically ranging from -40°C to +120°C (-40°F to +248°F). Their thermal stability makes them suitable for sealing applications where exposure to fluctuating temperatures is expected, without compromising the gasket’s integrity. In contrast, Silicone gaskets excel in high-temperature environments, exhibiting superior heat resistance. With a typical temperature range of -50°C to +230°C (-76°F to +446°F), silicone gaskets can reliably seal applications that experience extreme heat or significant temperature variations.

4. Chemical Resistance

Neoprene has impressive chemical resistance to oils, greases, solvents and other petroleum products. It is also resistant to moderately chemical sand acids. Silicone gaskets, on the other hand, are more prone to swelling or degradation when exposed to these chemicals. This makes neoprene gaskets more suitable for applications that involve harsh or corrosive fluids, such as automotive, industrial, or marine environments. Silicone gaskets are more suitable for applications that involve inert or non-reactive fluids, such as food, medical, or pharmaceutical industries.

5. Environmental Resistance

Both neoprene and silicone gaskets offer good to excellent resistance to environmental conditions. Neoprene gaskets can resist damage and degradation from weather, water, ozone, sunlight, oxidation and temperature. As for Silicone gaskets, they are also highly resistant to moisture, sunlight, ozone, oxygen and extreme temperature exposures.

6. Abrasion Resistance

Abrasion resistance is the ability of a material to withstand the mechanical action of rubbing, scraping, or erosion that can lead to surface degradation over time. Neoprene’s unique properties contribute to its exceptional resistance to abrasion, allowing neoprene gaskets to maintain their structural integrity and performance even in harsh operating conditions. On the other hand, silicone has poor abrasion resistance. However, silicone gaskets can still offer sufficient abrasion resistance for certain applications, particularly those where other properties of silicone are advantageous.

7. Tear Resistance

Tear resistance refers to a material’s ability to withstand forces that cause it to rip or tear apart is called Tear Resistance. It is important for applications where the material is subjected to repeated or sudden stresses, such as in gaskets. When comparing neoprene to silicone for tear resistance, neoprene generally has superior tear resistance properties. Neoprene gaskets are durable and reliable for applications where resistance to tearing or puncturing is critical.

8. Tensile Strength

Tensile strength is the measurement of a material’s ability to withstand stretching or pulling forces without breaking or deforming. While both neoprene and silicone are known for their flexibility and resilience, neoprene typically exhibits higher tensile strength due to its unique molecular structure. This characteristic allows neoprene gaskets to endure heavy loads and mechanical stress, making them suitable for applications requiring robust and durable materials.

Neoprene versus Silicone gaskets Comparison table

How to Choose Between Neoprene and Silicone Gaskets?

Neoprene and silicone have similar characteristics and uses. To choose between neoprene and silicone gaskets, you need to consider the specific requirements mentioned above as well as the conditions of your application. Neither material is inherently better than the other; the best choice depends on your application’s requirements. Here’s a quick summary to help you select the right gasket:

  • If your application involves exposure to very high or very low temperatures or extreme weather, silicone gaskets are more suitable than neoprene gaskets, as they can withstand a wider temperature range without losing their elasticity or performance.
  • If your application involves contact with oils, solvents, greases, or some acids, neoprene gaskets are more suitable than silicone gaskets, as they have better resistance to these substances and can prevent leakage or corrosion.
  • If your application involves friction or movement, neoprene gaskets are more suitable than silicone gaskets, as they have higher tear and abrasion resistance and can endure wear and tear better.
  • If your application involves exposure to sunlight, ozone, or moisture, both silicone gaskets are more suitable than neoprene gaskets, as they have better resistance to weathering and aging and can maintain their shape and color longer.

Application Suitability

Neoprene gaskets find widespread application in the transport, electrical, and industrial sectors. Their versatile nature allows them to effectively seal hoses, pipes, and equipment where moderate temperature and chemical resistance are required. Additionally, their inherent properties make them a popular choice for applications in vibration damping and noise reduction.

On the other hand, Silicone gaskets are extensively utilized in the food processing, medical, pharmaceutical, and high-temperature industries. Their excellent flexibility, chemical resistance, and heat resistance make them well-suited for sealing critical components and sensitive systems in these sectors. They can also be used in aerospace, transport and commercial applications.


Neoprene and silicone gaskets have similar uses, but they have some differences in their properties. When choosing a gasket material, it’s essential to consider its advantages and disadvantages based on your specific needs.

Silicone gaskets are ideal for applications with extreme temperature changes or exposure to harsh weather conditions due to their excellent heat resistance and resistance to UV radiation while neoprene gaskets are better suited for applications that need resistance to oil and tear, as it can withstand oils, greases, and moderate chemicals while also being tear-resistant. By understanding the unique features of each gasket material and matching them to your project’s requirements, you can make an informed decision on the most suitable gasket material.

The ID Group experts can help you choose the right gaskets for your project. In addition to standard solutions, we also offer laser die-cutting services for special projects requiring the use of gaskets of specific dimensions and shapes. Please contact us for more information on our solutions and services.