There are many ambiguous terms for the rubber products used to protect the edge of a manufactured product or create a weather-tight seal for a door, window, or enclosure. Some of the terms you might come across include edge guard, gasket trim, edge trim, push-on trim, edge gasket, seal, trim seal, rubber seal, and weatherstrip (or weather strip, depending on where you look). Each end-user and each supplier might use any of these terms to describe different products. Many times, the names will overlap.
What’s in a Name?
For example, one major supplier’s “weatherstrip” (spelled as one word) is very specific to a product used for locking glass securely in place while providing a seal from the elements. This comes closest to coinciding with the Merriam-Webster definition for “weather strip” (two words) as being “any strip of material to cover the joint of a door or window and the sill, casing, or threshold to exclude rain, snow, and cold air.” However, a general Google search for weather strip (or weatherstrip) nets results ranging from rolls of EPDM rubber to edge trims with a bulb seal. Search a big box store website, and the results are even more unwieldy.
When referring to edge guard, or edge trim, the product is typically available with or without a rubber bulb seal attached to it. Without the bulb seal, the edge trim is used to either protect the edge from damage (and the user from injury due to the exposed sharp metal, fiberglass, plastic, or even plywood material) or to enhance the aesthetics of the product by giving it a clean, finished appearance.
Edge trim with a bulb seal attached is often referred to only as a bulb seal. It serves the same purposes as the edge trim. Still, the bulb offers the added benefit of providing a tight seal for an enclosure.
Rubber gasket or gasket trim, which often includes an adhesive base, is used strictly as a weather seal. It’s usually comprised of open-cell, closed-cell, or EPDM rubber. It is available in many shapes and sizes, making it right for many applications. While creating a buffer against metal-on-metal, it also creates a barrier against water, dust, and even extraneous noise.
How to be Sure You’re Getting the Part You Need
This might seem obvious, but it’s very important to SEE an accurate photo or drawing of the part you’re ordering and double-check the dimensions, the material you require, and if your product needs to be UL certified (you can filter down to UL certified products on our website at www.austinhardware.com to determine if the part you’re buying meets UL standards). Don’t feel like filtering? Click Here for instant access to our UL certified weatherstrip products. Also, confirm with our online chat agent or experienced sales rep that the product you’re looking at is appropriate for your specific application. Merely relying on a product name, a description, or even just the sight-unseen recommendation by the sales rep could lead to the purchase of the wrong product. When that happens, at best, you’ll have to deal with the headache and paperwork associated with a return or exchange. In the worst case, you could end up with a temporary production shutdown.
No matter the product and application, an Austin Hardware® representative can help you find the right in-stock product from our vast selection of standard and specialty trims, seals, gaskets, and weather strip from leading manufacturers such as TrimLok and Cooper-Standard (StanPro).
To learn more visit: https://info.austinhardware.com/contact-us