Self-Adhesive vs Plain Washers

We are all familiar with washers. They are used in multiple situations every day. While a washer is a simple thing, it has an important role to play. It sits between two surfaces that would otherwise not produce a tight fit. Washers can produce a seal where one would not otherwise be possible.

They are also used in many scenarios, such as in electronic items and in industrial settings, for example. Yet there are two types of washers you may not be aware of. Some have self-adhesive backings and others do not.

So, how can we compare the two? Why would you choose one over another? Let’s explore in more detail.

Plain washers

These are basic silicone rubber washers. They can be made to many sizes, tolerances, and thicknesses, depending on the role they are intended for.

Some of these are available off the shelf while other more specific requirements would be specially made.

Self-adhesive washers

These are much the same as the plain ones, except they would have self-adhesive tape on one or both sides. This can be added to existing washers if desired.

The fact that the self-adhesive part of the washer is added after creation means that any washer can become self-adhesive if that is required.

Which one would you use and why?

Firstly, we need to think about the advantages of using silicone rubber washers rather than using regular rubber washers. Rubber begins to degrade even from the moment the washer is made, and it has a shorter lifespan. Silicone rubber is a lot more robust, lasting around four times as long when placed under identical circumstances to a standard washer.

So, with that in mind, why would you need to enhance its performance still more by adding self-adhesive tape to it on one or both sides?

The answer is that this is ideal to do when additional support is needed. Imagine the washer is between two moving parts. In that case, a lot more pressure is placed on the washer. If it weren’t adhesive, it would be more likely to move around more. This in turn would place the washer under greater stress, potentially reducing its lifespan.

Any scenario where friction or movement comes into play would suggest that an adhesive could produce a better result.

One side or both?

The answer to this is revealed when you consider where the movement is coming from. There are situations whereby having adhesive on both sides of the washer is going to produce a better result than only having it on one side.

In some instances, the self-adhesive backing may only be needed for a short time. For example, if you sell taps and washers are included with them, you may want to give your customers an easier time by adding self-adhesive washers. Once in place, the tap can be tightened into place without the washer moving around.

As you can see, both types of washers have different roles to play. Deciding which role is relevant in your case will help you work out which washers to buy.