This article is an informative primer on sealants and the role they play in engineered assemblies. It discusses the physical, thermal, chemical, and electrical properties of sealant materials and the various forms in which they are applied, including liquids, pastes, and extruded tapes. It also describes classifications and types, comparing and contrasting sealants made from oil-based caulks, asphalts, coal tar resins, latex acrylic sealants, polyvinyl acetate caulks, solvent acrylics, butyl sealants, polysulfides, polyurethanes, modified silicones, anaerobics, vinyl plastisols, and polypropylenes. In addition, the article provides practical design insight, addressing application requirements, seal configurations, and joint stresses. It concludes with a brief discussion on the use of sealants in aerospace, automotive, electrical, and construction applications.
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