Architectural Library
Our mission at Bristolite is to provide our customers with the highest quality products and supreme service at an exceptional value. We also aim to provide the industry with an abundance of accurate and useful information relative to daylighting and energy conservation. We take our corporate responsibility to our employees, associates, industry colleagues and customers very seriously and we see ourselves as stewards for the efficient use of sustainable carbon free energy.

Common Skylight Sealants and Gasket Materials

Silicone, Butyl Rubber, Urethane, Thermoplastics, EPDM, and Neoprene will be discussed as these materials are used in various installations. Each material will be described separately.

Silicone Sealants

  1. Only structural silicone sealants have the long-term adhesion, compatibility, and strength required for structural glazing and protective glazing applications.
  2. Silicones have greater UV stability, temperature, and weather resistance than organic materials.
  3. Silicones are inherently waterproof.
  4. Silicones remain flexible over a wide temperature range and are easy to apply in cold weather.
  5. Silicones last longer and need to be replaced less often than many organic materials, which reduces lifetime costs and contributes to sustainability.

Silicones generally outperform and outlast organic weatherproofing materials. They also enable innovative applications that would otherwise be impossible. Silicone architectural coatings typically last twice as long as acrylic coatings and silicone building sealants typically last three times as long as urethane sealants. Silicones for construction come in many forms:

  • Preformed rubber shapes and extrusions
  • Waterproofing fluids and emulsions
  • Elastomeric adhesives, sealants, and architectural coatings
  • Free-flowing resins
  • Flexible rubbers
  • Greases
  • Fluids thinner than water or thick as paste

Silicones are both water repellent and “breathable.” They can keep rain from entering a building while letting water vapor trapped inside the building escape.

Butyl Rubber Sealants

Butyl rubber sealant is used for rubber roof repair and for maintenance of roof membranes (especially around the edges). It is important to have the roof membrane fixed, as a lot of fixtures (i.e., air conditioner vents, plumbing and other pipes, etc.) can considerably loosen it. Rubber roofing typically refers to a specific type of roofing materials that are made of ethylene propylene diene monomers ( EPDM). It is crucial to the integrity of such roofs to avoid using harsh abrasive materials and petroleum-based solvents for their maintenance. Polyester fabric laminated to butyl rubber binder provides a single-sided waterproof tape that can be used on metal, PVC, and cement joints. It is ideal for repairing and waterproofing metal roofs. Butyl rubber is one of the most robust elastomers. It is a harder and less porous material than other elastomers, such as natural rubber or silicone, but still has enough elasticity to form an airtight seal. While butyl rubber will break down when exposed to agents such as certain solvents, it breaks down more slowly than comparable elastomers. A durable Butyl Rubber Sealant can be used on metal windows and doors, downspouts, chimney flashings, shingles, skylights, siding, below-grade applications, and marine usage above the water line. Interior or exterior use with easy solvent clean up.

Urethane Sealants

Urethane construction sealants have excellent adhesion to a variety of substrates and have good movement capability. They cure to a soft, flexible but durable rubber. They are used to seal vertical and perimeter expansion joints on buildings and horizontal joints in parking garages and sidewalks. The main disadvantage of urethane sealants is their lack of resistance to UV. Urethane-based sealants are one of the most commonly used sealants in both construction and transportation markets because of their long service life, excellent flexibility (which allows joint movement), and good adhesion to many substrates. In construction, polyurethane sealants are used in the manufacture of insulating glass windows for high-performance joint sealing in concrete and metal buildings, and for sealing roofing membranes. They are very popular for homeowner DIY (do-it-yourself) and OTC (over-the-counter) sales to builders, for blocking drafts and air leaks around foundations, windows, and electrical outlets. In original equipment manufacturer (OEM) auto and truck production, urethane sealants are used for windshield glazing and in the aftermarket for installing replacement windshields. Urethanes are also used for seam sealing in body repair shops. Chemically, a polyol, usually a polyether polyol, reacts with a diisocyanate (such as toluene diisocyanate) to form polyurethane. For sealant use, a prepolymer, partially reacted polyurethane with an excess of isocyanate groups, is formed; the reaction completes upon application. Most urethane sealants are formulated as single-component types where the prepolymer is blocked by one of a variety of moieties to avoid pre-cure. After the sealant is applied, available moisture in the air causes the unblocking of the prepolymer and the reaction proceeds to completion. In two-component urethane sealants, the prepolymer and polyol are reacted, often with the use of a catalyst, just before application.

Thermoplastic Sealants

Thermoplastics can be repeatedly softened by heat and then hardened, or set by cooling, which allows parts to be injection-molded or thermoformed and scrap to be reprocessed. Thermoplastic or hot melt adhesives can be repeatedly softened by heat and then hardened, or set by cooling, which allows parts to be removed or repositioned during assembly. Most hot melt adhesives are solvent-free thermoplastics that melt or drop in viscosity above 180°F, and then rapidly set upon cooling. They are used in a variety of manufacturing processes, including bookbinding, woodworking, construction, product assembly, and box and carton heat sealing. Hot melt adhesive technology stemmed from the previous use of molten wax for bonding. Thermoplastic systems were introduced to satisfy performance needs. Typically, a pure hot melt system will not have the heat resistance of two-part, catalyst or thermoset adhesives. Hybrid hot melt systems are available that exhibit a degree of reactive curing. Polyethylenes, polyamides and ethylene-vinyl acetates are common types of hot melt adhesives. Heat activated adhesives become sticky or tacky when warmed, and are used in contact or PSA-type applications. One of the most recent developments in the thermoplastic field is a product which really falls somewhere between the thermoplastics and the elastomers. This sealant is made in two grades. One is used in non-critical areas such as highways and runways and the other is used in areas such as warm up aprons and taxiways where jet-fuel spillage is involved. This material has many advantages over most thermoplastics in that is manufactured and delivered as a liquid. Most of the others are solids which have to be melted down. This particular product still has to be heated but since it starts out as a liquid it can be heated quite rapidly. There are a few rubber asphalt type materials on the market which do not require heating before being used. Some of these are two part material and others are single component materials ready for use. Logically, cold poured seals on should not be included under the heading of thermoplastics since the term "thermoplastic" indicates a softening under heat and the ability of be melted a number of times without adverse effect. In addition to the thermoplastics and the cold poured or cold-applied materials, there are also the so-called butyl rubbers. These are no-skinning sealants made from poly-isobutylene and poly-isobutylene. They are compounded with resins, oils, fillers, solvents, and pigments to produce a wide range of sealing compounds. The butyl rubbers are nonoxidizing and almost non-curing since they remain tacky for an extremely long period of time. In this respect, they resemble the non-hardening mastics. These sealants are used more as caulking compounds than as joint sealers.

EPDM Sealants

EPDM Rubber Sealant is a two-component (catalyzed) EPDM rubber compound, which can cure at ambient temperatures (55° F and above). It can be used as a caulk, surface sealant, or to create a gasket and can be applied over rubbers, metals, masonry, fiberglass and wood. The compound is thixotropic so it can be applied by brush, spatula or refillable caulk gun. It is designed for applications requiring a flexible material having a broad temperature tolerance, chemical and solvent resistance range. The cure mechanism requires exposure to air on one side. If forming a gasket, allow material to cure on one surface before assembling with a mating surface that is impervious. The compound contains 35 % volatiles so the cured dry film will only be 65 % the thickness of the applied wet film. Do not apply wet films greater than 50 mils thick because the rubber will not be able to cure through to the center. EPDM Rubber Sealant will experience 35 % shrinkage of the applied film and should only be used where such a dimensional change is acceptable. Otherwise it is suitable for use in extreme environments and will tolerate:

  • Temperature ranges from minus 60 to +300 degrees F
  • High humidity, live steam and total immersion
  • High salt concentrations
  • Alcohols and polar solvents
  • Many acids up to 50 % concentrations
  • Caustic solutions to a pH of 12

Sealant should not used in places where it will come in contact with oils, fats, waxes, or aliphatic solvents such as Mineral Spirits, Heptane, Hexane and similar solvents.

Neoprene Sealants

Neoprene Sealant is a one component sealant that mainly consists of neoprene rubber and synthetic resin. This product is specially formulated for water-proofing, dust-proofing, and hermetically sealing of containers, cabins, buses, mobile homes, and refrigerated vans. It is suitable for sealing normal and small joints and all engineering material surfaces. Neoprene is a fast cure sealant. After cure, it provides a tough, flexible bond, excellent elasticity, and water resistance.

Features

  • High durability and weatherproof
  • One component , no mixing required
  • Good adhesion on metals, plastics, glass, aluminum, and many engineering materials.
  • Permanently flexible under stress, normal expansion and compression.
  • Easy to gun
  • Fast cure system
  • Can be painted

Typical Uses

  • Sealing joints in containers especially steel containers
  • Sealing some parts of automobiles, buses, and other vehicles
  • Sealing joints of zinc and slate roofs
  • Suitable for joints with low movement after curing.
  • No need to smooth the surface. Sealant is self-leveling, thus the surface will have a good finish automatically after curing.

Note: Neoprene sealant is not suitable for high joint movement applications and some types of foam substrates. The organic solvent containing in the sealant can swell the foams before the sealant is fully cured. Pretest is required before use with foam materials.

All of the above sealants are suitable for use with skylight installations, depending on the specific needs of each location. It is up to the skylight manufacturer or architect to decide which sealant or combination of sealants is best, depending on the conditions and requirements for each installation.

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Trituff Copolyester Passes 267 lb/
36" ASTM Drop Test

A new, pending ASTM skylight fall protection drop test requires dropping a 267 lb sand filled canvas bag with a 5.5" bull nose from a height of 36" on the skylight glazing. As evidenced by this video Trituff Coployester passes the test. The total impact force and pressure developed in this test is 2,278.6 foot pounds and 95.9 lb per square inch.

Tufflite Heavy Weather / High Security Polycarbonate Takes a Tromping

Rick Beets, Bristolite President, demonstrates the resilience of Tufflite for customers. This Tufflite model HWHS (Heavy Weather High Security) skylight is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 10-0216.02 and Florida Building Code Approved # FL14006.

Tufflite Heavy Weather / High Security Polycarbonate Takes a Beating

Rick Beets, Bristolite President, demonstrates the impact resistance of Tufflite for customers. This Tufflite model HWHS (Heavy Weather High Security) skylight is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA# 10-0216.02 and Florida Building Code Approved # FL14006.

Energy Star Fiberlite CC1 Fire Resistance

Energy Star Fiberlite, Trituff Copolyester and Tufflite Polycarbonate are all CC1 Fire Rated.

Custom Glass Skylight Positive Load Cycling after Large Missile Impact Test

Positive load cycling from 10.30 psf to 51.38 psf after large missile impact test. This model 1000 custom glass skylight series is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 07-0524.05.

Custom Glass Skylight Positive and Negative Load Cycling

Positive load cycling from 10.30 psf to 51.38 psf and negative load cycling from 20.6 psf to 34.3 psf. This model 1000 custom glass skylight series is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 07-0524.05.

Custom Glass Skylight Negative Load Cycling

Negative load cycling from 20.6 psf to 34.3 psf after multiple large missile impact tests. This model 1000 custom glass skylight series is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 07-0524.05.

Custom Glass Skylight Large Missile Impact Test

Large missile impact test requires firing a 9 lb missile at a velocity of 49 fps to 50 fps at a distance of 17 ft from the skylight. This model 1000 custom glass skylight series is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 07-0524.05.

Custom Glass Skylight Large Missile Impact Test

Large missile impact test requires firing a 9 lb missile at a velocity of 49 fps to 50 fps at a distance of 17 ft from the skylight. This model 1000 custom glass skylight series is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 07-0524.05.

20 Year Old Energy Star Fiberlite
Supports 5,000 lb

20 year old Energy Star Fiberlite supports 5,000 lb in a concentrated (1 sq ft) load test by an independent 3rd party testing laboratory.

Trituff Copolyester Supports 1,950 lb

Trituff Copolyester supports 1,950 lb in a concentrated (1 sq ft) load test by an independent 3rd party testing laboratory.

Tufflite Heavy Weather / High Security Polycarbonate Negative Load Cycling

Negative 19.5 psf to 32.5 psf load cycling. This Tufflite model HWHS (Heavy Weather High Security) skylight is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 10-0216.02 and Florida Building Code Approved # FL14006.

Tufflite Heavy Weather / High Security Polycarbonate Positive Load Cycling

Positive 11.0 psf to 55.0 psf load cycling. This Tufflite model HWHS (Heavy Weather High Security) skylight is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 10-0216.02 and Florida Building Code Approved # FL14006.

Tufflite Heavy Weather / High Security Polycarbonate Negative Load Cycling

Negative 19.5 psf to 32.5 psf load cycling. This Tufflite model HWHS (Heavy Weather High Security) skylight is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 10-0216.02 and Florida Building Code Approved # FL14006.

Tufflite Heavy Weather / High Security
Positive and Negative Load Cycling

Positive 11.0 psf to 55.0 psf and negative 19.5 psf to 32.5 psf load cycling. This Tufflite model HWHS (Heavy Weather High Security) skylight is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 10-0216.02 and Florida Building Code Approved # FL14006.

Tufflite Heavy Weather / High Security Polycarbonate Negative Load Cycling

Negative 19.5 psf to 32.5 psf load cycling. This Tufflite model HWHS (Heavy Weather High Security) skylight is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 10-0216.02 and Florida Building Code Approved # FL14006.

Tufflite Heavy Weather / High Security Polycarbonate
Positive and Negative Load Cycling

Positive 11.0 psf to 55.0 psf and negative 19.5 psf to 32.5 psf load cycling. This Tufflite model HWHS (Heavy Weather High Security) skylight is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 10-0216.02 and Florida Building Code Approved # FL14006.

Gladiator Safety Screen
Supports 600 lb Static Load

Gladiator Safety Screen installed on a wood curb supports two 300 lb loads in opposing corners.

Gladiator Safety Screen
Supports 867 lb Static Load

Gladiator Safety Screen installed on a wood curb supports two 300 lb loads in opposing corners and a 267 lb load in the center for a total static load of 867 lb

Gladiator Safety Screen
Passes 267 lb / 36" ASTM Drop Test

A new, pending ASTM skylight fall protection drop test requires dropping a 267 lb sand filled canvas bag with a 5.5" bull nose from a height of 36" on the skylight glazing. As evidenced by this video our Gladiator Safety Screen passes the test. The total impact force and pressure developed in this test is 2,278.6 foot pounds and 95.9 lb per square inch.

Gladiator Safety Screen
Passes 267 lb / 36" ASTM Drop Test

A new, pending ASTM skylight fall protection drop test requires dropping a 267 lb sand filled canvas bag with a 5.5" bull nose from a height of 36" on the skylight glazing. As evidenced by this video our Gladiator Safety Screen passes the test. The total impact force and pressure developed in this test is 2,278.6 foot pounds and 95.9 lb per square inch.

Tufflite Heavy Weather / High Security Polycarbonate Large Missile Impact Test

Large missile impact test requires firing a 9 lb missile at a velocity of 49 fps to 50 fps at a distance of 17 ft from the skylight. This Tufflite model HWHS (Heavy Weather High Security) skylight is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 10-0216.02 and Florida Building Code Approved # FL14006.

Tufflite Heavy Weather / High Security Polycarbonate Large Missile Impact Test

Large missile impact test requires firing a 9 lb missile at a velocity of 49 fps to 50 fps at a distance of 17 ft from the skylight. This Tufflite model HWHS (Heavy Weather High Security) skylight is Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone Approved NOA # 10-0216.02 and Florida Building Code Approved # FL14006.