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A rubber o ring gasket is a mechanical seal that fills the space between two mating surfaces, generally to prevent leakage from or into the joined objects while under compression. Gaskets allow "less-than-perfect" mating surfaces on machine parts where they can fill irregularities. Gaskets are commonly produced by cutting from sheet materials, such as gasket paper, rubber, silicone, metal, cork, felt, neoprene, nitrile rubber, fiberglass, or a plastic polymer. Gaskets for specific applications may contain asbestos. It is usually desirable that the gasket be made from a material that is to some degree yielding such that it is able to deform and tightly fills the space it is designed for, including any slight irregularities. A few gaskets require an application of sealant directly to the gasket surface to function properly. Rubber is an elastomer (an elastic hydrocarbon polymer) that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the latex sap collected and refined into a usable rubber. The purified form of natural rubber is the chemical polyisoprene, which can also be produced synthetically. Natural rubber is used extensively in many applications and products, as is synthetic rubber. It is normally very stretchy and flexible.