In today's competitive efforts to continuously improve both material performance and quality, the “designer team” of laboratory scientists and engineers, manufacturing engineers, and marketing specialists must consider the ultimate cost of manufacturing at the very beginning of new product development. One method of controlling costs is by manufacturing new materials using continuous processing methods versus batch processing methods. Although continuous processing is not new to manufacturing, developing high performance material systems adaptable to such methods is still a challenge for chemists and engineers.This paper describes current R & D work to develop gasket materials which can be manufactured by continuous coating or continuous lamination of coiled substrates, e.g., metals, dense papers, etc. The focus of the paper is a discussion of work to relate material properties and performance to chemical structure of the gasket materials. Emphasis is on properties and performance, not on the chemistry. Projects to develop three material systems will be discussed. This is expected to be the first in a series of papers reporting on the development, manufacturability, and performance characteristics of these material systems.