Techno Ad / Blog / Navigating the Complex World of Viton™ – FKM Rubber

Navigating the Complex World of Viton™ – FKM Rubber

In the specialized domain of industrial materials, the distinction between Viton™ and FKM rubber is a nuanced, yet crucial aspect often clouded by misconceptions.

Viton™ – FKM Rubber: Insights and Industry Adaptations

Introduction: Understanding Viton™ – FKM Rubber

In the specialized domain of industrial materials, the distinction between Viton™ and FKM rubber is a nuanced, yet crucial aspect often clouded by misconceptions.
Renowned for their resilience in demanding environments, these materials serve as linchpins in various sectors, from aerospace to medical and industrial. This comprehensive exploration aims to demystify these materials, offering clarity and guidance for informed decision-making in the industry.

Fluoroelastomers, commonly referred to as FKM, FPM, or Viton™, are all names for the same synthetic rubber group/family. This material, defined by ASTM International standard D1418 and ISO standard 1629, is often dubbed fluorine rubber or fluoro-rubber due to its chemical composition.
But why does the same material bear so many different names? Here’s a breakdown:
• Fluoroelastomers: This term describes a family of fluoropolymer rubbers.
• FKM: This is the American standard (ASTM) abbreviation for fluoroelastomers, where ‘F’ stands for Fluoro, ‘K’ represents Kohlenstoff (the German word for carbon), and ‘M’ denotes a saturated backbone rubber.
• FPM: This designation is used under international ISO standards for fluoroelastomers.
• Viton™, a trademark of The Chemours Company, represents a specific brand within the broader category of FKM. This distinction underscores the importance of specifying material requirements to ensure compatibility with application-specific conditions.

Read more here about Fluorocarbon (FKM) Rubber

Exploring the Essential Properties of Viton™-FKM Rubber

The properties of FKM materials vary significantly based on several factors:
1. Polymer Structure: Varying from copolymer to terpolymer forms.
2. Fluorine Content: Higher fluorine levels generally enhance chemical resistance.
3. Chemical Composition and Curing Agents affect the rubber’s physical properties.
Standard and special compounds of FKM display a wide range of temperature tolerances:
• Standard Compound: -26°C to 205°C (-15°F to 401°F)
• Special Compound: -40°C to 230°C (-40°F to 446°F)
• Hardness: Ranging from 50 to 90 Shore A.

With standard colors like black and optional ones including brown, green, red, and white, FKM can be customized for specific applications and aesthetics.

Different Categories of Viton™ grades: Specialized Applications

Viton™ fluoroelastomers are categorized based on fluorine content and specific properties:
1. A-Type: Contains 66% fluorine, commonly used for general-purpose seals.
2. B-, GBL-Type: Contains 67-68.5% fluorine, offering enhanced fluid resistance.
3. F-, GF-Type: At 70% fluorine, these types are suitable for harsher chemical environments.
4. GLT, GFLT: Tailored for extreme low-temperature applications.
5. Viton™ ETP Extreme: Offers the highest chemical resistance.
Each type of Viton™ is designed to meet specific environmental and chemical resistance needs, making it crucial to select the right type based on the operational requirements. Other manufacturers of FKM can offer comparable compounds to Viton™ grades.
Special grades of FKM/Viton™ can also provide certifications such as NSF 61, FDA, UL157, EN549, API 6A, and NORSOK M710, ensuring compliance with industry standards and requirements.

Read more here about Fluorocarbon (FKM) Rubber

The Impending Challenge of PFAS Regulations

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) categorizes Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as compounds that possess at least one fully fluorinated methyl (CF3-) or methylene (-CF2-) carbon atom, which lacks any hydrogen, chlorine, or beryllium attachments. This broad classification encompasses over 10,000 chemicals, including well-known substances such as FFKM (for example, Kalrez® and Perfluoroelastomers), PTFE, PFA, FKM (Fluoroelastomer), PVDF, and FVMQ (Fluorosilicones).
The forthcoming regulations targeting PFAS substances pose a challenge to the use of FKM/Viton™ and similar fluorinated materials. These regulations aim to curtail the use of fluorine-based materials due to environmental and health concerns, heralding a significant shift in material selection strategies across industries. Many manufacturers of raw materials are investing in a multigenerational plan to minimize the use of PFAS, the presence of PFAS in their products, or to identify alternatives.

Proactive Measures and Industry Adaptation

As the regulatory landscape evolves, the industry’s response focuses on innovation and the development of alternatives that comply with new standards without compromising material performance. Major raw material manufacturers are at the forefront of this effort. Techno-Ad is monitoring the development of alternatives to materials that will be banned according to PFAS regulations. As solutions become commercially viable, they will be adopted by us for the benefit of our customers who need durable materials in their production processes or in the use of the products they manufacture.

Staying Ahead of Regulatory Changes

Viton™ and FKM users must stay informed about regulatory developments and emerging material technologies.
By actively engaging with material science advancements and regulatory updates, businesses can navigate the transition with minimal disruption, ensuring compliance and continuity in their operations.

Visit our page on FKM for more information.

Looking for the perfect seal for your needs? Let’s discuss how Techno Ad’s FKM solutions can enhance your operational efficiency, deliver steadfast performance, and offer you complete assurance:

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