Fluoroelasto-What? Everything You Need to Know About Our FKM Gasket Material

Gorilla Gasket

Everything You Need to Know About Our FKM Gasket Material

Fluoroelasto-What? Everything You Need to Know About Our FKM Gasket Material

If you’ve ever found yourself thinking things like, “What is FKM material?” “Do I need FKM gaskets?” or “How are FKM gaskets made?” then you’re either an enormous gasket enthusiast like we are here at Gorilla Gasket, or you’ve fallen down one weird Wikipedia-article rabbit hole. But regardless of how you wound up thinking about FKM gasket materials, we’re glad you did because we have the answers to all of your FKM and gasket-related questions!

Here at Gorilla Gasket, we consider ourselves to be experts in all things gasket related—and our happy customers tend to agree. Whether you’re considering our services to create a custom-made gasket for a highly-specialized piece of equipment or you’re just curious to know more about this mysterious FKM gasket material, we have you covered. So let’s start with the basics.

What is FKM Gasket Material?

FKM is a type of fluoroelastomer, which is basically similar to synthetic rubber material. We know its name sounds more like something that’s added to tap water to help keep our teeth clean, but FKM is actually a hard-working and incredibly durable sealing material for gaskets. In addition, fluoroelastomers have excellent chemical resistance, making them ideal for use in high-temperature and chemical-based applications (which we’ll get deeper into later). 

FKM is actually not just one, but a family of five different fluorocarbon materials that are split more specifically into Type-1 through Type-5. Each of these types varies slightly, offering various levels of chemical resistance, temperature ranges, and other specific qualities. Thankfully, all that high-intensity science is left to the many companies like Viton® who produce the fluoroelastomer material that we use for our selection of top-of-the-line FKM gaskets—which saves us the stress of going back to science class and instead gives us more time to work on making sure our customers get the best FKM gaskets around. 

By now, you’re probably wondering how we managed to get the acronym FKM from the word fluoroelastomer—notice the distinct lack of the letter “K” in the word. That’s because it is actually an acronym for Fluorine Kautschuk Material, and if you’ve been studying up on your German recently, you’ll already know that Kautschuk simply means “rubber”!

A Brief History of FKM

FKM, or Fluorine Kautschuk Material, was first introduced in the 1950s as a revolutionary substitute for rubber materials. This new fluoroelastomer far surpassed the standard rubber gaskets used at the time and quickly became an ideal choice for use in gasket-making geared towards chemical and high-temperature applications. Since then, it has been improved upon and innovated to become the incredibly durable FKM gasket material that we know and love today. 

Well, Why Is It So Special?

There are a lot of reasons why FKM gaskets are some of the best and most popular gasket materials on the market today (and certainly one of our favorites to work with). For starters, FKM gaskets, in particular, are known for their superior heat resistance—even up to 500°F—as well as their outstanding resistance to oil, chemicals, and other corrosives. In other words, FKM gasket materials can easily handle almost any extreme conditions you can throw at them.

FKM gaskets are also incredibly versatile and durable, which means that they maintain their shape and properties even after long-term use in the most challenging of applications. This makes them a great long-term solution for almost any kind of machinery or equipment that is subject to tough conditions, high temperatures, or corrosive chemicals. That’s why so many customers come to us specifically when they need a reliable, heavy-duty FKM gasket material.

How Does It Compare to Other Gasket Materials?

FKM gaskets are often considered the gold standard in terms of performance, but they do have their limitations. While FKM is an incredibly strong and durable material, it can be somewhat expensive compared to other types of gasket materials on the market. Additionally, it does have sensitivity to certain chemicals and can be prone to cracking if used under the wrong conditions. That’s why it’s crucial to thoroughly consider these factors before settling on an FKM gasket material for a specific application.

In comparison to other gasket materials like Nitrile (NBR) and Silicone, FKM has superior chemical resistance and temperature capabilities. For example, NBR can often only handle temperatures up to 250°F, while Silicone often deforms and loses its sealing capabilities after long-term exposure. On the other hand, FKM gaskets, as we already said, can handle temperatures up to 500°F without issue and can even withstand temperatures as low as -40°F!

Where There’s Danger, There’s FKM Gasket Material Keeping You Safe

In the gasket world, FKM is incredibly versatile; FKM gaskets can be found in all sorts of applications across a range of industries. That’s why we’re a proud provider of custom-made FKM gaskets that are shipped off to our customers and companies all around the world! Though FKM gasket material is excellent for a variety of uses, it really shines when it’s used to ensure safety and protection in possibly dangerous situations—where the risk of oil leaks, chemical spills, or an unfortunate one-way trip into the icy nothingness of space is ever-present. 

Aerospace

In the aerospace industry, FKM is often the go-to choice for gasket materials due to its extraordinary heat and chemical resistance. FKM gaskets are ideal for aerospace applications, as they can retain their seal even in high temperatures and pressure extremes. This makes them perfect for use in aircraft engines, which experience extreme temperatures and intense vibrations during high-speed flights. Not to mention their exciting use in modern space exploration, where FKM gaskets are used on the exterior of spacecraft to help protect them from the intense cold of deep space. 

Food and Pharmaceuticals

The food and pharmaceutical industries are highly regulated, requiring materials that meet strict safety standards while also performing to a higher standard. This is where FKM gaskets can really shine—their superior heat and chemical resistance ensures a reliable seal even under the most demanding conditions. As a result, FKM gaskets can be used in all kinds of food and pharmaceutical production, from bottling to mixing and beyond. They also comply with the regulations set by the FDA, making them ideal for use in a wide range of food and drug products.

Oil Refining

The oil refining industry is a hazardous environment, with extreme temperatures and pressures, as well as corrosive chemicals that can quickly degrade traditional gasket materials. This is why FKM gaskets are so popular in this sector—their superior resistance to heat, oil, and chemicals make them the perfect choice for this kind of heavy-duty application. FKM gaskets are also incredibly durable, meaning they can withstand the rigors of an oil refinery without compromising their seal. 

And More!

FKM gaskets are also popular in automotive, marine, and other industrial applications. For example, in the automotive industry, FKM gaskets can be found in engines, transmissions, powertrains, and exhaust systems—anywhere that needs to contain high heat exposure and pressure. Similarly, in the marine sector, they are used to help protect vessels from the extreme environmental conditions out at sea, as well as for gasket applications in fuel and water tanks. And if you’re a fan of scuba diving, then you’ve been using FKM gasket material, and you probably didn’t even realize it!

What Can Go Wrong If You Use the Wrong Gasket Material?

Sorry in advance for the cliché, and feel free to roll your eyes, but the old saying, “you get what you pay for,” is fundamentally true when it comes to choosing the right gasket material for your intended application. If your equipment or industrial machines need FKM gasket material, never choose cheaper gaskets just to save a buck—doing so could put your entire operation at risk due to FKM’s unique properties that other materials simply can’t match.

When the wrong gasket material is used, it could lead to catastrophic failure. For example, poorly sealed joints in refining industries can leak oil, coolant, or other chemicals into the environment. The food we all eat can be contaminated with hazardous materials when the wrong gaskets are used in food and pharmaceutical production. In aerospace, using the inappropriate gasket material can result in a failure of critical systems in flight, leading to horrible disasters like what happened with the Space Shuttle Challenger.

So, the moral of the story? Don’t skimp on quality when it comes to gasket material selection. Choosing high-quality FKM gaskets for your specific application will ensure that your machinery is built with safe, reliable components that won’t fail under pressure—literally!

The Many Types of FKM Gaskets

When it comes to FKM gasket material, our customization options are practically endless. We offer a variety of sizes, shapes, and thicknesses to make sure that you get the perfect fit for your application. Even if you need a specific and uniquely-cut gasket, Gorilla Gasket has the tools and expertise to make it happen.

Though we can create any type of gasket you need, our most popular go-to options are:

    • Our Viton™ FKM Full Face (FF) Gaskets — These are popular in the chemical processing, petrochemical, and oil refining industries due to their superior heat and chemical resistance. With the usual fluoroelastomer extreme temperature and chemical resistance, these FKM gaskets are ready for any challenge.

    • Our Viton™ FKM Ring Gaskets — These are great for high-pressure applications, as they can create a tighter seal than full-face gaskets. They are often used in pipe-joining applications, as well as in industrial valves and pumps.

    • Our #6 Thick Viton™ FKM Rubber Washers — Our FKM gasket material washers deserve some love too! These helpful little washers are excellent for applications that require vibration and motion control, like car suspension systems or agricultural equipment. They help keep everything where it needs to be and sealed up tight.

However, that doesn’t give you a complete idea of all that we have to offer. When we say we can cut any gasket you need—we mean it! We can design and create:

    • O-ring gaskets

    • Flange gaskets

    • Die-cut gaskets

    • Jacketed gaskets

    • Envelope gaskets

    • Kammprofile gaskets

    • Spiral wound gaskets

    • Rubber sheet gaskets

    • And any customized piece you can imagine!

So, don’t stunt your operation with generic, low-grade parts when you need a reliable and extraordinary gasket material. Instead, choose Gorilla Gasket’s fantastic FKM gasket materials for all of your sealing needs!

Get Our FKM Gasket Materials by Gorilla Gasket Today!

Here at Gorilla Gasket, we understand the importance of having reliable and durable seals that can stand up to any job. That’s why we create the highest quality gaskets for all sorts of industrial needs. We make sure that each gasket, including our FKM gasket material pieces, meets the highest standards in precision cutting, material selection, and performance. And we know that each industry has different requirements, so we are prepared to ship out gaskets for various industries, such as food processing, petrochemical, oil and gas, refining, mining, power generation, and more. Plus, our cutting-edge tools allow our outstanding and experienced personnel to help you with your production needs—fast. 

What sets us apart from the other gasket-makers of the world is that we believe in building strong relationships with all of our customers (as long as you’re nice to us). So whenever you call us or need something urgently or even require a unique FKM gasket material solution—you can count on us! We are proud to provide you with unsurpassed customer service and quick turnaround time with your customized product. No matter what pattern, size, shape, material, or application you may need—we are happy to cut your gaskets to your exact measurements and specifications. For custom gasket orders, please contact us directly for a quote. We’ll make sure you receive the best price possible while ensuring a quick completion time frame depending on your specific requirement. In most cases, we can ship the same day!

So what are you waiting for? Place your order now and let the Gorilla Gaskets crew provide you with the best gaskets and FKM gasket material solutions available! We’ll work together to ensure your seals are as strong and reliable as possible. Contact us today by phone or submit your custom quote right here on our website. We look forward to hearing from you soon!