Viton® is a form of synthetic rubber, fluoroelastomer, and is a DuPont trade name for one of the more exotic gasket materials. In ASTM D1418, the material is known as FKM. Whether you asked for Viton® or FKM, professional gasket manufacturing companies understand what you need. Gaskets made from Viton® and FKM offer an impressive range of properties; however, the one major downside is the material cost. Viton® or FKM is expensive, and this affects the price of the gasket. The cost of this material has pushed it to become the last resort, applicable to the most challenging sealing difficulties.
Understanding Viton® Gaskets
To better understand Viton® gaskets and why they are highly coveted, one needs to understand the chemistry behind the material. Unlike most synthetic rubbers that have long chains of hydrocarbons, Viton® includes fluorine molecules that address the common shortcomings of synthetic rubbers. The fluorine molecules in Viton® bond closely with the hydrocarbon molecules and help prevent denaturation when exposed to prolonged UV or sunlight. The fluorine constituent also increases its stability to high temperatures and prevents swelling when exposed to oil. Despite all of these properties, Viton® maintains excellent flexibility.
Properties Of Viton® And FKM
A good gasket material needs to bounce back to its original shape and form when the load is taken off. Gaskets also need to have a wide temperature range and good temperature resistance. Viton® and FKM check all of these boxes. Compared to most synthetic rubbers, Viton® has the best compression set resistance.
FKM and Viton® are graded as ‘HK’ on the ASTM D2000 Standard. The ‘H’ indicates that FKM’s performance only deteriorates after being exposed to temperatures of 480 degrees for an extended time. The material still retains its function even at 570 degrees and remains effective at -40 degrees.
The ‘K’ in the ‘HK’ rating by ASTM Standard means the material swells lower than any other elastomeric material. The material also has high chemical resistance and can effectively withstand UV and ozone, automotive fuels, and hydrocarbon lubricating oils. However, it performs poorly when exposed to strong acids, ketones, and alkalis.
Applications Of Viton® And FKM
Viton® and FKM are favorites among engineers in the aerospace industry. This material is also a favorite, although minimally used, in the automotive industry. Engineering firms specializing in refrigerators and freezers also use this material as a seal around fridge and freezer doors. FKM’s UV-resistant feature makes it a great material for manufacturing products destined for excessive sunlight exposure.
When comparing FKM with other gasket materials, one consideration that stands out is the cost of replacement. FKM offers more durability and longevity in the face of harsh conditions and can last several times longer than other gasket materials. This means that the cost of replacement gaskets over the years may surpass the cost of one FKM gasket.
When choosing FKM and Viton® gaskets, you should know that the family of fluoroelastomers has different variations and grades. It is best to consult a product specialist before placing an order to ensure accuracy. If you are sure of what you need, visit https://www.gorillagasket.com/ to place an order.
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