Viton™ fluoroelastomer sealing products, available in the UK from Dichtomatik Ltd, have been the first choice of scientists and engineers since the product was introduced by DuPont™ in 1958. The unique properties and superior performance of this FKM product engender a level of sealing reliability in even the most demanding of industries including automotive, chemical processing and transportation, aircraft and aerospace, oil and gas exploration and production, along with many other industrial production environments including in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
However, some suppliers incorrectly refer to any and all FKM general elastomers as Viton™. These are products not made from 100% virgin Viton™, which all subsequently fall short of the anticipated high performance levels and stringent quality levels set by the genuine Viton™ product.
To guarantee the highest quality FKM products available, users should insist upon 100% virgin Viton™ (manufactured at ISO 9002 registered facilities only) and ensure that the products supplied are identified with “Made With Genuine Viton™” approval seals.
Genuine Viton™ is highly recommended for such qualities as:
- Outstanding resistance to heat, oxidation, weathering and ozone.
- Outstanding resistance to a broad variety of fluids including: aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, halogenated fluids and strong acids.
- Outstanding resistance to compression set, providing sealing performance and a longevity unmatched by any non-fluorinated elastomer.
The heat resistant properties of genuine Viton™ products far outlast nitrile rubber and other general-purpose elastomers. With such reliability, service intervals can be safely extended, helping to stretch maintenance budgets by reducing unscheduled downtime across a wide industrial spectrum. In the aircraft and aerospace market Viton™ has delivered extended sealing properties for jet engines with operating temperatures of 204°C, and even maintaining performance after excursions up to levels of 315°C temperature.
In tough oil and gas downhole applications Viton™ provides protection against seal failure, helping to extend MTBF intervals. While in the automotive industry, Viton™ ensures improved durability of advanced fuel and engine systems even when operating at extreme operating temperatures for fuels, oils, transmission fluids and even acid concentrates. In petroleum refining and transportation there is a wide established use of bonded seals, radial lip seals, caulks, coatings, vibration dampeners, expansion joints, gaskets, ‘O’ rings, piston seals and custom shapes including stock-rods and sheets. For these diverse requirements, there is a world-wide availability of the true Viton™ products, with the approved supplier for the UK being Dichtomatik Ltd.
These characteristics make Viton™ fluoroelastomer the perfect choice for demanding sealing applications. Unfortunately, there are several low-cost “fluoroelastomer imposters” on the market that may put expensive production operations at risk of seal failure. A number of these finished goods manufacturers offer products which are being described as “commercial” or “industrial grades” of fluoroelastomer at reduced prices.
These so-called “fluoroelastomers” can be offered at lower cost simply because they are not 100% virgin fluoroelastomer. Instead, some of these products are blends of FKM with hydrocarbon elastomers, such as ethylene-propylene, chloroprene or acrylic rubbers. Many hydrocarbon rubbers can be blended to take advantage of specific features inherent in the individual rubbers. Fluoroelastomers in general cannot be blended with hydrocarbon rubber without significantly degrading the resistance of the resulting vulcanizates to heat, fluids and compression set.
Because Viton™ performs better than hydrocarbon rubbers in fluid resistance, blends of other rubbers with Viton™ typically perform significantly poorer than 100% FKM. Blends of Viton™ with hydrocarbon rubbers do not perform “almost like FKM” or anything close to it. Users should beware of the “good deals” on offer. Rather than being a “low-cost fluoroelastomer”, blends can instead perform like an over-priced hydrocarbon rubber. If your sealing application is one that is best handled by a fluoroelastomer, make sure you are getting 100% Viton™ FKM, and not a “low cost” blend of FKM and hydrocarbon rubber. Insist on parts made with Genuine Viton™. Our Genuine Viton™ License Program guarantees the end-user that the elastomer portion of finished goods which bear the Genuine Viton™ Label consist only of 100% virgin Viton™ fluoroelastomer.
It is recommended that potential users always provide full detailed material specifications to their potential supplier. Specifications that are insufficient, inaccurate or that allow substitutions may lead to quality and performance problems. However, a well-written specification that identifies the type of material and quantifies the critical performance parameters of the desired seal will communicate to suppliers the most cost-effective FKM for the application in hand. When Viton™ is specified, product performance may be enhanced since the correct type of Viton™ has been tailored for your application needs.
These types or “families” of Viton™ enable selection of the most cost-effective elastomer. Each family affords a tailored balance of mechanical properties, as well as specific resistance to various types of process fluids.