Chemical resistant ‘O’ ring materials

In chemical sealing applications, it is imperative that ‘O’ rings retain their integrity. Chemical resistant ‘O’ rings are the only seals that guarantee a high-performance sealing solution that can withstand the demands of chemical media. In this article, TRP Polymer Solutions introduces you to the most reliable chemical resistant ‘O’ ring materials.

Not all ‘O’ rings are created equal and they certainly do not offer universal protection from chemical attack. In fact, if you are handling chemicals for a living, you really should invest in specialised chemical resistant ‘O’ rings wherever you require total reassurance that your seal will withstand the caustic media you deal with on a daily basis.

The problem with not using chemical resistant ‘O’ rings

Depending on the chemical media being sealed, the elastomer material of an unsuitable ‘O’ ring could react with certain chemicals. Frequently, this results in an increase in cross-link density, which can make an ‘O’ ring turn hard, brittle and less likely to provide a reaction force. On occasion, the cross-link density might reduce. This leads to an ‘O’ ring becoming soft and tacky, causing it to lose some of its original shape. Other issues arising from a non-resistant ‘O’ ring include blisters, cracking and discolouration.

Selecting the correct elastomer material for your media is therefore crucial. Especially given that chemical attack is accelerated at higher temperatures and when seals are under stress – precisely the times you need your elastomer ‘O’ rings to perform at their best. Thankfully, help is at hand. There are several high-performance elastomer materials that can ensure the operational integrity and longevity of your ‘O’ rings, and they are all available from TRP Polymer Solutions.

Chemical resistant ‘O’ ring materials

TRP Polymer Solutions offers a comprehensive selection of chemical resistant ‘O’ ring materials. Our highly experienced technical experts can recommend the most suitable materials for your specific needs before developing an optimised material formulation that results in the best quality chemical resistant ‘O’ ring for your exact specifications. We have a number of high-performance polymer materials that provide exceptional chemical resistance.

Perfluoroelastomer (FFKM) offers the broadest chemical resistance of any elastomeric sealing material. FFKM’s chemical compatibility makes it a cost-effective sealing solution for even the most demanding environments. We offer a range of grades to suit your application requirements, with temperature capabilities ranging from +260°c to +316°c peak usage, and white perfluoroelastomer grades suitable for use with strong oxidising media and hot aqueous solutions.

Our selection of chemical resistant ‘O’ ring materials also extends to Fluoroelastomer (FKM) seals and Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) rubber bonded seals. FKM offers greater chemical, thermal and oxidation resistance than most other elastomers. While PTFE’s carbon-fluorine molecular structure makes it inert to most chemicals. Both are premium sealing materials that nevertheless provide an excellent return on investment wherever chemical resistance is the prized goal.

Contact TRP Polymer Solutions today

Not only can we provide a range of acid resistant materials, but we also have extensive experience of working with pumps, valves and gaskets for the manufacture of chlorine. For a quick reference point to ascertain whether an elastomer material will be compatible with your chemical media, consult our chemical compatibility guide. To discuss your application in more detail, please contact TRP Polymer Solutions today on +44 (0)1432 268899 or email