Manufacturing chemical resistant ‘O’ rings with perfluoroelastomer

When it comes to chemical resistant rubber materials, the undisputed heavyweight champions of them all are perfluoroelastomers (FFKM). These durable and versatile elastomers offer best in class chemical resistance, as well as seriously impressive thermal resistance, excellent sealing performance and can be used in explosive decompression, CIP, SIP and FDA applications.

In this article, TRP Polymer Solutions explains the processes behind the manufacture of chemical resistant rubber ‘O’ rings using FFKM at our state-of-the-art Hereford plant.

Manufacturing perfluoroelastomers (FFKM)

If you’ve ever read any of our previous articles, you will know that we are big fans of perfluoroelastomers (FFKM) here at TRP Polymer Solutions. Over the last half a century or so this wonder material has undergone somewhat of a renaissance. It has evolved from being the sole preserve of space programmes to becoming widely adopted across many industries, as its noteworthy characteristics have become more readily available to the wider market.

The main attraction of FFKM is undoubtedly its near universal chemical resistance. Just how good is it? Well, put it this way, FFKM offers the broadest chemical resistance of any elastomeric sealing material available today. To put that into context, FFKM resists more than 1,800 different chemicals. Little wonder then that this highly chemical resistant rubber has been widely adopted everywhere from chemical processing to semiconductor manufacturing, food and pharmaceutical processing, aerospace, and oil and gas production.

How are perfluoroelastomer (FFKM) ‘O’ rings made?

FFKM contains 72.5% fluorine with a fully fluorinated backbone chain. This is the maximum amount of fluorination possible without losing the elasticity needed for effective sealing performance. It’s the incredibly strong carbon-fluorine bonds contained within the chemical makeup of FFKM that imbues it with such incredible chemical, thermal and oxidation resistant properties. Find out more about the properties of FFKM.

Given the favourable characteristics of perfluoroelastomers, it makes perfect sense to develop high-performance, chemical resistant rubber ‘O’ rings using FFKM. TRP Polymer Solutions has formulated our own unique range of TRPlast™ FFKM materials to develop leak-tight seals for a wide range of applications. From rapid gas decompression (RGD) resistant perfluoroelastomers for the oil and gas industry to FDA approved FFKM for hygienic applications in the medical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries – we have a solution.

When it comes to developing custom chemical resistant rubber ‘O’ rings made from perfluoroelastomers, we follow a tried and tested design process from concept through to production. We work closely with you to develop the ideal FFKM sealing solution, which we design, prototype and manufacture to your specifications. Combining decades’ worth of industry experience, state-of-the-art ‘O’ ring presses and the most talented polymerists in the industry, TRP Polymer Solutions has all the right ingredients to produce the best FFKM seals money can buy.

Contact TRP Polymer Solutions today

Make TRP Polymer Solutions your custom moulded rubber manufacturer of choice. To find out more about our high-quality polymer products and manufacturing processes, or to discuss your requirements in more detail, please contact TRP Polymer Solutions on +44(0)1432 268899 or sales@trp.co.uk.

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