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RTJ Flanges vs RF Flanges

Ring type joint and raised face flanges are two of the most popular options in the industry today. When we talk about these types of flanges and their differences, we are referring to choosing the best type of flange to create an effective seal. Today we’re going to...

Flange Faces

As you start to consider purchasing flanges or gaskets, you’ll see a variety of terms used that you may not have come across before. Flange faces are the surface area that will receive the gasket, allowing them to come together to create a seal when put under...

Octagonal Ring Type Joints

A ring-type joint is a metallic ring that is machined to sit between two mating surfaces, where it will be compressed to provide a high-quality and reliable seal. Ring-type joints are vital components in various applications across multiple industry sectors,...

Blind Flange vs Blank Flange

Small pieces of mechanical equipment flanges continually play a vital role across numerous industries and applications. In essence, we use flanges to connect pipes to each other, with flanges also found in valves and specific application fittings too. Due to the...

Types of Flanges

Businesses in a variety of industries rely on flanges to join pipes or components together or to keep equipment secured to a surface. When it comes to choosing the best types of flange for your processes, you’ll want to take the time to research the different options...

Threaded Flange

Threaded flanges are probably the most recognisable of all flanges due to their screw thread design that is used to connect it to the pipe. Threaded flanges, also known as screwed flanges (for obvious reasons), require a male and female thread to create a connection...

Slip On Flange

A slip-on flange can also be known as a hubbed flange, which, as the name suggests, has a hub with a very low profile. Why is this important? Because this type of ring type joint gasket has an internal diameter larger than the connecting pipe, allowing you to slide it...

Weld Neck Flange

Also known as tapered hub flanges or high hub flanges, weld neck flanges are a specific type of gasket with a protruding ridge and long neck used to connect pipework and provide you with a high-quality seal. Weld neck flanges, in particular, are a popular choice when...

Nitrile vs Viton® – What is the Difference?

As you start to make a decision about what type of O-rings to purchase for your business, you might wonder what material is the most suitable for your unique needs. Every business operation has different requirements for their O-rings, such as the temperature,...

Aflas vs Viton

When it comes to choosing O ring suppliers in the UK, you’ll find that there are a wide range of materials on offer for you to choose from. Many people find that the options can seem quite overwhelming, with some materials having similar properties but offering...

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Different elastomers for o rings and various applications

Different elastomers for o rings and various applicationsAn elastomer is a primary raw material used for most o rings. They are typically manufactured as gum rubber or manufactured synthetically, and surprisingly today, there are approximately over 32 different synthetic rubbers now available. 

Elastomer compounds will typically include a base polymer (around 50-60%) with compounds consisting of various fillers, vulcanising agents, and chemical additives that will help modify and improve the physical properties of the base polymer. 

Elastomers are used in o rings and seal applications due to their ability to provide a robust, reliable, and leak-free solution. However, it’s important to note that the material of choice must match its intended application. 

Ultimately, an elastomer provides a quick recovery when faced with a compressive force, or when it is extended, i.e., an elastomer will not break when stretched, as after stretching has occurred, the elastomer will retract to within 10% of its original length.

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Types of elastomers 

Nitrile 

Also known as NBR or Buna-N, Nitrile is one of the most common material choices for o rings. Nitrile also offers good mechanical properties and high wear resistance to provide users with excellent resistance to varying temperatures and chemicals. 

Depending on the individual compound, it has cold flexibility between -30 degrees Fahrenheit and -70 and heat resistance up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Nitrile is also resistant to weathering and ozone. 

Hydrogenated Nitrile (highly saturated Nitrile) 

This is often formulated explicitly for specific compounds to provide superior mechanical properties while maintaining high chemical resistance. 

Carboxylate Nitrile 

Carboxylate Nitrile can provide extensive tear and abrasion resistance, making it a great choice for more dynamic applications. 

Overall, Nitrile offers good chemical and temperature resistance and is economically priced.  

It is also widely used across fuel and hydraulic applications. 

Chloroprene (Neoprene) 

Neoprene resists ozone, chemicals, and aging and can provide robust mechanical properties over a varying temperature range (from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 250 degrees Fahrenheit). 

It is also resistant to paraffin-based mineral oils, silicone grease and oil, carbon dioxide, water and water solvents, and ammonia.   

Neoprene is typically used within refrigerant and environmental sealing applications. 

FKM (Fluorocarbon, Viton) 

As this elastomer is most commonly known, Viton provides excellent resistance to synthetic hydraulic fluids, high temperatures, fuels, various chemicals, and a range of organic solvents. It can also offer a heat-resistant element up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and has a strong chemical resistance to mineral grease and oil, non-flammable hydraulic fluids, and silicone grease and oil.   

FFKM (Perfluoroelastomer) 

This is the elastomer that offers the best chemical compatibility and the highest operating temperature range. 

With heat resistance up to 620 degrees Fahrenheit, FFKM also has cold flexibility down to -15 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Resistant to a range of chemicals such as aromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, water and steam, high vacuum applications, and much more, FFKM is suitable for turbine engines and chemical processing equipment. 

It is also found in aerospace and oil and gas industries. 

It’s important to note that this elastomer does not perform well at low temperatures. 

Aflas 

Aflas offers excellent chemical resistance and has heat resistance up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and cold flexibility at -15.   

Aflas is also compatible with amines, phosphate esters, engine oils, hot water, and steam.  

Ultimately, Aflas is suitable to handle all base chemicals and is primarily found in steam applications. 

Note:  Aflas is not compatible with aromatic fuels. 

EPDM 

EPDM is a great seal for brake systems that use a glycol base found in the automotive industry. 

With heat resistance up to 400 degrees in water and steam, EPDM also offers a cold flex down to -70. 

Suitable for glycol-based brake fluids, inorganic and organic acids, silicone-based brake fluids, cleaning agents, and silicone grease and oil.  

It’s important to note EPDM should not be used in applications using hydrocarbons as the material will swell, causing extrusion.  

EPDM is also not compatible with mineral oils. 

Silicone Elastomer 

Silicone resists ozone and weather and provides good insulating neutral properties. Mainly used across static applications as silicone is prone to tearing. However, it offers heat resistance up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and a cold flex down to -65. 

Silicone is also chemically resistant to animal and vegetable greases and oil, flame-resistant insulators, it is a coolant for transformers, resistant to ozone, weather, aging, and offers moderate water resistance. 

However, silicone does have a poor resistance to wear and a low tensile strength. It also has poor mechanical properties, so it is not suitable for dynamic applications. 

Primarily used across life science applications. 

Polyacrylate 

Polyacrylate offers excellent resistance to ozone, oxygen, and mineral oil. Used within the automotive industry, polyacrylate has heat resistance up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cold flexibility down to -5. 

With a similar composition to that of NBR, it’s also important to note that polyacrylate is not compatible with glycol-based brake fluids, acids, hot water, steam, and aromatic fuels. 

To help you choose the best o ring material and elastomer for your application, finding a professional o ring supplier in the UK is key. 

A professional o ring supplier in Leeds like Specialist Sealing Products. 

With a vast selection of o rings and gaskets available, make sure to visit our website or call 01535 274 776 to find out more.

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