FKM - Fluoroelastomers
or Fluorocarbons

Properties

Fluoroelastomers or Fluorocarbons (FKM), also known as Viton®, are highly fluorinated polymers that are suitable for continuous use at elevated temperatures. Various grades are available, including copolymer and terpolymers. The most common grades consist of tetrafluoroethylene, hexafluoropropylene, and vinylidene fluoride.

Fluoroelastomers have excellent heat and flame resistance, and outstanding resistance to aging, ozone, oxidizers, oils and many chemicals. They also have low gas permeability and low compression set. However, they usually have only limited low temperature capabilities; although some special lower temperature grades are available. They also have limited resistance to steam, hot water and (very) polar fluids such as strong organic acids (e.g. formic acid), methanol, ketones, ammonia and some amines, whereas new peroxide cured grades have somewhat improved chemical resistance. Furthermore, they are expensive and, thus, are only used when the components have to withstand especially harsh environments.

 

COMMERCIAL FKM Elastomers

Important manufacturers and suppliers of fluoroelastomers (fluorocarbons, FKM) are Du Pont, 3M, Solvay and Daikin.

 

Applications

Fluoroelastomer compounds are widely used in the chemical, automotive, aerospace, and energy industry. They are used for hoses, diaphragms, accumulator bladders, gaskets, O-rings and seals, all operating in especially harsh environments.

The typical service temperature of FKMs is between -20°C (-5°F) and +230°C (+445°F). They can, however, withstand temperatures up to 300°C for a short period of time. However, at high service temperatures FKMs are weak, so that the design must prevent any high loads.

 

Notes
  1. Viton® is a registered trade mark of DuPont Performance Elastomers.

Main Properties

Temp. Range, °C -20 / 230
Compression Set Good
Strength Properties Fair/Good
Low Temp. Prop. Fair
Abrasion Resist. Good
Gas Permeability Good
Weather Resist. Excellent
Water Resistance Excellent
Ozone Resistance Excellent
Mineral Oil Resist. Excellent
Chemical Resist. Excellent
Flame Resistance Excellent
Heat Resistance Excellent

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