Fluorosilicone: The Hybrid Elastomer with Outstanding Versatility
In the world of synthetic elastomers, there's a material that stands out for its unique combination of properties and capabilities: fluorosilicone. This remarkable material is a hybrid of silicone and FKM (fluoroelastomer), making it a versatile choice for a wide range of applications. In this blog, we will delve into the characteristics, applications, and limitations of fluorosilicone, helping you understand why it's a valuable tool in various industries.
What is Fluorosilicone?
Fluorosilicone, as the name suggests, is a hybrid elastomer that combines the best of both silicone and FKM. It is a synthetic rubber-like material designed to withstand the harshest environments, making it an ideal choice for applications that demand exceptional resistance to chemicals, oils, fuels, and weathering.
One of the primary advantages of fluorosilicone is its remarkable resistance to a variety of aggressive substances. It can effectively withstand exposure to petroleum oils, solvents, hydrocarbon fuels, and various chemicals. This quality is particularly valuable in industries such as automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing, where contact with these substances is common.
Fluorosilicone is well-known for its ability to withstand ozone and weathering. It maintains its integrity and performance even when exposed to extreme temperatures, ultraviolet (UV) rays, and environmental factors. This feature makes it a preferred material for outdoor applications, gaskets, and seals in challenging weather conditions.
Mechanical and Physical Properties
In terms of mechanical and physical characteristics, fluorosilicone closely resembles silicone. It typically falls within a hardness range of 50-90 Shore A, which allows it to be tailored to various applications. Its flexibility and resilience make it suitable for gaskets, seals, O-rings, and other components in dynamic systems.
Applications of Fluorosilicone
Fluorosilicone's unique combination of properties makes it an ideal choice for a wide range of applications, including but not limited to:
- Aerospace Industry: Fluorosilicone is widely used in the aerospace sector for applications such as fuel system components, gaskets, and seals. Its resistance to aviation fuels, lubricants, and extreme temperatures makes it indispensable in this industry.
- Automotive Industry: In the automotive world, fluorosilicone finds its place in fuel systems, engine components, and under-the-hood applications. Its resistance to automotive fluids and ozone exposure ensures the longevity and reliability of these components.
- Oil and Gas: Fluorosilicone is used in oil and gas applications where resistance to various hydrocarbon-based fuels and chemicals is essential. It performs admirably in downhole tools, gaskets, and seals.
- Medical and Pharmaceutical: In the medical and pharmaceutical industries, fluorosilicone is used for seals and gaskets in equipment that comes into contact with various chemicals and cleaning agents, ensuring the integrity of the processes.
Limitations of Fluorosilicone
While fluorosilicone offers an array of impressive benefits, it is important to note its limitations. Notably, fluorosilicone has poor resistance to heated air and gases. Therefore, it is not suitable for applications involving high-temperature environments. In such conditions, traditional fluorocarbon elastomers (FKM) or silicone may be more appropriate choices.
In conclusion, fluorosilicone is a remarkable hybrid elastomer that combines the best attributes of silicone and FKM. Its resistance to a wide range of chemicals, oils, fuels, and weathering makes it an excellent choice for applications across diverse industries. However, its vulnerability to heated air and gases means that careful consideration is required when selecting it for specific applications. When used appropriately, fluorosilicone can provide long-lasting, reliable, and cost-effective solutions for challenging environments. For further information, reach out to COR Manufacturing's dedicated and knowledgeable team today and discover how we can meet your specific needs.
*COR MFG stocks this material in O-ring Cord form and can vulcanize these parts into custom O-rings.