Materials knowledge: a key advantage working with DP Seals
At DP Seals we pride ourselves on being able to provide specialist advice in selecting and developing exactly the right blend of materials to meet a vast range of performance requirements.
We also maintain a large quantity and variety of quality raw materials in stock, enabling us to offer fast turnaround and provide for tight deadlines.
On the right is a chemical compatibility checker which allows you to check over 1,600 chemicals against all the major polymers.
For many years, most seals were made from nitrile rubber (NBR) because of its resistance to attack from mineral oils and petroleum solvents.Today's high performance rubber polymers are resistant to many chemicals but some are extremely costly, such as perfluoroelastomers like FFKM.
DP Seals has mastered perfluoroelastomers like FFKM. This fully-fluorinated polymer provides an exceptional combination of temperature and chemical performance making it the material of choice for fuel and lubrication seals as well as connectors operating under the harshest conditions.Multi-way perfluoroelastomer fibre optic cable grommet
However, recent advances in compounding have identified some lower cost alternatives:
Below FFKM is FKM, offering high temperature performance, exceptional resistance to chemicals and mineral oils, and good resistance to ozone and sunlight. However, its long-term problems with high pH chemicals (bases) are solved with Viton Extreme compounds such as ETP 600S. This new fluoroelastomer offers improved tensile strength, superior compression set resistance and lower volume swell for longer seal life and wear resistance, making it ideal for use in fuel and lubrication seals.Viton Extreme bonded to stainless steel washers
for use in Arctic aircraft fuelling station
Optimised HNBR compounds are now available that offer a performance envelope similar to FFKM at a significantly lower cost. They maintain the high temperature performance while extending low temperature applications to -50°C, expanding opportunities in Arctic-like weather conditions. Additionally, HNBR’s excellent resistance to abrasion is extended, offering engineers a choice between optimised HNBR and perfluoroelastomers.
Cutting-edge polymer choices
For companies at the cutting edge of their technologies, DP Seals continuously investigates new rubber polymers through its on-going R&D programme to better understand not only the material's design performance but also its moulding characteristics.
HNBR's advantages in oil and gas are well understood; carboxylation further improves abrasion resistance making it one tough material.
Teflon-coated rubber has been around for some time. However, using nano-particle Teflon as a fluoroelastomer filler shows immense promise, reducing friction with no flexibility and flaking side-effects.
Fluoroelastomers perform well at high temperatures but poorly at low temperatures; silicone fluoroelastomer works down to -50°C without top-end compromise with upgraded chemical resistance and much improved metal bonding.
As oil and gas exploration moves into Arctic and Antarctic regions, so the demand for hard wearing, high pressure, low temperature polymers grows. DP Seals has teamed up with Solvay Specialty Polymers (world #2 in fluorochemicals) to pioneer the use of new technology polymers offering a -40°C glass temperature and improved chemical resistance profile. We are already making aerospace and subsea mouldings in this material for clients.
Need specialist advice?
With the increasing variety of rubber compounds available, and the ability to tailor them to specific requirements, engineers are continually finding new and innovative uses for rubber mouldings. At DP Seals we pride ourselves on being able to provide specialist advice in selecting and developing exactly the right blend of materials to meet a vast range of performance requirements. Email our for help and advice.
If you are unsure about what material might be best, check out the article: "Mind the gap - a guide to custom rubber", for ideas, call us on +44 (1202) 674671 or email our .
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