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Seals provide increased resistance to steam and aggressive cleaning fluids

28 September 2014

Two of the latest speciality types of DuPont Viton fluoroelastomers (FKM) sealing products, made with APA (Advanced Polymer Architecture), are available in the UK from Dichtomatik.

These include Viton GF-600S and Viton Extreme ETP-600S, with laboratory tests having shown that vulcanizates based on these polymers provide new levels of superior performance in seals and gaskets for pharmaceutical, food and beverage applications where FDA repeat use food contact compliance is needed.

Compared to other sealing materials including conventional types of bisphenol-cured fluoroelastomer, vulcanites made with these latest DuPont products have advanced qualities including:
- Superior steam resistance including excellent retention of tensile properties in steam ageing
- Superior resistance to commercial cleaning fluids (including compression set)
- Superior resistance to a wide variety of chemicals used as food flavourings
- Low total extractable metals – similar to PTFE
- Low total organic carbon extractives – similar to PTFE

EPDM or silicone is often used in the production/manufacture of pharmaceutical and food related products. However, EPDM can exhibit good steam resistance, but poor resistance to commonly used cleaning fluids. Likewise silicone exhibits poor performance with steam, but good resistance to a wide variety of cleaning fluids.

These new DuPont polymers, based upon APA technology, provide lower volume swell which is indicative of maintained hardness and strength, ensuring that gaskets and ‘O’ rings retain sealing qualities while under pressure. These products are also formulated without the use of metal-based acid receptors, such as magnesium oxide and calcium hydroxide which results in measurably lower levels of extractable metals.

Also of great importance for sealing products used in food and pharmaceutical processing is the level of potentially extractable organic carbon materials which must be minimised to reduce any potential effect of altering food flavours.

Low levels of extractable carbon compounds are also relevant to the sterilisation processes used in these industries, where frequently steam, aggressive cleaning solutions, or even a combination of both are utilised.

The DuPont fluoroelastomers Viton GF-600S and Viton Extreme ETP-600S can outperform alternative sealing products such as EPDM, silicone and PTFE.

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