Silicone rubber is a popular material in multiple industry verticals including automotive and aerospace applications, but the innovation of fluorosilicone has introduced additional abilities of rubber materials in these industries. Fluorosilicone rubber (FVMQ) is a variation of silicone with properties that allow it to function in more extreme environments than silicone rubber. Containing trifluoropropyl groups, FVMQ is a complex material that can better withstand exposure to sunlight, ozone, chlorination, or aromatic hydrocarbons. With its many benefits, it is helpful to understand what makes fluorosilicone a smart choice for certain items and not others. This blog will delve into some applications where fluorosilicone should be used as well as the characteristics that differentiate it from silicone.
With enhanced resistances to non-polar solvents, fuels, oils, acids, and alkaline chemicals, fluorosilicone is optimal for specific conditions that simple silicon rubber cannot withstand. As it has excellent heat, flame, chemical, and weather resistance, FVMQ is popular for outdoor appliances. Furthermore, fluorosilicone shares properties with fluorocarbons that silicon does not, allowing it to hold up well in applications that use solvents, fuels, and oils. These qualities, paired with its slightly lower maximum service temperature and hot air resistance, make FVMQ a popular material for engines and mechanical systems.
As such, fluorosilicone rubber is popular for components like gaskets, tubing, seals, and o-rings. Seals are any components used to prevent fluid or air leakage. In addition to the specific seals fitted for certain applications, o-rings and gaskets are general types of seals that are available. O-rings are shaped like a donut and are typically situated in a groove where the parts form the sea,l and this blocks the escape of air and fluids by filling in the space between coupled components. Meanwhile, gaskets are flat, thin components with penetrations going through them. They fit between two flat surfaces to act as flexible seals and provide vibration control. Lastly, tubing is used to carry fluids and gasses through systems, so FVMQ makes for strong tubing material in certain systems.
The aforementioned components should be made from fluorosilicone for use with animal and vegetable oils, fuels, oxidizing chemicals, and aromatic & chlorinated solvents. Additionally, any applications that require excellent flexibility or compression set resistance should employ fluorosilicone. Countless other conditions, including dry heat environments, broad temperature range environments, some petroleum oil applications, and chlorinated solvent environments can rely on FVMQ components. At the same time, FVMQ should not be used for all applications because it has limited abilities. When working with ketones, Phosphate esters, some acids, auto/aircraft brake fluids, or Amines (ammonia), fluorosilicone rubber may have less desirable or negative results.
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