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Evolution of Seal Materials
The evolution of seal materials evolved as seals faced more rugged demands. Early needs could be met using packed hemp or leather, but as the demands became more and more rigorous new materials were sought. This led to the introduction of natural rubber seals, which evolved into synthetic elastomers, and finally engineering polymers like PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene).
Four of the most common modern material options for rotary shaft seal lips are nitrile rubber, polyacrylate, FKM, and PTFE. Of these materials, three are elastomers – nitrile rubber, polyacrylate rubber and FKM – and only one is polymer – PTFE. Let’s see how these materials stack up.
PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), aka Teflon, is typically the first choice polymer for bellows and diaphragms, but did you know that PTFE isn’t the only polymer you can choose from? In this article we are going to compare two other polymers – PFA and TFM – to PTFE as a material choice for bellows and diaphragms.
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For a number of years fluoropolymers have played a significant role in the chemical and similar industries to protect plants and equipment against chemical attack by a broad range of aggressive media. This is because they offer substantially better chemical resistance and thermal stability than other plastics or elastomeric materials.For a number of years fluoropolymers have played a significant role in the chemical and similar industries to protect plants and equipment against chemical attack by a broad range of aggressive media. This is because they offer substantially better chemical resistance and thermal stability than other plastics or elastomeric materials.
Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE (more commonly known as Teflon) is a particularly versatile ivory-white and opaque plastic fluoropolymer; it is made by the free-radical polymerisation of many tetrafluoroethene molecules, and is suitable for a wide range of applications in industries as diverse as aerospace, the food and drink industry, pharmaceuticals and telecoms.
Polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE or PTFCE) is a thermoplastic chlorofluoropolymer with the molecular formula (CF2CClF)n, where nis the number of monomer units in the polymer molecule. It is similar to polytetrafluoroethene (PTFE), except that it is a homopolymerof the monomer chlorotrifluoroethylene (CTFE) instead of tetrafluoroethene. It has the lowest water vapor transmission rate of any plastic.