Category Archive: seals

Fluorosilicone vs. Silicone for O-rings, Gaskets, Tubing and Seals

 

Fluorosilicone rubber (FVMQ) is a variation of silicone featuring stability, compression set resistance to temperature extremes, and enhanced resistances to non-polar solvents, fuels, oils, acids, and alkaline chemicals. This material is common in many industrial, automotive, and aerospace applications where static sealing and cushioning is required.

FVMQ contains trifluoropropyl groups, making it highly versatile for outdoor sealing applications or environments where exposure to sunlight, ozone, chlorination, or aromatic hydrocarbons is common. The basic properties of fluorosilicone include:

  • Temperature range: -60–200º C
  • Compression set: Fair/good
  • Strength: Fair
  • Low temperature properties: Excellent
  • Abrasion resistance: Poor
  • Gas permeability: Fair
  • Weather resistance: Excellent
  • Water resistance: Excellent
  • Ozone resistance: Excellent
  • Mineral oil resistance: Excellent
  • Chemical resistance: Excellent
  • Flame resistance: Excellent
  • Heat resistance: Excellent

A comparison between fluorosilicone and silicone in relation to their use in O-rings, gaskets, tubing and seals allow users to choose the best solution for specific applications.

Fluorosilicone vs. Silicone

Silicone elastomers—also known as silicone rubbers—are composed of silicone, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. They are non-reactive, stable, and resistant to extreme environments and temperatures from −55–300° C (−67–572° F). They share these characteristics with fluorosilicones.

Fluorosilicone rubber distinguishes itself from silicone because it also contains additional beneficial properties common to fluorocarbons. The addition of these compounds enhances FVMQ’s capacity to resist solvents, fuel, and oil. Fluorosilicone has a slightly lower maximum service temperature hot air resistance than silicone.

fluorosilicone vs silicone o rings gaskets tubing and seals

Fluorosilicone O-rings, Gaskets Tubing and Seals

Fluorosilicone’s distinctive properties make it ideal for use in the sealing solutions found in engines, machines, and other mechanical systems. Common fluorosilicone sealing components include:

  • O-rings. Shaped like a donut, O-rings are usually seated within a groove on one or both of the joined parts where they form a seal, where they block the escape of air and fluids by filling in the space between coupled components.
  • Gaskets. Gaskets provide a flexible seal between two joined components. They are usually flat and relatively thin, with bolt or pin penetrations through them. Compressed between two flat surfaces, gaskets provide sealing as well as vibration control.
  • Seals. This is a general term for any component that prevents fluid/air leakage fluids, blocks contaminants, or maintains pressure. O-rings and gaskets are types of seals, but the term usually applies to application-specific sealing solutions held in place by compression, such as oil seals found in engines.
  • Tubing.

O-rings, gaskets and seals fill the space between two joined parts in a machine or engine, allowing for the conveyance or transfer of fluids or air between them without leakage. Beyond fluid and vapor leakage, these components prevent debris from entering into mechanical systems and maintain consistent pressures to ensure optimal performance.

Recommended Uses of Fluorosilicone O-rings, Gaskets Tubing, and Seals

Certain systems, environments, and applications benefit from the use of O-rings, gaskets, tubing, and seals created with fluorosilicone, including:

  • Jet fuel systems
  • Dry heat environments
  • Broad temperature range environments
  • Some petroleum oil applications
  • Chlorinated solvents environments

Non-Recommended Uses Fluorosilicone O-rings, Gaskets Tubing and Seals

Though their properties provide ideal solutions in the above instances, there are other applications where the use of fluorosilicone O-rings, gaskets, tubing, and seals will produce less desirable or negative results, including applications containing:

  • Ketones (MEK)
  • Phosphate esters
  • Some acids
  • Auto/aircraft brake fluids
  • Amines (ammonia)

Benefits of Fluorosilicone O-rings, Gaskets, Tubing and Seals

There are certain special features provided by fluorosilicone O-rings, gaskets, and seals. Seals made of FVMQ provide benefits such as:

  • Excellent flexibility and compression set resistance
  • High-level aging, weather, and UV resistance
  • Resistance to animal and vegetable oils, fuels, oxidizing chemicals, aromatic and chlorinated solvents
  • Capacity to withstand aliphatic and aromatic fluorocarbons, diluted alkalis, toluene, benzene, ozone, diester oils, silicone oils, and oxidative environments

Fluorosilicone Sealing and Tubing Solutions from Vanguard Products

The specialized properties of fluorosilicone provide many of the benefits of silicone while adding additional resistances to non-polar solvents, fuels, oils, acids, and alkaline chemicals. These benefits make it the right solution for the formation of O-rings, gaskets, tubing, and seals used in many industrial, automotive, aerospace and aviation applications.

Vanguard Products Corporation is a provider of fluorosilicone O-rings, gaskets, tubing, and seals for these and other applications. Contact us to learn more about the fluorosilicone sealing solutions available from Vanguard.

Preparing and Inspecting Heating Systems for Winter

As the temperatures begin to steadily drop, home and business owners’ thoughts turn to the readiness of the systems in their buildings to deal with the rigors of winter.  It is important for everything from your furnace  and hot water heater  to your snow blower to work at a moment’s notice to avoid the bitter cold of a January day (or night).

Preparing Pellet Stoves for Winter

Preparing Pellet Stoves for Winter

So, what is Vanguard’s role in making sure that your house is warm and your driveway is clear of those snow drifts? Quality OEM manufacturers have been using our high performance seals and tubing for years in some of their best units.  Our silicone bushings have been used in capacitors that provide starters in the HVAC systems and gas engines with the necessary “kick” to get them going on those cold days.  Our profile extrusions have been used in everything from hot water heaters to pellet stoves to keep moisture and fumes out of the living space and keep the home warm.  Our performance silicone materials are so resistant to temperature extremes that they are used in everything from structural seals on the South Pole to sealing the hottest of flue gasses on wood stoves.

It’s important to realize, though, that even the best equipment requires regular maintenance.  So, how can you make sure that these heating systems are ready for winter?

Get an Inspection: This is the easiest way to make sure everything is working as it should. And by scheduling an appointment now, before the first major snowfall, you’ll save yourself the trouble of finding out that something isn’t working when you need it most. Not only that, but if everyone tries to turn on the heat on the first really cold day, you’ll have a lot of competition for service providers who are busy trying to keep up with the influx of calls.

Insulate Water Heater Pipes: Frozen pipes are a common problem in winter, and can soon turn into burst pipes. Protect them by using appropriate insulating materials.

Replace Furnace Filters: With windows firmly shut and little ventilation indoors during winter, it’s important to regularly replace furnace air filters to keep air quality clean and healthy. This is also a good time to reevaluate the type of filter you’re using and consider upgrading to a variety that can improve energy efficiency.

Regularly Maintain Your Furnace And Hot Water Heater: This is something you might want to ask an inspector to check for you.

By doing your due diligence now, you’ll be helping to ensure a warm, comfortable winter to come.

For more information, feel free to visit our website or call 203-744-7265.

Drought in America and Vanguard

drought damaged corn

Forget the recent Olympics for a minute. As far as the weather goes in the US, 2012 has been setting the sorts of records no one really wants to set.  Meteorologistsreport that it has been the hottest year on record in the lower 48 states.  As of July 31st, the National Drought Mitigation Center reports that over 50% of US counties are in a state of moderate drought or worse, a figure actually less than a week before.  The real trouble is happening in 2.52% of the US, where they are experiencing exceptional drought – and it’s a number that threatens to keep rising. While they believe this particular drought will subside, it doesn’t mean there will be much relief for producers of corn, soybeans, hay, and cattle for ‘12. If it continues as is projected, if drought-like conditions are the new norm, we will all be paying a lot more for just about everything we eat for years to come.

At Vanguard, while we don’t grow corn or raise cattle, we do manufacture and engineer many goods that are used in industries directly affected by the vicissitudes of nature.  On the one end our silicone seals, tubing, O-rings, and gaskets are used extensively in the agricultural industry for water purification, wastewater treatment, emergency water supplies, and the like. When there is no rain, you just can’t afford to lose water from poor seals. Our goods also play a crucial role in the bagging and packaging of foods after production, ensuring that food makes it to market safely and cleanly. Everyone at Vanguard is keeping close tabs on the weather forecast. We are all hoping for some rain, but in the meantime, our silicone tubing, seals, and O-rings are here for farmers at this, the most crucial of times for North American agriculture.