What Is Viton Rubber and What Are Its Applications?

Viton is a prominent player in the automotive industry and has maintained that position for over 60 years. It is synonymous with high temperatures and high-performance applications. The benefits of Viton might not be evident to most newcomers to the industry, but they are undeniable.

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What is Viton Rubber - Banner Image

Hence we’ve taken it upon ourselves to give you a detailed look inside the world of Viton. We will discuss Viton, its importance, and its benefit to your business.

What Is Viton Rubber?

Viton is a synthetic rubber built on top of a fluorocarbon rubber base. It was invented in 1957 by the company DuPont, which trademarked the name Viton®. The generic name for this rubber is fluoropolymer elastomer (FKM), which several other companies currently offer under different brand names.

FKM is a group of elastomers that differ based on their fluorine content. DuPont, the originator of FKM, offers over 25 different grades of Viton. Several automotive and chemical industries exclusively use Viton products. Learn more about the difference between FKM and Viton here.

Viton Grades

Viton grades are classified using a series of five letters and numbers. For example, “Viton A-401C“.

  • First Character (A) – This indicates the family group of FKM, where each family has slightly different mechanical and molecular properties.
  • Second Character (4) – This indicates the Mooney viscosity of the FKM.
  • Third Character (0) – This represents the amount of curing agent present in the FKM pre-compound. “1” is the lowest, “2-9” is intermediate, and “0” is the highest.
  • Fourth Character (1) – This represents variations on the additives inside the FKM pre-compound. A-402C has one more process aid than A-401C.
  • Fifth Character (C) – This indicates the presence of an accelerant or curative in the FKM pre-compound. A lack of a fifth character suggests the product has no curatives but might contain some process aids.
viton rubber seal

Viton Rubber Compound Examples

A-410C is a common Viton grade containing the curing agent (bisphenol) from the factory. It is suited to several manufacturing processes, including transfer molding, compression molding, injection molding, extrusion, and calendering.

B-601C contained higher levels of fluorines, resulting in excellent chemical protection for the rubber compound. It has limited viability and is mainly used for compressing molded gaskets and injection molded o-rings.

GFLT-301 is a unique formulation of Viton made from peroxide curing and designed for low-temperature performance. It is compatible with extrusion, compression, transfers, and injection molding.

All variations of Viton have good mechanical properties and excellent chemical resistance. The grades of Viton can be particularly confusing, and it is best to let the manufacturer or supplier guide your choices.

Viton Rubber Properties and Advantages

Viton Rubber Properties and Advantages

Irrespective of the grade, most Viton (FKM) polymers share similar material properties.

Mechanical Properties

Viton occupies a wide range of mechanical properties, from poor to excellent. Overall it has good material hardness and tensile strength but falls short of tear resistance. Compression set and metal adhesion are where this magical material shines. Metal adhesion is a prominent reason behind the use of o-rings in the robotics and automotive industries.

Here is a brief table showing the range of FKM’s mechanical properties.

Durometer Hardness50-95 Shore A
Tensile Strength500-200 Psi
Elongation Range400%-500%
Compression FactorExcellent
Tear Resistance Good
Adhesion PropertiesGood
Adhesion to MetalsExcellent
Mechanical Properties of Viton Rubber

Chemical Resistance

One word that best describes Viton’s resistance to chemicals is excellent. It can withstand almost any harsh material damage except for a few chemicals. Compared to other synthetic rubbers, the fluid resistance of Viton truly stands out because of its fluorine content.

It is resistant to oils, acids, alkalies, fuels, and other fluids like solvents. The only liquid that can damage Viton products is ketones, ethers, and amines. These top-notch properties are a significant reason for Viton’s use in transportation fuel applications.

Below is a short table showing the range of FKM’s chemical properties.

AcidsGood-Excellent
AlkaliesGood
FuelExcellent
OilExcellent
SolventsExcellent
AminesPoor
EthersPoor
KetonesPoor
Chemical Resistance of Viton Rubber

Environmental Resilience

Synthetic rubber materials generally have decent environmental protection, and Viton is no exception. Viton products are resilient materials capable of dealing with even the harshest environments.

It protects against UV exposure, oxidation damage, ozone corrosion, water damage, flames, and gas permeability. Viton products are often deployed in outdoor environments as they do not require special protective enclosures.

Below is a short table highlighting the FKM’s ability to withstand harsh environments.

FlameExcellent
WaterExcellent
OzoneExcellent
OxidationExcellent
RadiationGood
UV LightExcellent
WeatherExcellent
Gas PermeabilityExcellent
Environmental Resistance of Viton Rubber

Operating Temperature Range

Operating temperatures are a problem area for many rubber products. But Viton, a material specially designed for performance applications, has specific properties to deal with temperature extremes.

It has a standard operating range of -30º F to 500º F and can even stand harsher temperatures in certain conditions. Though Viton has exceptional protection against high temperatures, it lacks low-temperature capabilities.

But this is not a significant issue as Viton products are rarely deployed in colder environments. You will commonly see them in car engines or factory equipment, where higher temperature ranges are a more critical factor.

Here is a quick summary of the operating temperature ranges you can expect from FKM.

Low Temperatures-30º F to 0º F
High Temperatures450º F to 500º F
Brittle Point0º F to -40º F
Operating Temperatures of Viton Rubber

What Are Viton Rubber Applications?

Viton Rubber Application O-rings

Viton is primarily used for high-performance applications where its fuel and oil-resistant attributes can be fully utilized. These environments also tend to be hot and corrosive, making most rubbers ineffective here.

The three most commonly available products are Viton o-rings, gaskets, and seals. It also has other less-known uses in sealing products. Viton sealants and adhesives are quite popular metal bonding and electrical device coatings.

The following industries heavily utilize Viton products.

  • Chemical – Container seals, adhesives, flame protection, etc.
  • Automotive – Engine oil seals, cable sleeving, gaskets, o-ring applications, etc.
  • Oil & Gasoline – Pipes & hoses, container seal, container lids for corrosive oils, etc.
  • Aerospace – vibration dampers, low-temperature external seal applications, o-rings, etc.
  • Heavy Machinery – Vibration & sound dampers, oxidation protection, seal applications, etc.

Difference between Viton and Silicone

Difference Between Viton and Silicone - Tubing

Silicone and Viton occupy two different sectors of the rubber market. Where silicone is a jack of all trades, Viton is a specialized rubber product. If you need a general-purpose rubber, then silicone will do the job. But if you want a resilient rubber for high-performance application, Viton is the gold standard.

Viton Has Excellent Chemical Resistance.

Due to its fluorine content, Viton has some of the highest chemical protection. In contrast, silicone has some of the worst chemical properties among all rubbers.

Chemical damage is a significant issue in factories and industrial workspaces. Other rubber products offer similar protection but fall short in mechanical properties. Viton stands out for its outstanding chemical resilience alongside its mechanical properties.

Viton Is a Stronger Rubber

It has a better shore hardness rating as well as superior tensile strength. Silicone, in comparison, lags behind Viiton in all mechanical properties, except compression set, where it maintains an equal footing.

Strength is a crucial part of industrial applications. O-rings and gaskets deployed in heavy machinery are often exposed daily to high stress and fatigue. Rubbers like silicone are unable to meet such high demands.

Viton Has Better Abrasion and Tear Protection.

Viton has been specially designed to withstand excessive forces and impacts. It will not degrade, sheer, or tear under most operating conditions. Though it has weak tear properties, Viton is still miles ahead of silicone.

viton rubber

Silicone Has More Applications.

Viton o-rings are its most popular product, generally outselling all others. While silicone and silicone fluids occupy so many product categories, you cannot possibly name just one popular product.

It should be noted here that Viton can be used for the same applications as silicone and even outperform its silicone counterparts. However, as a specialized rubber, it comes with a hefty price tag. It is financial folly to deploy Viton in anything other than the most demanding applications.

Silicone has Better Low-Temperature Operation.

Low-temperature polymers are rare as most will become brittle and crack in sub-zero environments. Silicone has an unparalleled operating temperature range of -178º F to 550º F.

Cold environments are generally less of an issue in the manufacturing space. So it should not come off as a big surprise that silicone is the sole rubber compound able to achieve such feats. This by no means invalidates the cold environment application of Viton. Instead, it merely highlights silicone’s advantage.

Conclusion

Viton rubber is highly resistant to acids, bases, oils, hydrocarbons, and radiation. This unique property makes it an ideal choice for applications where other substances pose a challenge. Additionally, the material has exceptional strength and flexibility, making it suitable for a wide range of demanding applications.

It is essential to note that although Viton rubber has many advantages, it also has some limitations. It can be degraded by some solvents, and its high cost may limit its use in some applications. Overall, Viton rubber is an exceptional material that stands out for its high-performance properties and its versatility across a range of applications.

Why Buy Viton Rubber Products from Hongju?

Hongju is a leading manufacturer of rubber products with an express focus on innovation of sustainability. We offer a wide range of high-quality OEM and ODM services. Our Compression Molding and Injection Molding expertise are second to none.

Hongju offers low MOQ, quick turnaround times, and rapid prototyping services. We have years of experience in the industry and can provide you with the best products at competitive prices.

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david

Hey there, I’m David!

I’m the founder of Hongju Silicone. I have been in this field for more than two decades. If you are looking for custom-made silicone rubber products, feel free to ask me any questions.

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