The Top 5 Elastomers that are Preferred for Automotive Seals
Due to outdoor weather conditions, harsh chemicals, and high engine temperatures, automobile components require good-quality and durable sealing solutions. Each automotive seal needs to be carefully designed with specific types of elastomers that provide great resistance properties and are compatible with automotive fluids.
Today, various types of supreme rubber elastomers are utilized in automotive applications. Let’s have a closer look at the five popular materials that are widely preferred for various kinds of automotive applications.
- Fluorocarbon (Viton®)
Fluorocarbon, better known as Viton®, exhibits desirable properties that make it the perfect universal o-ring material. Fluorocarbon has multiple base-resistant grades that can effectively seal against oil protectants that are amine-based. These oil protectants are usually found in new transmission oils.
Fluorocarbon with High fluorine grades can offer exceptional resistance against oxygenated and high octane fuel blends. This feature gives it a superior sealing performance in methanol blended gasoline applications.
What’s more, Fluorocarbon exhibits excellent mechanical properties and good resistance against high temperatures. It ranges from -13 °F to +446 °F.
- Engine seals
- Low compression/High-temperature set applications
- Fuel handling systems
- Nitrile (Buna-N)
One of the automotive industry’s most economical elastomers, Nitrile can seal against petroleum-based fuels and oils. It can also effectively seal against hydraulic fluids and silicone greases. The standard components of Nitrile can offer good temperature resistance ranging from -40 °F to +257 °F.
The Nitrile seals are also designed to handle high engine temperatures and low temperatures during winter.
- Automotive seals
- Off-road equipment
- Fuel systems
Fluorosilicone effectively seals against fuels and oils, making it a key performer in automotive applications. This material is also suitable for prolonged exposure to air, sunlight, and ozone that is frequently experienced by automotive seals.
Fluorosilicone is largely preferred in aerospace applications. However, its excellent working properties make it great for automotive seals. In fact, fluorosilicone is becoming a popular elastomer for an extensive range of industries. It can offer great low and high-temperature resistance ranging from -75 °F to +400 °F.
Ethylene-Propylene is one of those elastomers that has gained widespread acceptance as one of the most effective sealing solutions for its chemical and ozone resistance properties. Speaking of temperature resistance, ethylene-propylene can easily match up to other powerful elastomers. Its standard temperature compounds can range from -40 °F to +275 °F.
By compounding ethylene-propylene with peroxide curing agents, it can easily withstand temperatures of +350 °F.
- Brake systems
- Low torque drive belts
- Outdoor weather-resistant seals
- Cooling systems
- Perfluoroelastomer (FFKM)
FFKM is another common elastomer that is used in the automotive industry due to its excellent resistance to degradation that is caused due to aggressive gases and fluids. FFKM can also easily resist attacks by almost any chemical, including automotive additives, fuels, and lubricants.
It offers good temperature resistance and can even withstand temperatures that range from
-13 °F to +600 °F.
FFKM seals are also extensively used in petroleum and chemical industries. However, due to its good resistance and mechanical properties, it is also perfectly suited for automotive applications.
We hope you have gained valuable insights from this article. As you have learned, these elastomers exhibit low-temperature flexibility and high-temperature stability. If you are looking to incorporate supreme quality seals for your automotive applications, you can connect with our team at Harkesh for material options with specific temperature ranges.