We are coming up on two years since the birth of FF156-75 and this compound is one worth celebrating. If you don’t know what FF156 is, thank you for taking a few minutes to read this blog.
FF156 is the most versatile, value-packed perfluorinated (FFKM), material offered by Parker. The versatility of the material means it solves problems in many different markets: Chemical Processing, Life Science, and a range of demands needed by General Industrial markets.
Most surprising is the steam and high-temperature water resistance. Most fluorocarbons (FKMs) and FFKMs do not fair well in steam. You might be familiar with Parker’s specialty steam resistant FFKM: FF580 and FF582. Both of these materials offer excellent resistance to steam, perhaps the best in the market. You can see the change at 121°C comparing both FFKMs after three days of exposure and then again after seven days. You might notice there is not much change at 121°C between the two lengths of time.
|Test Method||General Purpose FFKM||Chemically Resistant FFKM||High Temp. FFKM||FF580 Results||FF582 Results|
|Fluid Immersion Steam (70hrs.@121°C)|
|Hardness Change, Shore A pts.||ASTM D471||+4||+6||+5||-1||+1|
|Volume Change, %||0||0||0||+2||+2|
|Fluid Immersion Steam (168hrs.@121°C)|
|Hardness Change, Shore A pts.||ASTM D471||+4||+1||0||-4||0|
|Volume Change, %||+5||+7||+8||+3||+3|
Figure 1 Pulled from ORD 5764
Raising the heat to 260°C, you can see how FF156 still holds it’s own compared to the specialty grade of FF580.
|Fluid Immersion Steam 70 hrs.@260°C|
|Hardness change, pts.||-2||-1|
|Volume change, %||+2||+2|
FF156 stacks up quite nicely in steam against our best steam compatibility rated FFKM materials. In addition to steam compatibility, the material has passed USP Class VI testing requirements demonstrating the required cleanliness needed for biocompatibility. The combination of USP class VI and suitability for the sterilization process is why FF156 is a sealing solution for demanding applications in the Life Science Market.
You might be wondering, why is FF580 even needed, since FF156 has such favorable performance? That comes back to the “value-packed" versatility of FF156. FF580 has a wider breadth of resistance to harsh, nasty chemicals. If you are familiar with the perfluorinated family as a whole, you know they can withstand the most aggressive chemicals, but at a hefty price. FF156 was formulated to have outstanding chemical resistance but was not intended to be a silver bullet FFKM material like FF580. In the general industrial market where high-temperature applications seal steam or diluted concentrations of chemicals, FF156 is a great way to extend seal life without the high expense of a specialty FFKM.
FF156 is available as molded O-rings, but also in extruded and machined profiles, spliced hollow seals, hollow and windowpane configurations or custom molded shapes. For more information or to see if FF156 is right for your application, please reach out to a Parker Application Engineer.