The zenith of rubber material technology is in perfluoroelastomer compounds, also known as FFKM. Sometimes considered the rubber version of PTFE, a perfluoroelastomer contains a fully fluorinated polymer backbone and a proprietary cure system. These traits allow FFKM to achieve outstanding chemical resistance and excellent heat stability, perfect for Oil & Gas, Aerospace, Chemical Processing, and Heavy Duty Truck applications.
The nature of FFKM material also allows for extremely clean manufacturing, making many compounds highly suitable for use in the cleanest environments of semiconductor and pharmaceutical processing. Parker ULTRA compounds are perfluoroelastomer materials tailored for specific applications to make the best use of FFKM’s excellent traits. Some of the most unique and exceptional Parker ULTRA materials are discussed below.
Choosing the right seal for aggressive chemical media like steam and amines can be a difficult process. These chemistries can cause degradation in most elastomers, causing seal failure. Luckily, Parker ULTRA compounds FF580 and FF582 compounds offer best in class chemical resistance allowing for continuous operation in the toughest media. These are 75 and 90 durometer formulations which have excellent compatibility with a variety of media including a best-in-class base and steam resistance along with many other aggressive media types. Both compounds have outstanding compression set resistance and a maximum operating temperature of 275°C.
When the toughest system condition is high operating temperature and long life is desired, Parker ULTRA FF200 is recommended. Outstanding heat resistance and impressive compression set resistance allows the FF200 to seal continuously at temperatures of 320°C. As a standard FFKM, FF200 also offers good chemical resistance to organic and inorganic acids, ketones, and a variety of other media. The FF200 material is also on the qualified products list for AMS 7257 making it the ideal choice for many Aerospace engine applications.
Traditional FFKM materials have always offered great chemical and heat resistance but have typically lacked low-temperature capabilities. The standard FFKM lower operating limit is -15°C. One of the most impressive Parker ULTRA compounds is the FF400, which offers unparalleled low temperature service compared to standard perfluoroelastomer materials. With the FF400 compound, temperatures as low as -40°C can be achieved, making this the ULTRA compound of choice when chemical resistance and high temperature service is needed in combination with low operating temperatures.
Semiconductor applications can be challenging systems for elastomers due to the high degree of cleanliness required in addition to the very aggressive chemistries necessary to process silicon wafers. These traits have historically been at odds; extremely clean materials tend to erode rapidly in aggressive plasma chemistries while plasma resistant elastomers tend to run the risk of higher process contamination due to metallic content. Parker has pushed the limits on compounding technology to develop ULTRA FF302, offering excellent etch resistance in oxygen and fluorine plasmas while maintaining extremely low metals content. The FF302 provides robust sealing against CF4, NF3, O2, and O3 plasmas and has a continuous operating temperature of 315°C. The low metallic ion content and best in class extractables ensure that the FF302 will not contaminate sensitive processes. For more information on the FF302 compound, please click here for the bulletin.
Extreme environments require the most advanced sealing technology available. Whether it is high or low temperature, aggressive media, or a high degree of cleanliness, Parker ULTRA compounds offer a solution for each. Parker’s rubber chemists are continually working on new developments to help push the boundaries of what is capable in elastomeric technology. Another benefit to Parker ULTRA materials is their availability. Parts can be produced quickly to help meet production needs. Due to the unique nature of perfluoroelastomer materials, standard gland design is typically not well suited for extreme conditions. Parker Application Engineers can help with seal design to ensure good design practices are put in place. For particularly challenging applications and for more direction on choosing a sealing material, please contact a Parker Applications Engineer via online chat or email, or by calling 859-335-5101.