With the desire for renewable energy sources, coupled with dependence on foreign oil, Americans are becoming increasingly interested in alcohol/fuel blends.
There are nearly 20 million flex fuel vehicles on U.S. roads today, and over 2,900 ethanol fuel stations. With the increased use of alcohol/fuel blends there is also an increased demand for seals that are compatible with alcohol/fuel blends. Parker offers a variety of compounds to meet this crucial need in the automotive industry.
The combination of alcohol and fuel creates a significant conundrum from a sealing standpoint, as you need a compound that is compatible with both alcohol and fuel. For conventional gasoline, we typically recommend A-type fluorocarbon, or GLT-type fluorocarbon if you need to seal down to -40˚F (-40˚C). These perform extremely well in gasoline, but in alcohol, they can swell to more than twice their original size, as shown in Figure 1.
To solve this issue, Parker offers a number of specialized grades of fluorocarbon, which are also compatible with alcohol/fuel blends. Of these, one of our most cost-effective options is V1263-75. It is an F-type fluorocarbon with a temperature rating of -15˚F to 400˚F (-26˚C to 204˚C).
When colder temperatures are desired, Parker also offers V1163-75, which is a GFLT-type fluorocarbon, which has a temperature range of -35˚F to 400˚F (-37˚C to 204˚C).
Compounds V1163-75 and V1263-75 will continue to be the low cost solutions for sealing flex fuel. In fact, these materials have been used successfully in ongoing multi-year customer field trials without fuel leakage. However, Parker’s low temperature (Type 3) fluorocarbon compounds VG286-80 and V1289-75 offer an additional safety factor for low temperature function.