Viton® (FKM, or Fluoroelastomer) rubber is a high-performance synthetic rubber that is known for its excellent resistance to extreme temperatures, chemicals, and fuels. It is widely used in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, and chemical industries. In this blog, we will take a closer look at Viton® rubber and its various applications.
What is Viton® Rubber?
Viton® is a brand of fluoroelastomer, which is a type of synthetic rubber known for its exceptional chemical resistance and high-temperature tolerance. The history of Viton® dates back to the mid-20th century. Here's a brief overview:
Development: Viton® was developed by the chemical company DuPont (now Chemours) in the late 1950s. DuPont scientists were seeking a material that could withstand harsh chemical environments and high temperatures.
Introduction: Viton® was introduced to the market in 1957 as a versatile elastomer with outstanding resistance to fuels, oils, acids, and other aggressive chemicals. Its ability to maintain its properties at high temperatures made it particularly valuable in demanding industrial applications.
Continued Advancements: Over the years, DuPont continued to refine and enhance the Viton® product line, introducing different grades and formulations to suit specific industry needs. The goal was to offer a range of options with varying levels of chemical resistance, temperature resistance, and mechanical properties.
Expansion of Applications: Viton's exceptional properties made it popular across numerous industries. It found extensive use in automotive, aerospace, chemical processing, oil and gas, and various manufacturing sectors. Its resistance to fuels and oils made it a preferred choice for automotive seals, gaskets, and O-rings, while its chemical resistance made it suitable for sealing applications in aggressive chemical environments.
Branding and Licensing: Viton® became a registered trademark of DuPont and was used to denote their specific fluoroelastomer product line. However, over time, other manufacturers also developed fluoroelastomers with similar properties. As a result, the term "Viton" is often used generically to refer to fluoroelastomers, regardless of the manufacturer.
Transition to Chemours: In 2015, DuPont spun off its performance chemicals business, including the Viton® product line, into a separate company called Chemours. Chemours continued the production and development of Viton, ensuring its availability to industries worldwide. Chemours also brought with it Teflon®, Krytox®, Nafion®, Opteon®, and Ti-Pure®.
Today, Viton® remains a widely recognized and trusted brand for fluoroelastomers, known for its exceptional chemical resistance, high-temperature performance, and durability in demanding applications. It continues to play a crucial role in various industries where sealing and resistance to aggressive chemicals are paramount.
Fluorocarbons are available in a wide range of elastomers, where the fluorine content greatly affects the physical and chemical properties of the material. In general, Viton® compounds exhibit excellent mechanical attributes as well as excellent resistance to high temperatures, mineral oil, ozone, fuels, hydraulic fluids, and many other solvents and chemicals. Viton® polymers are widely used in chemical, automotive, aerospace and industrial applications. The properties of Fluorocarbon compounds differ significantly based on their composition. Often increased fluid resistance comes at the cost of a slight decrease in compression set or low temperature resistance. Common names include: FKM (Fluorocarbon), Fluoropolymer. Trade Names: Viton®, Fluorel®, Technoflon®, Dai-El®.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out our Viton® page.
Properties of Viton® Rubber
Viton® rubber has several unique properties that make it an ideal material for a wide range of applications, including:
High-Temperature Tolerance: Viton® rubber can withstand high temperatures without degrading or losing its properties, making it ideal for high-temperature applications.
Excellent Chemical Resistance: Viton® rubber has excellent resistance to a wide range of chemicals, including acids, fuels, mineral and vegetable oils and greases, aliphatic, aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons, non-flammable hydraulic fluids (HFD) and many organic solvents and chemicals
Good Compression Set Resistance: Viton® rubber has excellent resistance to compression set, which means it can maintain its shape and sealing ability over a long period of time.
High Performance: Viton® rubber offers high performance in terms of durability, wear resistance, and tear resistance. Viton® has excellent resistance to ozone, weather, and aging, and also has low gas permeability.
Types of specialty Viton® Rubber
Viton® rubber is available in various specialty formulations, each designed to offer specific properties and performance characteristics. Note that some of the types of FKM listed below are not specifically Viton® branded. Let's explore the different types:
Type A Viton®: Type A Viton® rubber is the most common type. In this blog, the performance of all other types of Viton® will compare back to Type A. Type A is a general-purpose grade with good resistance to chemicals and heat. It exhibits excellent compression set resistance, making it suitable for applications with sealing requirements.
Type B Viton®: Type B Viton® rubber is a terpolymer grade and offers improved processing and rheology. It retains excellent chemical resistance and is commonly used in producing more complex geometries, fuel hoses, tubing, O-rings, and gaskets.
Type F Viton®: Type F Viton® rubber is a specialty grade known for its superior fluid resistance, especially against fuels, strong acids, bases, and solvents. It is often utilized in automotive applications, chemical processing, petrochemical, and oil and gas industries.
Type GF FKM: GF FKM rubber is a grade with a high fluorine content that further increases the materials chemical resistance and resistance to steam.
Type GLT Viton®: GLT Viton® rubber is a low-temperature Viton® and is specifically formulated for applications requiring excellent low-temperature flexibility. It maintains its sealing properties even in extreme cold environments as low as -40°C, making it suitable for aerospace, refrigeration, and cryogenic applications.
Type GFLT Viton®: GFLT Viton® rubber combines the low temperature properties of type GLT Viton® with the improved chemical resistance of type GF FKM. It provides a balance of low-temperature flexibility and chemical resistance, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.
Type XLT FKM: XLT FKM rubber, or extreme low-temperature FKM, offers similar performance and chemical resistance to a standard GFLT. However, XLT is designed to perform in even more intensely cold environments, down to -48°C. It exhibits exceptional low-temperature flexibility and is commonly used in applications such as automotive fuel systems and aerospace seals.
Type ULT FKM: ULT FKM rubber, or ultra-low-temperature FKM, extends even further with its low temperature capabilities, able to withstand temperatures as low as -55°C.
Type ETP Viton®: ETP Viton® rubber is a specialty copolymer offering the most chemical resistance of any blend of Viton®. ETP Viton® is compatible with many amines, high pH caustics, steam, mineral acids, fuels, and more. ETP is typically used as a more cost effective alternative to perfluoroelastomers (FFKMs).
These are some of the main types of Viton® and FKM rubber available, each catering to specific requirements in terms of temperature resistance, chemical resistance, flexibility, and more. Choosing the right type of Viton® rubber ensures optimal performance and reliability in various industrial applications. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our Viton® page.
Applications of Viton® Rubber
Viton® rubber has a broad range of applications across various industries, including:
Aerospace Industry: Viton® rubber is widely used in the aerospace industry for manufacturing various components, including seals, gaskets, and O-rings, that require excellent chemical resistance and high-temperature tolerance.
Automotive Industry: Viton® rubber is used in the automotive industry for manufacturing various components, including O-rings, seals, gaskets, and fuel system parts, that require excellent chemical resistance and high-temperature tolerance.
Chemical Industry: Viton® rubber is used in the chemical industry for manufacturing various products, including O-rings and chemical processing equipment that require excellent chemical resistance.
Oil and Gas Industry: Viton® rubber is used in the oil and gas industry for manufacturing various products, including O-rings, seals, gaskets, and hoses, that require excellent chemical resistance and high-temperature tolerance.
Medical Industry: Viton® rubber is used in the medical industry for manufacturing various products, including O-rings, medical seals and tubing, that require excellent chemical resistance and high-temperature tolerance.
Viton® rubber is a highly versatile elastomer material that offers excellent resistance to extreme temperatures, chemicals, and fuels. Its unique properties make it an ideal material for a wide range of applications across various industries, including the aerospace, automotive, chemical, oil and gas, and medical industries. If you require a material that offers excellent chemical resistance and high-temperature tolerance for your application, Viton® rubber may be an excellent choice for you.
Where can I get Viton® parts?
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 Viton / FKM | O-Ring. (n.d.). https://o-ring.info/en/materials/vitonr--fkm/
 Writer, S. (2019, January 27). The Properties and applications of fluoroelastomers (FKM). https://www.thomasnet.com/insights/the-properties-and-applications-of-fluoroelastomers-fkm-/
 Schuster, Jens; Lutz, Johannes; Shaik, Yousuf Pasha; Yadavalli, Venkat Reddy (2022-10-01). "Recycling of fluoro-carbon-elastomers – A review". Advanced Industrial and Engineering Polymer Research. Recycling of Rubbers. 5 (4): 248–254. doi:10.1016/j.aiepr.2022.08.002. ISSN2542-5048. S2CID251658624.