Chemical Chempatibility

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Choose a chemical Compound Compatibility

    Information in this section was derived from published literature of

polymer suppliers and seal manufacturers.  In some cases, ratings are the

considered opinion of experienced compounders.  Therefore, this section

is intended only as a guide in selecting materials for specific sealing

applications.  Users are encouraged to test seals under operating conditions

to determine the suitablity of any material or elastomer compound to a

particular application.

    Simplified maintenance and longer warranty periods require reliability

of seals.  Most seal failures are due to thermal aging in conjunction with

fluid attack.  Generally, higher temperatures increase the deteriorative

effect of chemicals on polymers, with the increase dependent on the polymer

and/or the chemical.  Volatilization of plasticizer, loss of antioxidant,

breaking of the polymer chain, etc., take place at various temperatures in

various elastomers.

    A compound compatible with a chemical at room temperature may fail

miserably at a higher temperature.  Thermal aging processes of polymers

demand that the highest temperatures the seal will be subjected to in service

be considered - including temperatures caused by peak loading conditions

of equipment - to assure desired service life of seals.  The rate at which

natural and synthetic rubbers deteriorate increases logarithmically with

the temperature.  Relatively small changes in the temperature to which

seals are exposed, therefore, can cause large differences in the degree of

deterioration observed.  There is also evidence that oxygen concentration

markedly affects the deterioration of some elastomers at temperatures over


    For these reasons, test conditions should approximate service conditons as

closely as possible.  For example, a circulating air oven test may give a

low estimate of the life of a part (such as a flange gasket) which may not

be exposed to air during service.

       Copyright 1978 by Fluid Sealing Association.  All rights reserved.

       Information contained herein may not be reproduced in any form

       without permission of the Fluid Sealing Association.

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