Industrial Plastic Gaskets and Seals in Corrosive Systems

December 5, 2014
Industrial Plastic Gaskets and Seals in Corrosive Systems

The engineering issues involved in designing vessels and pipes for the transmission or storage of corrosive liquids are defined by a challenging list of industry-standard codes. Regulations govern the selection of stainless steel vessels and the accompanying pipes and fixtures that feed the containers. External forces of corrosion compete with internal chemical factors to compromise the fundamental integrity of metal. It’s a tough job, but it must be done with assurance and a commitment to obeying stringent regulations, for they’re in place to protect human life, placing the operational efficiency of a chemical process next in order of priority.

Just to add an additional layer of complexity to the pipes and vessels that shrug off transient temperature changes and bone-crushing pressures, the point between any pipe must receive at least as much consideration when drafting the framework of a processing stages in a chemical plant. Chemicals or fractional components of crude oil, the situation unerringly calls for provisions that account for the weakest point in the flow dynamic. Since metal vessels and pipes have already been inspected before certification, the next weakest stage is the site where the pipes and vessels connect, splitting off into T-joints, 90º bends, and straight-ended extension joints. Engineering plastic plays a significant role in this connection strategy, one that can’t afford to be put in jeopardy by substandard materials. Elastomers are one solution, the installation of synthetic rubbers with enhanced pliability.

Viton Rubber

Defined by a fluoroelastomer molecular structure, Viton is ideally positioned to succeed as the synthetic rubber of choice when installed as a gasket in an environment where harsh chemical reactions and high temperatures are common. The rubber combines the best properties of carbon and fluorine to create specialized formulas where elongation and compression are important characteristics. More impressively, gaskets, hoses, and O-ring seals made from Vitons are commonly manufactured to combat temperature extremes while maintaining high chemical resistance, a property that makes the material perfect for aeronautics, the automotive industry, and applications where corrosive chemicals are constantly present.

Types of Viton

The fluorocarbon industry is imbued with the responsibility of sealing caustic chemicals through the compression properties of rubber. Here are some of the types of Viton on the market.

  • Viton A – General purpose synthetic rubber. Excellent for resisting fuel corrosion effects
  • Viton B – Improved protection against aggressive acids
  • Viton GF – Superior resistance to high-pressure, super-heated steam
  • Viton GFLT – Low volumetric expansion and improved low temperature resistance

An effective seal against harsh environments and capable of offsetting the ascent and descent changes within an aircraft, Viton is a vital synthetic rubber in the field of high-performance sealants.