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Improved Seal Materials for Use in Food and Pharmaceutical Processes

John Bauerle, DuPont Performance Elastomers, Wilmington, DE 19809

This paper demonstrates the advantages of two recently introduced types of Viton® fluoroelastomer (FKM), Viton® GF-600S and Viton® ETP-600S, for use in Food and Pharmaceutical process applications, compared to other sealing materials. Included in the comparisons are results of tests run on a dipolymer, bisphenol-cured FKM, a polymer/cure system that is representative of what currently is the most widely available type of fluoroelastomer in the market.

Viton® GF-600S and Viton® ETP-600S are both approved for repeated use in food contact applications, in all food types under all conditions of use, per FCN 000510 and FCN 000539, respectively. Compared to other types of elastomers, Viton® GF-600S and Viton® ETP-600S provide superior resistance to a wider variety of process and cleaning fluids, and compared to fluoroplastics, seals made with these types of Viton® provide markedly superior retention of sealing force under compression. In addition, vulcanizates made with Viton® GF-600S and Viton® ETP-600S can be formulated in a manner that results in significantly lower levels of extractables compared to vulcanizates made with EPDM, platinum-cured silicone and other types of fluoroelastomers, both in terms of Total Organic Carbon and Metals by ICP. Vulcanizates made with Viton® GF-600S and Viton® ETP-600S formulated in this manner can even approach the performance level of PTFE and perfluoroelastomers in this regard.