Many people think that Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) and neopropene are the same because several of their properties match but there are many reasons why you should consider them to be different.The mix up generally occurs with the fact they are are two of the most commonly approved elastomers. But, they are not the same thing.
These rubbers are mostly known for industrial uses. Their versatility and compression set resistance along with other properties have made them crucial for many industries. Their characteristics, applications, and properties are different from each other. Here are some of the differences discussed below:
Difference in Withstanding Extreme Temperature
Different rubbers react to different temperature conditions and accordingly, they are used in various industries. Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) rubber or Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) seals have the ability to withstand temperature between -20°C to 210°C. It has already been tried and tested by industries that involve high-temperature jobs and Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) rubber is perfect for them. However, it will be better to not use Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) rubber under -15°C in dynamic conditions as they may fail to react. They become quite hard and inflexible as the temperature goes down.
Neoprene rubber, on the other hand, is very effective between -30°C to 100°C. Although its highest temperature is quite low compared to Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) rubber, they are very effective for low-temperature conditions. They do not become inflexible or hard even when they reach a very low temperature.
Both these rubbers are used in different industries because of their temperature withstanding conditions. Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) rubber has been extensively used for diverse sealing jobs. Most of the sealing agents work on very high temperature and need excellent chemical resistance. Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) rubber has all those qualities which is why they can be easily used with petroleum oils, silicone fluids, acids, and gases, aromatic hydrocarbons, and halogenated hydrocarbons.
In the case of neoprene rubber, the use is mainly for general purposes such that require low resistance such as petroleum oil, hydraulic fluids, water, and aliphatic hydrocarbons. Researchers are trying to use this rubber in areas that demand a low temperature.
This is another factor that clearly distinguishes neoprene rubber from Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) rubber. Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) rubber and Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) seals are generally resistant to a lot of chemicals like oil, fuel, acids, and minerals. They are also very effective in resisting UV exposure, oxidation, ozone, fungus, mold, and extreme weather conditions. This makes Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) superior to neoprene rubber. Their high temperature-resistant property has made them the best ingredient to resist any kind of moist oil or lubricant and many lubricant-based products.
Neoprene rubber is also known to resist lubricants and oils. That is one common characteristic that neoprene rubber has with Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer). These can also resist petroleum-based lubricants but the seals have different benefits than Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) rubber. The neoprene rubber seals provide tear resistance functions and are used for superior abrasion. This helps them to be used for various heavy duty industrial applications.
The cost of both these rubbers is different because of their properties and industrial applications. Neoprene rubber is a more cost-effective solution and works well with chemical resistance and constrained temperatures. However, Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) rubber is a comparatively expensive choice. They are almost ten to fifteen times more expensive than neoprene rubber. This is because of their crucial properties and the involvement in various industries. Their applications have made them firm favorites in the industries that require high chemical and oil resistance.
Neoprene has several compounds that are also used in industries. These compounds are generally flame resistant and do not support combustion. The compounds of neoprene are almost similar to natural rubber when kept at room temperature. However, when they are used at elevated temperatures, the tear resistance capability becomes very poor but it can be improved significantly by compounding with several reinforcing materials.
One of the reasons why researchers are trying to make the most of neoprene rubber is that it offers very good abrasion and resilience strength. Moreover, the adhesive capabilities of this rubber to fabrics and metals are also quite good. Since neoprene rubber does not work well at high temperatures, they can be used for various purposes where the adhesive properties are more important than the oil resistant properties. As for Viton ® (FKM Fluoroelastomer) rubber, it has already made a huge mark in the industries and they will continue to rule in the years to come.