Category Archives: Parker Hannifin Seals

Learn more about Parker Hannifin seals, o-rings, polymer springs and much more in this collection of articles. Parker sealing products are used in a number of industries for a variety of applications, including hydraulic sealing systems.

Why is Outgassing Critical in Optics and Electronics Applications?

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.

Original content can be found on Parker’s Website and was written by Dorothy Kern, applications engineering manager, Parker O-Ring & Engineered Seals Division.


electronic boardFor some applications, a critical component of selecting a seal material is a phenomenon known as “outgassing”. However, even within the elastomer community, outgassing is not something that is commonly considered. Which begs the questions: what is outgassing and why is it important?

Outgassing is usually most relevant in vacuum applications, where the vacuum causes the elastomer to release constituent material. The constituent material could include water vapor, plasticizers, oils, byproducts of the cure reaction, or other additives used in the seal material. Outgassing becomes a problem if a thin film of those chemicals condenses and is deposited on nearby surfaces. Such a film poses major challenges in highly sensitive applications, such as optics or electronics, where cleanliness is of utmost importance. A seal material with low outgassing  is essential because it shows the seal material does not emit volatile constituents under vacuum conditions.

Weight loss of compounds in vacuum

Outgassing is most often characterized by weight loss of the seal material. The ASTM test method E595 is one way to quantify outgassing by measuring Total Mass Loss (TML %), Collected Volatile Condensable Materials (CVCM %) and a reported value for Water Vapor Regain (WVR %).  Measurements are taken following a 24 hour exposure to vacuum of 5×10-5 torr at a temperature of 257°F.

Taken together, these three parameters tell a complete story. The TML is reported as the percent of the specimen’s initial weight that is lost during the test; under standard criteria, the result must be less than 1.00% mass loss. Obviously, minimizing TML is a good thing, but it is not the only important factor. Collected volatile condensable material (CVCM) is the amount of outgassed matter from a specimen that condenses onto a collector during the maintained time and temperature. CVCM is of particular concern because any material that readily condenses in the test is likely to condense on and contaminate nearby surfaces during use. To pass the standard CVCM requirement, the amount collected relative to the initial mass of the specimen must be less than 0.10%. The final measurement, WVR, is the mass of the water vapor absorbed by the specimen after a 24-hour stabilization at 23°C in a 50% relative humidity atmosphere. There is seldom a pass/fail limit for WVR; instead this result is merely reported. In many applications, the small amount of water vapor lost by a seal may not be of concern, particularly if the application already includes a means of controlling moisture. Further, any WVR is presumed to be equal to the portion of original TML that was water vapor. The difference between TML and WVR is therefore presumed to be volatile organic material that has evaporated out of the material (only some of which condenses in the CVCM test), so minimizing the difference between TML and WVR is also of considerable importance.

To illustrate, we can look at the most recent outgassing data completed on a few popular low temperature fluorocarbon materials. Table 1 contains the results from a 3rd party laboratory to measure the outgassing properties of VM125-75 and VX065-75. Both had undetectable amounts of CVCM and very small differences between TML and WVR.  VX065-75 in particular displayed remarkably little outgassing as well as a low WVR.

There are a few additional resources detailing seal materials that are known for having low weight loss. The O-Ring Handbook ORD 5700, Table 3-19 (page 65 of the pdf), has a few legacy materials with weight loss percent after a two-week exposure to 1 x 10-6 torr vacuum level, at room temperature. Additionally, non-Parker resources such as the NASA website contain an interesting summary of a much broader range of materials.


For more information about outgassing or electronics applications, contact the Gallagher Fluid Seals engineering department.

Degradable Materials Simplify Well Completions in Oil & Gas Extraction

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.

Original content can be found on Parker’s Website and was written by members of the O-Ring & Engineered Seals Division. Jacob Ballard – research and development engineer, Jason Fairbanks – market manager, and Nathaniel Sowder – business development engineer.


degradable materials for offshore drillingThe emergence of degradable and dissolvable materials is providing oilfield service companies an opportunity to increase efficiencies and cut costs in the oilfield by simplifying well completions. These materials replace their conventional metallic and polymeric counterparts in completion tools, but eventually break down and disperse when exposed to common completion fluids. This eliminates the need for well interventions to mill out or retrieve used tools. This can result in a reduction of drill time, a safer work environment, and monetary savings for the operator. Parker Hannifin produces dissolvable and degradable metal alloys, thermoplastics, and elastomeric materials that can enhance your well completions.

Degradable Elastomers

Parker O-Ring and Engineered Seals (OES) Division produces degradable elastomer formulations that can be used in frac plugs, liner wipers, and other sealing applications common in the completions segment. These elastomer formulas have tough physical properties and low compression set and are designed to replace materials such as Nitrile or HNBR in conventional tool designs. With proper design, tools using Parker degradable elastomer can withstand the high pressures (>8,000 psi) generated during hydraulic fracturing while still eventually deteriorating away, allowing well production without having to be drilled out. These degradable elastomers can be produced in a variety of desired forms such as O-rings, custom molded shapes, and packing elements. They can also be bonded to dissolvable metal alloys to produce completely degradable solutions. If needed, Parker offers a product engineering team to assist with the design of components and rapid prototyping services to help cut down on development timelines.

Degradable Thermoplastics

Parker Engineered Polymer Systems (EPS) Division manufactures engineered degradable Thermoplastic materials which can be used in many types of completion tools that traditionally use non-degradable elastomers. Parker EPS’s high-grade thermoplastic materials have increased physical properties over conventional elastomers making it ideal for both high pressure/high temperature and wear resistant applications. The increased physical properties of EPS thermoplastics provide enhanced resistance to extrusion, temperature and wear over most degradable non-metallics in the market. These unique thermoplastic materials may be manufactured in both homogenous as well as bonded components such as Packers, Parker back-up rings, Frac Plugs and liner wipers and are ideal for hot trouble well applications.

With a wide range of wellbore temperatures and completion fluids seen across the industry, selecting the right degradable compound can be complicated. Gallagher Fluid Seals, in coordination with Parker, can help assist in recommending the proper paramaters for using degradable elastomers.


Gallagher Fluid Seals is an authorized distributor of Parker. To learn more about how Gallagher Fluid Seals can help you, contact our engineering department at 1-800-822-4063

Parker’s EM163-80 Meets Both NAS1613 Revision 2 and 6, Is There a Difference?

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.

Original content can be found on Parker’s Website and was written by Dorothy Kern, applications engineering manager for the Parker O-Ring & Engineered Seals Division.


Perhaps you know Parker’s newest EPDM material is EM163-80. Featuring breakthrough low temperature functionality, resistance to all commercially available phosphate ester fluids, and the ability to be made into custom shapes, extrusions, and spliced geometries, EM163-80 represents the best-in-class material for applications needing to seal phosphate-ester-based fluids. The latest news is that EM163-80 meets the full qualification requirements of both NAS1613 Revision 6 (code A) and the legacy Revision 2 (no code). Parker has been inundated with questions about the specification differences between Revision 6 and 2, enough that it makes sense to devote a blog topic explaining the fluids, conditions, and dynamic cycling requirements which are required to qualify EM163-80 to each specification.

The easiest part of this comparison is evaluating the areas of Revision 6 which are very much a copy and paste from Revision 2. Compression set conditions, aged and un-aged, plus temperature retraction requirements, aged and un-aged, are identical. Lastly, both specifications require a test to verify the elastomers will not corrode or adhere to five different metal substrate materials. That is pretty much where the similarities end.  Now for the contrasts.

Specimen size

The first subtle difference is the specimen size. Both specs require testing to measure the change in physical properties and volume following a heated immersion in phosphate ester fluids. For the most part, No Code qualification requires testing to be completed on test slabs or O-rings, while the newer revision, Code A, requires testing on test slabs AND O-rings. Not a big difference, but still, a difference.

The fluid conditions are very similar in both specs, but not identical. There are only two temperatures for the short term 70 hour exposure: 160°F and 250°F. Another similarity is that the longer soaks are at 225°F for 334 and 670 hours. The more difficult A Code also requires 1000 and 1440 hours at 225°F. We begin to see the requirements for the later revision are more reflective of the industry conditions, right?

Fluids

Next, we look at the fluids, which truly are a key difference between the two documents. Revision 2 fluid is exclusively for AS1241 Type IV, CL 2 while revision 6 states the elastomers must meet “all commercially available AS1241 Type IV, Class 1 and 2, and Type V”. Table 1 outlines the AS1241 fluids in context of both NAS 1613 revisions.

Revision 2 Revision 6
Low Density Hyject IV A Plus AS 1241 Type IV class 1 X
Low Density Skydrol LD4 AS 1241 Type IV class 1 X
High Density Skydrol 500B-4 AS 1241 Type IV class 2 X X
Low Density Skydrol V AS 1241 Type V X
Low Density Hyjet V AS 1241 Type V X
Low Density Skydrol PE-5 AS 1241 Type V X

Basically, to pass Revision 6, the material must demonstrate compatibility for all six commercially available fluids, while Revision 2 only has one fluid which is must be verified for compatibility. Again, we see Revision 6 is much more comprehensive than Revision 2.

Endurance Testing

picture of o-ringsLast, we look at the functional testing of the materials, referred to as dynamic or endurance testing. Both specifications require endurance testing on a pair of seals, which have been aged for a week at 225°F. The appropriate fluids are outlined in the table above.

Revision 2 has a gland design per Mil-G-5514. There is a 4” stroke length and the rod must travel 30 full cycles each minute. The rod is chromium plated with a surface finish between 16-32 microinches. PTFE anti-extrusion back up rings are necessary for the 3000 psi high pressure cycling. A temperature of 160°F is maintained for 70,000 strokes and then increased to 225°F for an additional 90,000 strokes.

Revision 6 has a much more demanding endurance test with fives phases and slightly different hardware. The rod must be a smooth 8 to 16 microinches Ra with a cross-hatched finish by lapping, and the cycle is 30 complete strokes per minute but only 3” rather than 4”, which means the speed can be more conservative. A pair of conditioned seals are placed in AS4716 grooves, adjacent to a PTFE back up ring. Similarities to Rev 2 are that there is a pressure of 3000 psi for the dynamic cycling at both 160°F and 225°F, however before and after each high temperature cycle there is a low temperature, -65°F soak. The first soak is static for 24 hours, followed by the 160°F high pressure cycling. The second low temperature soak requires 10 dynamic cycles at ambient pressure followed by 10 cycles at 3000 psi. The final low temperature soak requires one hour static sealing at 3000 psi followed by an 18 hour warm down period.

If you read carefully through the tests, you begin to see the Revision 6 seals must go through a more rigorous test with harsh low temperature, low pressure conditions. However, Revision 2 is not without its own challenges. The required hardware configuration; ie, low squeeze and more rough surface finish, is far from optimum and not what we recommend in actual service conditions. Added to the difficulty is the longer stroke length and faster speed. The fact that EM163-80 has passed both specifications proves it is the next generation EPDM seal material ready for flight.


Gallagher Fluid Seals is an authorized distributor of Parker. To learn more about how Gallagher Fluid Seals can help you, contact our engineering department at 1-800-822-4063

Reduce Maintenance Costs When Sealing Dry Running Equipment

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.

Original content can be found on Parker’s Website and was written by Nathan Wells, Application Engineer, Parker Engineered Polymer Systems Division.


My grandpa used to have a rusty, old air compressor in his shop. As a child, when my siblings and I would visit him, he’d use it to power air wrenches, grinders, and inflate flat soccer balls for us. I noticed it had a port labeled “ADD OIL DAILY” that was covered in the same thick layer of greasy dust as all the other unused junk in his shop. Knowing my grandpa, if asked about adding oil he probably would have said, “Oil is expensive. That’s how the companies get ya!” The compressor’s seals leaked so badly, you could hear the hissing even over the loud motor. I was certain one day it would explode.

picture of dry running equipmentPneumatic tools are common in factories, tool shops, and DIY garages around the world. Using compressed air for power is convenient, simple, and — when maintained properly — safe and efficient. However, air treatment costs can add up fast. Traditional rubber seals used in air tools require clean, low moisture, compressed air with the proper amount of lubrication added. Good Filter/Regulator/Lubricator systems (FRLs) cost as much as the tools themselves! So, what would happen if we didn’t have to provide pristine air?

Today we have the technology to create seals for tools which don’t require daily or even yearly upkeep. You’ll find these tools labeled “maintenance-free,” which sounds great to the guy responsible for maintenance. It sounds even better to the guy paying for maintenance … and to engineers designing tools who want to keep warranty costs down.

Seal materials for dry running

Early pressure seals were made out of leather. My grandpa’s compressor probably wasn’t that old, but even since his time, we’ve come a long way.

When I’m asked for seal recommendations in totally dry-running applications, my mind clicks to a material called PTFE (chemical name polytretrafluoroethylene). Most people know PTFE by the brand name Teflon® and are familiar with its use when applied to cookware as a high temperature, slippery, non-stick coating.

PTFE is a semi-hard plastic which feels slick to the touch thanks to its low friction properties. It’s considered self-lubricating because it leaves micro deposits on the sealing surface and reduces friction after just a few strokes. Because of this, it’s good for high-speed sealing and can operate completely dry.

By adding fillers to PTFE, seal manufacturers can tailor materials for greater suitability in meeting performance requirements for a wide range of conditions. String-like additives including fiberglass and carbon fiber increase pressure rating, wear resistance and seal life. Dry lubricant-type additives such as graphite or molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) further increase a seal’s ability to run without lubrication, and at higher speeds and pressures. In pneumatic medical, pharmaceutical, and food processing systems, clean grade mineral-based strengtheners may be used as additives.

PTFE seals for dry running equipment are available in several profile configurations:

Continue reading Reduce Maintenance Costs When Sealing Dry Running Equipment

Parker’s Low Temperature FFKM Provides Critical Oil & Gas Sealing Solutions

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.

Original content can be found on Parker’s Website.


Oil & Gas Sealing Solutions with a Low Temperature FFKM

Technology advancements and new-to-world discoveries are constantly creating a new series of challenges for seal materials in the Oil and Gas industry. In today’s environments, seals are being pushed to perform in temperature, pressure and chemical extremes never before thought to be obtainable with rubber products. Application pressures exceeding 20,000 psi, service temperatures ranging from -40°F to upwards of 500°F, and exposure to some of the most aggressive media on the planet are placing immense amounts of stress on sealing elements. Parker’s FF400-80 compound has been formulated to provide a solution to all of these sealing challenges.

FF400-80 Compound – FFKM Product Features

  • Temperature range: -40° to 527°F
  • Best-in-Class low-temperature FFKM
  • Excellent compression set resistance
  • RGD resistant per ISO 23936-2 and TOTAL GS EP PVV 142
  • Sour service H2S resistant per ISO 23936-2
  • Maintained resilience at high pressures and low temperatures
  • Great for use in HTHP applications

Sounds great, but what’s the catch?

Continue reading Parker’s Low Temperature FFKM Provides Critical Oil & Gas Sealing Solutions

RFID Tags and Medical Devices

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Life Sciences Division.

Original content can be found on Parker’s Website.


RFID Tags and Medical Devices

Preventable Medical Errors Prompts U.S. FDA’s UDI Rule

The influential 1999 report To Err is Human (National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine) reported that preventable medical errors caused at least 44,000 and perhaps as many as 98,000 deaths each year, with total costs of between $17 and $29 billon. One response to that and other reports was the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Medication Barcode Rule of 2004, which built on the existing National Drug Code (NDC) — a universal product identifier for drugs. In turn, the FDA Amendment Act of 2007 directed the FDA to create a Unique Device Identifier (UDI) system for most medical devices distributed in the United States.

Automatic Identification and Data Capture Technologies for Medical Devices and Instruments

The FDA UDI Final Rule states: “ Automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technology means any technology that conveys the UDI or the device identifier of a device in a form that can be entered into an electronic patient record or other computer system via an automated process.” AIDC (aka auto-ID) for medical devices may employ — at least in theory — any automatic data capture technology, including bar codes, radio frequency identification (RFID), magnetic stripe cards, optical Picture of Medical Devicecharacter recognition (OCR), smart cards, etc. But from a practical design and user application point-of-view, most medical device designers are looking to either RFID tags or bar code technology.

Barcode Labels vs. RFID Tags

  • RFID systems can have their reading distances “tuned” over a broad range through tag selection, tag antenna size and configuration, choice of tag reader/reader power, and Parker Chomerics RF shielding technologies.
  • Barcode readers must have direct line of sight; RFID readers do not.
  • Barcodes require either a specific orientation to their reader or a larger reader that is omnidirectional; RFID tags can be read in virtually any orientation.
  • Barcode readers read one label at a time; RFID readers can read hundreds or thousands of tags at once.
  • RFID tags can contain much more information than is practical on a most barcodes.
  • RFID tags can be written-to (and/or locked and encrypted) at their point of use. For example, the number of autoclave cycles a device has endured could be recorded on both its tag and a database: data collection and its use become real-time.

So, what are the unique advantages of built-in RFID tags for medical devices?

Continue reading RFID Tags and Medical Devices

Water Regulations and NSF 61 Compliant Elastomers

Replacing Aging Water Infrastructure With NSF Compliant Materials

There are over 155,000 public water systems in the United States and more than 286 million Americans who rely on community water systems daily.  Since most of the infrastructure was built between the early 1900’s and 1960 using outdated technology/products and capabilities, nearly everything is approaching the natural end of it’s lifespan.

Some estimates put the repairs and replacement of thePicture of NSF Compliant Gaskets infrastructure between $250B and $500B over the next 20-30 years. Several applications will need to be updated or fully replaced for the safety of consumers and quality of delivery, including:

  • Joining and sealing materials
  • Mechanical devices
  • Pipes or related products
  • Process media
  • Plumbing devices
  • Non-metallic potable water materials
  • Hydrants
  • and Public drinking water distribution (tanks and reservoirs, maters, individual components)

Joining and Sealing Materials

When these systems were being constructed and assembled decades ago, there were limited regulations and requirements that needed to be met. Gaskets, at least the traditional ones, were often made in two different ways: (1) Red Rubber (ASTM D1330 Grade 1 &2) with compressed non-asbestos or (2) cloth-inserted rubber with compressed asbestos.

However, today’s acceptable gasket requirements for the potable water industry differ greatly from those in the past. Gaskets have strict guidelines to abide by and must be:

  • Chemically resistant
  • NSF compliant
  • Food grade compliant
  • Electrically isolating

Because of the need for health and safety, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) was created in order to establish minimum requirements for the control of potential adverse human health effects from products that contact drinking water. In addition to gaskets, the NSF covers a variety of products and parts relevant to the water industry, including: pipes, hoses, fittings, cements, coatings, gaskets, adhesives, lubricants, media, water meters, valves, filters, faucets, fountains, and more.

So you might ask – why does the NSF require different materials and regulations for gaskets compared to years ago?

First things first – leaks are a major issue with the aging infrastructure. Improperly placed gaskets & seals or faulty products can cause leaks. This in turn could pose health risks to people drinking potable water or using products processed with potable water.

Additionally, the treatment process and chemicals utilized are Picture of NSF 61 Compliant Sealsdifferent from previous “standard” products. For example, research and testing over many years has concluded that traditional gaskets, which were used many years ago, could pose a safety threat to those drinking water processed with specific materials. This led to updated regulations for NSF 61’s drinking water system components.

Lastly, engineered sealing solutions are more important than ever. There’s a wide variety of custom engineered water systems throughout the U.S. – climate, geographic terrain, and the needs of the community are all reasons for why water infrastructure is so unique. Because of this, custom gaskets, seals, and other products are needed to supplement those systems.

Luckily there are many companies dedicated to providing the highest quality NSF 61 products. These trusted brands have proven materials to count-on when replacing or repairing water infrastructure:

Garlock’s NSF 61 Family of products

Parker’s NSF compliant products

Freudenberg’s new generation of NSF products

For more information on how Gallagher Fluid Seals’s engineers can help you with a custom solution, call us at 800.822.4063

Case Study: Self-Lubricated Polyisoprene for Medical Septum Applications

Case Study: Self-Lubricated Polyisoprene for Medical Septum Applications

The project

Develop a system that reduces the needle drag and piercing resistance of the septum and injection site materials to increase product performance.

The solution

Chemists developed a family of self-lubricated polyisoprene materials that have been manufactured with a proprietary lubricant system and show a minimal reduction of physical and mechanical properties.

By Saman Nanayakkara and Shu Peng

Due to its availability as an ISO 10993 medical grade compound, polyisoprene rubber, which has a unique set of combined mechanical and chemical properties, has been widely used in medical device applications. The material is ideal for septums and injection sites for medical fluid transfer applications. Medical grade polyisoprene compounds have high tear strength and high elastic resilience. These characteristics can provide the desired resealability properties of the septum or injection site after piercing one or more times with a needle.

Medical device manufacturers have long sought a reduction in needle drag or piercing resistance of septum and injection site materials to increase product performance. Post molding surface treatment to modify coefficient of friction is the conventional approach taken to reduce tackiness for improved part handling. This process, however, is a surface treatment for reducing surface friction and does not effectively reduce needle drag, which is caused largely by friction within the septum and injection site materials. Furthermore, this secondary surface treatment adds additional cost to the component.

Table of mechanical property comparisons

Continue reading Case Study: Self-Lubricated Polyisoprene for Medical Septum Applications

The Basics of Microwave Absorber Materials

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.
Original content can be found on Parker’s Blog.


You’ve probably heard a bit about microwave absorbers and how they are used to reduce or absorb the energy that is present in a microwave. But what are they exactly? And how do they work? Go ahead, read on.

What are microwave absorbers?Picture of Microwave Absorber

Simply put, microwave absorbers are special materials, often elastomer or rubber based, which are designed to offer a user-friendly approach to the reduction of unwanted electromagnetic radiation from electronic equipment. They also work well to minimize cavity to cavity cross-coupling, and microwave cavity resonances. When comprised of a silicone elastomer matrix with ferrous filler material, microwave absorbers provide RF absorption performance over a broadband frequency range from 500 MHz to 18 GHz.

Continue reading The Basics of Microwave Absorber Materials

Engineered Materials and Sealing Solutions for Flow Batteries

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.
Original content can be found on Parker’s Blog.


Sealing can often be a frustrating challenge when dealing  with flow batteries. Determining what materials are compatible with certain chemistries or developing a profile that provides optimal sealing under available compression can be a time-consuming task for those outside the sealing industry. A trial and error approach can have a significant overall cost impact through multiple prototype iterations, prolonged testing, and ultimately, delaying product commercialization.

Specialized support

Parker’s design and material engineers can provide support to your team in the critical, early stages of product development. With hundreds of engineered elastomeric materials to choose from, our team can identify and recommend a compound that works with your specific electrolytes or other fluids. With the exceptionally long lifetime requirements of flow batteries, our homogeneous rubber provides the elasticity needed to handle the many charge-discharge cycles the battery will see in its life.

Continue reading Engineered Materials and Sealing Solutions for Flow Batteries