Tag Archives: silicone

Selecting Seal Materials for Medical Ventilators

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

Original content can be found on Parker’s website and was written by Dan Ewing, senior chemical engineer, Parker Hannifin O-Ring & Engineered Seals Division.

In the rush to massively increase the number of medical ventilators available to treat patients with severe cases of Covid-19, using the correct seal materials for those ventilators should never take a back seat to expediency.

Medical ventilators are mechanical devices that essentially breathe for a patient with damaged lungs. They force air into the lungs and draw it out, augmenting or even replacing the natural functions provided by the movement of the diaphragm and the inflation/deflation of the lungs themselves. These devices can supply room air, pure oxygen, or nearly any ratio of the two to the patient, depending on health needs.

What makes a good seal selection in this environment?

First, seals within the device must be compatible with air and pure oxygen. They should not harden or crack, nor should they contain a significant amount of volatile matter that can evaporate out of the seal where it could be inhaled by the patient or potentially catch fire in a concentrated oxygen environment. Further, it should be assumed that any air that contacts the seals will likely end up in the patient’s lungs. As a result, it’s strongly recommended using seal materials that have passed USP <87> Class VI testing for any seals used in a medical ventilator.

Parker O-Ring & Engineered Seals Division has already helped several customers ramp up production of critical medical equipment with supplying the right materials and O-rings for the application.

These application requirements limit the recommended compounds to only a small handful.

Recommended compounds suitable for use in ventilators

Continue reading Selecting Seal Materials for Medical Ventilators

Freudenberg Announces New VMQ Materials

When it comes to food, Freudenberg wants to be sure that its sealing materials are free of harmful substances.

In the food processing industry, in order to guarantee food safety, both the food and the hardware that come into contact with it must meet particularly stringent criteria. These guidelines also apply to sealing materials.

picture of food processing plantIn China, specific standards were created in 2016 with the two standards GB 4806 and GB 9685, which deviate from the existing relevant American and European regulations for food-grade materials. To meet the stringent Chinese regulations, FST has now successfully tested two proven VMQ materials: 70 VMQ 117055 and 60 VMQ 117117 for their conformity with Chinese guidelines.

The Chinese standard GB 9685 specifies which ingredients may contain materials that come into contact with food in a so-called positive list. A large number of seal-relevant ingredients that conform to 21 CFR 177.2600 of FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) and European EU (Reg.) 1935/2004 are not listed here. This applies to elastomers. For a global food release, new material compositions must therefore be developed or proven materials tested for their conformity with the specifications.

Global food approvals require extensive testing

The basic requirements for gasket materials as well as sensory tests and migration tests are defined in standard GB 4806. Two of Freudenberg’s newly developed EPDM materials have successfully passed the tests: 75 EPDM 386 and 85 EPDM 387. 

After extensive testing, FST’s two new VMQ materials now meet the requirements of the Chinese standards. As an example: the silicones in the migration measurement in mg/dm2 had a result of <1, and are far below the specified limit of ≤10.

In addition to the EPDM materials which are characterized by media resistance, good processing behavior and a long service life, FST’s new silicones, 70 VMQ 117055 and 60 VMQ 117117 provide grease-resistant material selection for use in contact with food in the Chinese market.

Gallagher Fluid Seals is a preferred distributor of Freudenberg sealing. For information about Fruedenberg, or if you have needs for a custom solution, contact our engineering department.

The original article or press release can be found on Freudenberg’s website.

American Biltrite Announces New IM-S60 Silicone

American Biltrite is pleased to announce the launch of their new IM-S60  industrial grade silicone.

silicone by american biltriteThrough high demand, American Biltrite felt this new industrial grade silicone was a natural fit to complete their product offering to assist in covering applications with extreme temperature variations. IM-S60 is a versatile material which offers excellent resistance to UV, ozone, weathering, and resists most fluids encountered in general industrial applications.

The IM-S60 is a 60 durometer, terracotta colored silicone that withstands drastic temperatures ranging from -80°F to 450°F.  This product is now available in stock in 1/16’’, 1/8’’, and 1/4’’ thick, in thirty-six inch wide rolls. Fast shipping and short transit times are available via the vast network of distribution warehouses carrying both ten and fifty foot rolls.

American Biltrite says:

This addition demonstrates our sincere engagement to better serve our customers by offering the broadest product range in the industry.

Features & Benefits of IM-S60

  • Temperature range: -80°F to 450°F
  • Excellent resistance to extreme temperatures
  • Excellent resistance to UV, ozone, and weathering
  • Highly resistant to erosion for a long wear life
  • High tear resistance
  • Low compression set
  • Resists most fluids encountered in general industrial applications
  • Resists deformation under severe thermal stress

IM-S60 technical specifications


  • Gaskets
  • Seals
  • Stripping
  • Die-Cut Components
  • Automotive
  • Energy, Oil & Gas
  • Rail
  • Electrical
  • Construction
  • Lighting
  • Agriculture
  • Solar

IM-S60 features

About American Biltrite

American Biltrite manufactures and distributes industrial rubber throughout America. Their industrial rubber, made from silicone, nitrile, EPDM, neoprene, and other materials,  can be applied to a variety of challenging applications. American Biltrite’s extensive network of distributors and distribution centers allow for prompt delivery and service to its customers.

Through nearly a hundred years of careful growth, American Biltrite has built a reputation for the quality of its products and the sincerity of its commitment to customer service. Both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified, American Biltrite demonstrates a sincere commitment to consistently exceed expectations for quality while safeguarding the environment.

View the press release on American Biltrite’s website here.

Gallagher Fluid Seals is a preferred distributor of American Biltrite products. To learn more about, contact our engineering department.

The Continuous Improvement of Elastomers: Part 2

The spectrum of elastomers range from very simple forms, like the natural rubber already in use in the 19th century, to modern, high performance elastomers from the second half of the 20th century.  They are continually being improved.

This blog article is the second in a two-part series discussing the many different elastomer materials available today, as discussed in Freudenberg’s The World of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies.
The first post discussed Natural Rubber (NR), Nitrile Rubber (NBR), and Hydrogenated Nitrile Rubber (HNBR).

Polyacrylate Rubber (ACM)
Elastomers - ACMACM elastomers are made of polar acrylic acids. As polar materials, they display good resistance to high-additive lubricating oils. Due to its saturated¹ main chain, the material exhibits good resistance to ozone, weather and heated air. Petroleum-based oils and fluids (for engines, transmissions and automatic transmissions) cannot harm them. But the material offers only moderate strength and low elasticity while displaying limited cold behavior.

Continue reading The Continuous Improvement of Elastomers: Part 2

Why Use Food Grade Silicone?

There are a plethora of choices when it comes to gasketing material.  But if you are in the food processing, it is crucial that every item that makes contact with the gasket is left unaffected.  And although silicone is inherently non-toxic, only a specially formulated food grade silicone is fit for use with consumables.

Food Grade Silicone - FDA ApprovedSilicone is an ideal elastomer to use if you require FDA-approved rubber.  Since there is an emphasis on rubbers being suitable for repeated use in the food processing industry, silicone is ideal being that the material is not susceptible to harmful microbial agents or other contaminants.  Food grade gaskets and seals should be able to function for long periods of time without falling prey to harmful contamination, or degradation.

Continue reading Why Use Food Grade Silicone?