Product Comparison: Fluoropolymer vs. Viton™
These two materials are typically used when chemical resistance is critical, often in combination with high heat. But one is rigid, the other's soft, and there are other important differences as well.
Fluoropolymer was discovered over 75 years ago. It has been used in nearly every field of modern industry, technology, and science, and there are several types of fluoropolymers. The most common – PTFE, FEP, PFA and PVDF – are known for their heat, chemical, and electrical resistance, as well as their low coefficient of friction (slipperiness).
These materials handle a wide temperature range, including those well below freezing. Some fluoropolymers are considered thermosets (once formed into tubing, they cannot be melted and returned to their previous condition) while others are thermoplastics (capable of being melted and reformed).
As tubing, fluoropolymer is practical for applications such as chemical transfer lines, adhesives delivery, deionized water transfer, flame retardant covering, pharmaceutical processing, food and beverage delivery, pure air systems, cryogenics and solvent transfer.
Viton™, a fluoropolymer elastomer or fluoroelastomer, is a high-performance synthetic rubber. It is known for its resistance to oils and chemicals and for retaining its good mechanical and chemical resistance properties at high temperatures (400°F/204°C).
Viton was developed in the late 1950's, and its initial application was in the aerospace industry. That success quickly led to its use in the automotive field. Viton's fluid resistance far exceeds that of most other synthetic rubbers. It resists hydrocarbons such as benzene, toluene, carbon tetrachloride, and xylene – fluids that normally act as solvents on rubber.
In the form of flexible tubing, Viton's applications include fuel and oil lines, chemical processing, fluid transfer, solvent lines, air sampling equipment, peristaltic pumps, appliances and exhaust lines.
So, it seems fluoropolymer and Viton can handle similar chemical transfer applications. But there are significant differences between the two tubing materials, a notable one being hardness. Fluoropolymer's hardness is measured on the Shore D scale and has values ranging from 50-65, depending on the formulation (PTFE, FEP, etc.). That means it's pretty hard. Viton, on the other hand, uses the Shore A scale and results in hardness measurements between 60 and 75, meaning Viton tubing is much softer than fluoropolymer tubing.
Another important difference is low temperature usage. As shown in the chart below, tubing of Viton can withstand temperatures as low as -40°F, but fluoropolymer resists much colder temperatures… even those below -450°F. And color is vastly different. Fluoropolymer is translucent, so fluids flowing within the tubing can be seen, while Viton is solid, matte black.
Check out NewAge's fluoropolymer tubing, including coiled, corrugated and convoluted styles, at http://www.newageindustries.com/fluoropolymer-tubing-hose.asp. NewAge's brand of tubing of Viton, Vitube®, can be explored at http://www.newageindustries.com/vitube.asp.
Note: Comparisons are based on tubing of fluoropolymers and Viton available from NewAge Industries, Inc. Viton™ is a registered trademark of The Chemours Company.