Tecnoflon® FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tecnoflon®?

Tecnoflon® is the trade name for Solvay Specialty Polymer’s family of fluoroelastomer (FKM) and perfluoroelastomer (FFKM) products. The Tecnoflon® family of products is renowned for its unmatched operational temperature range, chemical resistance, and reliable performance in the most demanding of environments. Unlike traditional elastomeric materials which are based on Carbon-Hydrogen or Silicon-Oxygen bonds Tecnoflon® fluoroelastomers derive their uniquely superior properties from strength of the Carbon-Fluorine bond.

What is the operational service temperature range for Tecnoflon®?

The Tecnoflon® family of products span an operational service temperature range of -50°C to 300°C (-58°F to 572°F) – wider than the range of all other non-fluorinated elastomeric materials. Tecnoflon® VPL sets the standard on low temperature performance with its unique polymer structure imparting successful function to a low of approximately -50°C while Tecnoflon® PFR 95HT, with its proprietary cure system and fully fluorinated polymer backbone, extends high temperature performance to 300°C.

What is Tecnoflon® resistant too?

Acids, bases, solvents, fuels, service oils/lubricants, steam, and much more are no problem. The percent Fluorine content of Tecnoflon® ranges from 64% to 72% by weight depending on the grade selected. Whatever the environment or substance, the Tecnoflon® product family has you covered.

Where is Tecnoflon® used?

Tecnoflon® is used where other elastomers either do not function adequately or simply fail to work. Any application where excellent high temperature, chemical, and environmental resistance is required is a potential candidate for Tecnoflon®. Tecnoflon® offers peace of mind in multiple industrial sectors by preventing leakage in sealing systems, increasing operational longevity through excellent property retention, and reducing the risk of system failures. From automotive, aerospace, oil/gas, chemical processing, and semiconductors to wearable devices and beyond Tecnoflon® is the elastomeric material of choice offering customers unmatched performance, reliability, and satisfaction.

How do I select the right grade of Tecnoflon® for my application?

Sometimes the answer is obvious especially when you already know exactly what you are looking for. The Tecnoflon® section of this website is an excellent launching point to get started selecting the right Tecnoflon® product for your need. However, if you aren’t sure which product is right for you or have a more complex scenario, we are here to help. 

In addition to having the most comprehensive product range of any other fluoroelastomer supplier, Tecnoflon® is supported by a global team of Technical Specialists who will work with you to understand your application, conduct testing as needed to find the best possible solution, and provide material support and recommendations tailored to your success. Likewise, Tecnoflon® is also supported by a world class highly talented Research and Innovation team who are always eager to tackle new challenges and develop sustainable solutions to complex problems.

How does Tecnoflon® compare to acrylic elastomers?

  • Tecnoflon® provides a wider service temperature range exceeding both the low temperature and high temperature properties of acrylics.

  • The swell/softening of Tecnoflon® in service fluids is significantly less than that of acrylics leading to improve physical property retention and mechanical robustness in application.

  • Unlike acrylics, Tecnoflon® also exhibits excellent water & steam resistance.

How does Tecnoflon® compare to Silicone (VMQ) & Fluorosilicone (FVMQ) elastomers?

  • VMQ and FVMQ elastomers do offer some improvement in high temperature performance compared to acrylics but Tecnoflon® surpasses all others in its unmatched high temperature capability.

  • VMQ is not recommended for use in hydrocarbons while Tecnoflon® is very well suited for use in hydrocarbons.

  • FVMQ does offer improved hydrocarbon resistance compared to VMQ but Tecnoflon®, with its naturally higher fluorine content, greatly exceeds the performance of FVMQ in hydrocarbons as well as other polar media with very low swell and significantly reduced fuel permeability.

  • Silicone based elastomers are noted for good long term sealing property retention in dry applications. However, Tecnoflon® offers excellent long term sealing property retention both in dry and immersed applications.

  • Silicone based elastomers are not well suited for dynamic wear applications (ex: shaft seals) whereas Tecnoflon® offers excellent dynamic wear properties.

How does Tecnoflon® compare to Hydrogenated Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (HNBR) and standard Nitrile (NBR) elastomers?

  • Both HNBR/NBR elastomers and Tecnoflon® are noted for excellent dynamic wear properties, long term sealing force retention, and robust mechanical properties but only Tecnoflon® extends the operating temperature range by over 100°C beyond HNBR and 150°C beyond NBR.

  • Both HNBR and NBR provides either good swell resistance or good low temp flexibility, having both qualities in the same material simply isn’t possible. However, with Tecnoflon® PL and VPL there are no compromises between low temp flexibility, high temperature performance and superior swell resistance.

What is the product form of Tecnoflon®?

While some grades of Tecnoflon® are available as water based latex, the majority of Tecnoflon® is manufactured as opaque off-white solid rubbery polymer sheets.  Depending on the polymer grade it may or may not contain curatives.

How is Tecnoflon® transformed into a ready-for-use use state?

Depending on the application, some customers may choose to work with the water-based latex form or dissolve the solid polymer sheets into a solvent for various liquid application techniques.  

However, for most customers the standard solid polymer form is required as a prerequisite for secondary mixing.  Using traditional rubber mixing technology, compounders mix with the solid Tecnoflon® polymer a variety of fillers, activators, pigments, process aids, and/or curatives to establish the final compound physical & mechanical properties.  

After mixing of the final Tecnoflon® compound, the ratio of polymer to additives ranges from about 95:5 for the softest compounds to near 50:50 for higher hardness compounds. Following mixing, the final Tecnoflon® compound is ready to be formed and “cured” into its’ final state.

What is the composition of Tecnoflon®?

The following information is not intended to serve as a listing of the multiple Tecnoflon® grades available but is simply an overview of the underlying technology. 

Tecnoflon® is a polymer made from a variety of different monomer building blocks.  The types and ratios of those monomers establish the product properties.  The primary monomers used in the manufacture of the various grades of Tecnoflon® are as follows:

Primary Monomers
VDF (VF2)Vinylidene FluorideCH2=CF2
HFPHexafluoroproyleneCF3-CF=CF2
TFETetrafluoroethyleneCF2=CF2
PAVEPerfluoromethyl vinyl etherCF3-O-CF=CF2
ETHEthyleneCH2=CH2
MOVEPerfluoromethoxyvinyl ethersCF3-(O-CF2-O)n-CF=CF2

ASTM D1418 provides a basic framework for defining most of the Tecnoflon® fluoroelastomer grades as follows:

ASTM D1418 Framework
FKM - Fluoroelastomers
Type 1Dipolymer of HFP & VDFTecnoflon® N & FOR-xxx
Type 2Terpolymer of TFE, HFP, & VDFTecnoflon® P, T & FOR-xxx
Type 3Terpolymer of TFE, a fluorinated vinyl ether (e.g. PMVE and/or MOVE), and VDFTecnoflon® PL & VPL
Type 4Terpolymer of TFE, Propylene, & VDF Pentapolymer of TFE, HFP, VDF, ethylene, and PMVETecnoflon® BR 9151
PFR FFKM - Perfluoroelastomers
Pefluorinated rubbers of polymethylene type having all fluoro, perfluoroalkyl, or perfluoroalkoxy substituent groups on the polymer chain. (e.g. TFE & PMVE)Tecnoflon® PFR, PFR-HT, PFR-LT

How is Tecnoflon® cured?

Tecnoflon® fluoroelastomers and perfluoroelastomers belong to the thermoset family of materials. At room temperature they are above their glass transition temperatures and, as a result, exhibit semi-fluid like behavior. They must be compounded and chemically cross-linked (also known as cured) in order to develop to their full physical property potential. Tecnoflon® is cross-linked by one of two primary types of cure systems:

  • Ionic (also known as Bisphenol) cure system: The ionic cure system relies on the in-situ dehydrofluorination of the polymer backbone and subsequent formation of crosslinks by a difunctional monomer such as 4,4′-(Hexafluoroisopropylidene)diphenol (also known as Bisphenol AF). Most customers prefer to leave the job of adding the ionic cure system to Solvay. We offer numerous cure incorporated dipolymer (type 1) and terpolymer (type 2) grades. These grades known as FOR (formulated) grades are available in varying fluorine contents, viscosities, cure speeds, and cure states. However, some customers prefer to start with the base gum and add the curatives as part of their mixing procedures. We also have available stand-alone curatives that can be used in this manner. Either way, we provide the support necessary to help you be successful.

  • Peroxide cure system: Peroxide cured fluoroelastomers contain special Halogen based cure site monomers polymerized directly into the polymer matrix. The peroxide cure system utilizes an organic peroxide to initiate a free radical reaction leading to the crosslinking of the cure site monomers with co-agents such as Triallyl isocyanurate (TAIC). Solvay produces peroxide cured versions of all ASTM D1418 FKM and FFKM polymer types in multiple fluorine contents, monomer ratios, and viscosities. However, given the inherent sensitivity of the peroxide system Solvay does not offer formulated peroxide cure containing grades. The addition of both peroxide and co-agent is common practice by compounders experienced in working with Tecnoflon®.

Regardless of the cure system utilized both require application of heat, time, under pressure. Typical press curing time/temperatures range from 160°C to 180°C for 3 to 6 minutes.

Are any grades of Tecnoflon® compliant with FDA regulation 21 CFR 177.2600?

Yes, Solvay has a variety of grades that are FDA compliant.  Please contact you Tecnoflon® representative for assistance in making your selection.

What is Tecnoflon® VPL?

Tecnoflon® VPL is Solvay’s newest and most innovative fluoroelastomer product family. It extends the traditional boundaries of low temperature flexibility, swell resistance, and aggressive chemical compatibility beyond where other fluoroelastomers can go.  

Before Tecnoflon® VPL, the lowest TR-10 offered by any fluoroelastomer was -30°C. Tecnoflon® VPL currently offers products with TR-10 values down to -45°C with effective sealing to -50°C. Tecnoflon® VPL was initially developed to meet the demands of higher operating pressures and increased exposure to alcohol fuel blends and bio-fuels in automotive fuel delivery systems.  Tecnoflon® VPL products are now expanding and growing in multiple markets from automotive fuel, engine, and driveline seals to oil & gas, and aerospace.  

Design engineers no longer have to compromise on elastomer performance to enjoy service temp ranges extending below -30°C. Silicone, Fluorosilicone, and HNBR were once the only elastomer alternatives for ultra-low temp sealing. Selecting one of these materials required accommodating higher swell and/or a loss of upper temperature performance. With a service temperature range of -50°C to 250°C and impeccable resistance to aggressive fluids and fuels you can have it all with Tecnoflon® VPL.