It’s no exaggeration to say that there are thousands of nonmetallic materials available for use in gaskets, O-rings, seals, and other rubber parts. Just taking a glance at the list of materials can be immediately overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Every material has uses and applications, which make them great for when they’re needed, but makes choosing the right one if you don’t know have the information you need to meet the project’s needs and budget. Viton and EPDM are both popular materials used to make gaskets, O-rings, and many more, but they are different. How do they differ? Let’s compare Viton vs EPDM and see if we can help you decide which material you need.
Viton is a material we’ve written about in the past. Viton is a fluoropolymer, or synthetic rubber. Generally speaking, fluoropolymers offer high resistance to solvents, acids, and bases; Viton, though, is also a dense material, which makes it very strong. At high temperatures, Viton maintains good mechanical properties, maintains its elasticity, and is resistant to oils and chemicals. It’s compatible with oils, fuels, and lubricants and is also resistant to oxygenated automotive fuel, aromatic hydrocarbons, fungus, mold, and burning.
Viton boasts an impressive temperature tolerance range: from -20°C to 210°C (-4°F to 410°F). This high-temperature tolerance makes it an ideal choice for high-temperature applications. It’s used for O-rings and gaskets for engines, valve seals, and other molded or extruded products. It also offers resistance to ultraviolet light and other atmospheric conditions, so it weathers well.
Viton and EPDM are both great materials to make O-Rings, but which one is best for you?
EPDM—Ethylene propylene diene monomer—is made up of two primary materials: ethylene and propylene, both are by-products of oil and natural gas. The material is a very durable and versatile synthetic rubber. As a thermoset polymer, it retains its shape even after stretching and can hold its physical properties for years.
Like Viton, EPDM performs well in both high- and low-temperature situations, though it best functions at a different temperature range than Viton, with an effective operating temperature range of -45°C to 145°C (-49°F to 293°F). So, while EPDM can withstand colder temperatures than Viton, it cannot withstand hotter temperatures than its counterpart. EPDM offers exceptional moisture and chemical resistance and can withstand many diluted acids; however, it’s not suitable for hydrocarbons, such as oils, gasoline, kerosene, and mineral oil-based lubricants.
EPDM rubber sheeting is used in roofing, freezer room seals, electrical insulation, solar panel heat collectors, and O-rings. Within the automotive industry, EPDM can be found in radiator and heater hoses, window and door seals, insulators, and weather stripping.
Viton vs EPDM: Which One is Right for You?
Both Viton and EPDM are excellent materials, but that doesn’t mean they’re well-suited for every situation. With a low permeability to a wide range of range of substances, Viton resists degradation and corrosion from more chemicals and fluids than EPDM, but EPDM performs much better in low temperatures than Viton and also tends to be cheaper. But cost shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when ordering and buying parts—it’s critical that you keep in mind the conditions and the materials the parts will come in contact with. Need more help? Breiner Innovative has knowledge and experience with thousands of materials, so contact us and let us help you find the material that will best fit your needs.