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Elastomer Seals: 5 Myths of Elastomer Material Datasheets

Material datasheets are often referred to when considering and comparing elastomer sealing materials for a particular application, but how useful are they? This webinar looks at the information they contain as well as what they don’t tell you, and investigates five common misconceptions about elastomer material datasheets.

Originally presented: December 13, 2017
Duration: 1 hour
Presented by:


Elastomer datasheets are often the 'go to' source of information for a specific grade of material to determine its suitability for an application and are often treated in the same manner as those for metallic materials. This webinar looks at the typical information contained in a datasheet, what it means and how it should be treated.

Physical properties are presented as static values and give a perception that they are fixed, similarly to metallic physical properties. Elastomeric materials exhibit non-linear physical properties, which are easily affected by temperature, chemistry and time. How are these values measured and what is their relevance to the application?

High temperature is again represented by a fixed value, but what does this mean and how can engineers use it? How is it ascertained?

Low temperature sealing is becoming commonplace within the oil & gas industry. The low temperature value reported on a datasheet is often misunderstood and is influenced by many factors. How is the low temperature capability ascertained? What does it represent and what affects performance at low temperature?

Most, if not all, products used in the oil & gas industry conform to a standard or are required to meet industry specifications. With respect to elastomeric materials, there are many industry test specifications and criteria that are referenced. The details and criteria behind the specifications are often misunderstood and also misaligned from the product and application conditions. If a material meets the specification, is it fit for purpose?

Chemical interactions are constantly occurring, whether the material is exposed to air at room temperature or being exposed to produced sour fluids at 350°F (177°C). Chemistry plays a significant role in how a material performs. What does a datasheet tell us about chemical resistance?

Key Take-Aways

  • Learn how the data for elastomer sealing materials is compiled
  • Understand the relevance of material properties stated on datasheets
  • Find out the potential flaws of comparing different elastomer materials using information provided on datasheets
  • Discover solutions to help you determine whether an elastomer material will be suitable for your application


Chris Allan, Product Manager – Oil & Gas, Precision Polymer Engineering

Chris Allan is responsible for developing materials and products for the oil and gas sector at Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE). He has 8 years' experience in the field of elastomer technology and 13 years' experience in the Oil & Gas industry. Chris holds a BEng (Honors) in Engineering, with a number of supporting qualifications in different engineering disciplines, including subsea engineering. Delivered presentations to IMechE on elastomers for mechanical seals and has provided numerous sealing training courses, including to IMechE member groups working within the Oil & Gas industry.

Having designed and developed the world's first low temperature perfluoroelastomer (FFKM) S-Seal, meeting API 6A approvals, along with NORSOK M710 RGD and heat ageing qualifications, Chris has an in depth knowledge in the mechanics of test programs.