PFAs and Its Impact on the Sealing Industry

Molecule illustration for PFAs

Forever Chemicals and the Future

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) are an ever-present part of our lives, from our cookware to our clothing and, notably, the sealing industry. However, these man-made chemicals have been the focus of increasing scrutiny. What is the future of PFAs and how will it shape the sealing industry?

PFAs are synthetic chemicals known for their ability to resist heat, water, and oil. This has made them incredibly useful in various industries, including the manufacture of gaskets, seals, and O-rings.

However, PFAs have been labeled "forever chemicals" due to their persistence in the environment and in our bodies, leading to potential health risks. As more research uncovers these impacts, the future of PFAs looks increasingly uncertain.

In the past, the sealing industry has been a significant user of PFAs due to their unique properties. PFAs provide exceptional performance in high-temperature applications and in environments exposed to aggressive chemicals. But with potential regulatory changes on the horizon, the industry is faced with an impending challenge. How do we maintain high-performance sealing solutions without relying on PFAs?

A possible alternative is the use of perfluoroelastomers (FFKMs), which maintain many of the desirable properties of PFAs but have a different chemical structure that may pose less environmental and health risk.

The development of greener manufacturing processes and materials also holds promise for creating PFAs-free seals and gaskets. These new materials must meet the rigorous demands of the industries served, a challenge that the sealing industry is determined to meet.

The future of PFAs presents a complex challenge for the sealing industry. However, as regulatory pressures mount, the industry is showing it's ready to innovate, seeking out alternatives that deliver the same high performance without the environmental and health impact. This is an exciting time in the industry, a time of change and innovation. The sealing industry may soon unveil new materials that revolutionize the way we think about high-performance seals.


Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Your Health

Sealing Technology, "The Impact of PFAs on Sealing"

DuPont, "Perfluoroelastomer Parts (FFKM)"

Parker Hannifin FFKM