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Home > Elastomer Properties > Thermal Stability

Seal Thermal Stability

Low Temperature Seal Thermal Stability

The low-temperature limit is generally 15°F below TR-10 for static seals. For dynamic seals the TR-10 is more relevant. The TR-10 is the temperature at which an elastomer is able to retract 10%.

Low-temperature performance is generally a reversible process.

For design purposes compression is generally increased. The chemical media may cause swelling which may act as a plasticizer and lower the service temperature.

Definition of:

Glass Transition Temperature:
  • TR Tests: ISO 2921, ASTM D1414, D1329
  • Stiffness: ISO 1432, ASTM D1053, D2240
  • Brittleness: ISO R812, ASTM C509
  • Crystallization: ISO 3387, 6471

low temperature limits of various sealing elastomers

Thermal Expansion

 Material Units Therm. Stab. x10–5
FKM   200°C 16 90
NBR   120°C 23 62
VMQ   230°C 59–79 103
FFKM   300°C 23  
EPDM   150°C 16  
Stainless   1.04  
Aluminum   1.3  
TFE and FEP   230°C 5–8  
KEL-F   280°C 4–7  
Polyimide   275°C 5  


  Thermal Conductivity
Specific Heat
VMQ  0.330–0.515 x 10–3 0.28–0.35
SC1030/SC1020  0.6/0.8 x 10–3 0.2

High Temperature Seal Thermal Stability

The high-temperature limit for seal thermal stability is generally considered a 30–50% loss of physical properties and typically represents a maximum temperature for 1,000 hours continuous service. It represents an irreversible change in the backbone or cross-link network.

The effect of high temperature can be compounded by the interaction with the chemical media. Chemical reactions typically double with a 10°C increase in temperature.

Definition of:

  • Thermal Conductivity: ASTM C177, C518
  • Thermal Expansion: ASTM D864
  • Heat Aging: ISO 188, ASTM D454, D572, D573, D865

high temperature vs. lifetime

high-temperature limits of various sealing elastomers

Viton® was a registered trademark of DuPont at the time the article was written and is now a registered trademark of the Chemours Company.


Next topic Chemical Seal: Chemical Compatibility



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