What You Should Know About 4 FDA-Grade O-ring Materials?
What You Should Know About 4 FDA-Grade O-ring Materials?

What You Should Know About 4 FDA-Grade O-ring Materials?

Aug 16, 2017 Materials | FDA O-Rings

A wide variety of processing equipment in the food and pharmaceutical industries use seals like any other manufacturing equipment. O-rings are one such type of mechanical seals that are used by food manufacturing industries. The O-ring is placed in a groove between two surfaces, and they undergo compression during the assembly, thereby creating a reliable sealing surface. These seals are required to withstand corrosion, speed, abrasion, as well as meet FDA standards. What are FDA-grade materials? What are different material constructions for FDA O-rings? This post answers all these questions by discussing 4 most popular FDA-grade O-ring materials.



Introduction to FDA-grade Materials

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a wide range of rubber and plastic compounds for use in medical and food processing plants. In short, FDA approval for a particular compound or material used for building an O-ring suggest that it can easily withstand potential risks in sensitive food processing, and pharmaceutical applications.

There are various FDA-grade materials in use today, and they vary from each other in terms of properties. The following are a few common beneficial properties that make these materials popular over their non-FDA grade compounds.

  • Resistance against bacterial buildup and fungal attack
  • Non-marking, non-toxic, and non-allergenic nature
  • Reliable service at a wide range of temperature
  • Ability to remain neutral under harsh conditions

All FDA-grade materials should belong to the FDA-white list, which is mentioned in the Code of Federal Regulations (title 21). 

4 Popular FDA-grade Materials for Food Industry O-Rings

The following are the 4 important types of FDA-grade materials used for building O-rings:

  • White Food Grade/FDA Compliant EPDM: EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer (M-class) rubber) are one of the most popular elastomers used in the food industry. These elastomers can withstand a wide temperature range. EPDM provides excellent resistance against phosphate esters, greases, and oils.

            Temp. Range: -40°F to +230°F / -40°C to +110°C

  • White Food Grade/FDA Compliant Nitrile: Nitrile rubber (Butadiene Acrylonitrile), which is abbreviated as NBR, is recommended for O-rings used in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic processing. This rubber compound exhibits excellent impact, oil, and grease resistance, and retains its flexibility throughout various cooling and heating cycles. White nitrile rubber O-rings are popular in egg processing, and dairy applications too. These O-rings can withstand daily cleaning, which is necessary in many food processing plants.

            Temp. Range: -25°F to +220°F / -32°C to +104°C

  • White Food Grade/FDA Compliant Silicone: The FDA O-rings made from silicone offer superb thermal, chemical, and electrical resistance. FDA-grade silicone material is low volatile, free from peroxide, and can withstand discoloration. Silicone is tasteless, odorless, non-toxic, and chemically inert. In addition to that, it can easily resist bacterial and fungus build up, too.

            Temp. Range: -67°F to 450°F/ -55° C to 232° C

  • White Food Grade/FDA Compliant Fluorocarbon: The Fluorocarbon elastomers are valued in the food industry due to various beneficial advantages they have. These elastomers have a wide range of chemical compatibility, low compression set, temperature range, and excellent aging characteristics, too. These elastomers are highly fluorinated, which are used in various applications to resist ozone attack, and harsh chemicals.

            Temp. Range: -15°F to +400°/440°F/ -26°C to +205°/230°C

All the above-mentioned FDA O-rings are designed to meet requirements of food and pharmaceutical industries. It is very important to purchase these rings from a reputed manufacturer who understands FDA regulations, as well as your special application requirements. SSP Manufacturing, Inc. has experience spanning over 2 decades in manufacturing and supplying FDA-grade O-rings and other sealing solutions.

Share Button

Related Post