Hydrogen Fluoride Resistant Gaskets

Hydrogen fluoride (HF) is a chemical compound consisting of hydrogen and fluorine atoms. It is a colorless, highly corrosive, and toxic gas at room temperature. In its pure form, hydrogen fluoride exists as a diatomic molecule, but it can also be found in aqueous solutions where it forms hydrofluoric acid.

Due to its unique properties and chemical reactivity, hydrogen fluoride is found in various production manufacturing processes across several industries. Some notable industries that utilize hydrogen fluoride include:

  • Semiconductor Manufacturing: HF is employed in the semiconductor industry for its role in etching silicon dioxide (SiO2) layers during the fabrication of integrated circuits. It is used in processes such as wafer cleaning and selective silicon dioxide removal, crucial steps in semiconductor device manufacturing.
  • Petrochemical Industry: HF is used in the petrochemical industry for alkylation processes, where it serves as a catalyst to produce high-octane gasoline components like alkylates. Alkylation involves the addition of an alkyl group to an organic compound, typically an alkene or aromatic hydrocarbon, to improve fuel properties.
  • Glass Manufacturing: HF is utilized in the glass industry for its ability to dissolve silica (SiO2), a key component of glass, enabling the production of specialized glasses with desired properties. It is employed in glass etching processes and as a component of fluorine-based glass compositions.
  • Chemical Synthesis: HF is involved in various chemical synthesis processes, including the production of fluorine-containing compounds such as fluorocarbons, fluorinated polymers, and pharmaceuticals. It serves as a reactant or catalyst in reactions where fluorination or fluor deprotection is required.
  • Metal Surface Treatment: HF is utilized for metal surface treatment processes such as pickling and descaling, where it removes oxides and other surface contaminants from metal surfaces, preparing them for subsequent processing or finishing operations.
  • Oil Refining: HF is used in certain oil refining processes, particularly in hydrocarbon conversion units, where it aids in the conversion of hydrocarbons through processes like catalytic cracking and isomerization.

In industries where the handling of corrosive substances like hydrogen fluoride is routine, safety and efficiency is paramount. Gaskets play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of HF systems, safeguarding both personnel and equipment against leaks and potential hazards.

Given the serious health and environmental hazards associated with hydrogen fluoride, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires immediate reporting of any leaks; even a minor leak can result in plant shutdown, significantly affecting overall operations, downtime, labor needs, and costs.

Selecting the appropriate gasket material is fundamental.

Given HF’s aggressive nature, gaskets must possess exceptional chemical resistance and withstand its corrosive effects over prolonged periods. The Hydrogen Fluoride Industry Practices Institute (HFIPI) publishes a “Materials of Construction Guideline” to help ensure the safest possible industrial use of hydrogen fluoride. Within this guide, PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) gasket material is listed as a safe sealant due to its excellent chemical compatibility and sealing properties.

Moreover, gaskets for HF systems must meet stringent performance standards to ensure operational safety. They should maintain their sealing integrity across a range of temperatures and pressures typical of HF processes. Additionally, they must resist compression set and maintain flexibility to accommodate thermal cycling and system vibrations without compromising their sealing capabilities.

Durlon 9400

Durlon 9400

Durlon 9400 carbon-filled PTFE gaskets are built to endure the harshest exposure to hydrogen fluoride. This gasket provides superior sealing properties and is both highly durable and flexible.

Key benefits:

  • Approved material (HEIPI – Materials of Construction Guideline) for hydrofluoric acid service.
  • Skived manufacturing process.
  • Custom design capabilities.
  • Exhibits excellent non-sticking and cutting characteristics.

As the gasket of choice, Durlon 9400 can also be used for anhydrous hydrogen fluoride (AHF) in railroad tank cars and a good alternative for use in plants where barium sulfate filled PTFE may not be suitable.

Innovations in gasket technology continue to enhance the safety and efficiency of HF systems. Advanced materials and manufacturing techniques result in gaskets with improved chemical resistance, durability, and sealing performance, further minimizing risks associated with HF handling.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions about your industry application so we may further assist you in choosing the right Durlon gasket based on your needs. Fill in this Gasket Application Data Form and a tech team member will get back to you within 24 hrs.