Why Is There an FFKM Shortage?

by:Pragati Verma


ffkm o-ringsIf you have recently purchased or worked with Perfluoroelastomer (FFKM) O-rings, you may have experienced or at least heard about the global material shortages, delayed shipments, and supply chain issues facing the entire industry.

We hear you and feel your pain.

As a leading manufacturer of seals based on elastomers such as FFKMs, we understand how these issues are playing out in the global market. In the spirit of being a partner to our customers and not just a vendor, we offer an inside look at what’s causing the industry-wide shortage of several ingredients required to produce an FFKM compound.

ffkm global supply chain

Most commercial FFKM elastomers are terpolymers of tetrafluoroethylene (TFE), perfluoromethylvinyl ether (PMVE), and a cure site monomer to enable crosslinking. FFKM production is a complex process and needs specific ingredients. So, disruptions can occur even if one component is in short supply. Several monomers required to synthesize FFKMs are currently facing an industry-wide shortage. Several manufacturers are reliant on just one or two suppliers and that makes their situation higher risk.