FKM the Widely used Fluoroelastomer

FKM the Widely used Fluoroelastomer

The global demand for fluoroelastomers was estimated to be around 26 kilo tons in 2017, growing between 3-4% since 2010. Fluorocarbon Elastomer (FKM) is the dominant fluoroelastomer accounting for more than 85% of the global fluoroelastomer consumption and it still remains a single largest driver for growth. Other fluoroelastomers include fluorosilicone and perfluoroelastomers. Asia Pacific is the biggest consumer followed by North America and Western Europe. Historically, FKM has been struggling with overcapacity and low operating rates because of slow growth in comparison to other fluoroelastomers.

Global FKM Demand, By Region- 2017

Global FKM Demand, By Region- 2017

The shifting of automotive production from Western Europe to other low cost regions in Asia has pushed the regional demand, especially in China. FKM cost is relatively higher than its immediate competitor Ethylene Acrylic Elastomer (AEM) which is major challenge faced by manufacturers. This challenge is overshadowed by superior performance in terms of heat & oil resistance and enhanced service life of the component. Initiatives like promoting hybrid electrical vehicles and turbocharged engines due to strict environmental regulations are expected to drive FKM demand in the automotive sector. FKM is used in applications such as o-rings, gaskets, complex moulding parts, seals & hoses. Major end use industries for FKM include Automotive, Aerospace, Oil & Gas and Industrial amongst others.

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