Fluoroprene, the first fluorine-containing elastomer, was developed by E. I. du Pont de Nemours … Company and reported by Mochel and others in 1948. However, intensive research to develop specialty rubbers from fluorocarbons was not started until the early 1950's. At the time, there was an urgent military need for fuel and chemical resistant rubbers for service under extremely low temperatures. Consequently, most of the fluorine-containing elastomers were the result of research conducted or sponsored by the Department of Defense. Army experiences in the Aleutians during World War II and in several task force operations in the Arctic regions showed, among others, that fuel hoses became brittle and cracked. Gaskets failed to function. On shipboard, the Navy was experiencing similar difficulties with rubber items. The Air Force, on the other hand, was being plagued with an epidemic of fuel leakage on many of its aircraft. The extraction of the plasticizers from the nitrile rubber compounds and the low temperature of the environment caused shrinkage of the seals and gaskets resulting in leakage of fuels. Obviously, a solution to these problems was to develop new fuel resistant rubbers which would be inherently flexible at extremely low temperatures.

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