North Carolina Department of Transportation
Research & Innovation Summit – 2020

Degradation of rubber gaskets exposed to water contaminated with Benzene and Perchloroethylene (PCE)

Authors: Payam Hosseini, Sultan Alhomair, Zahra Faeli, Mohammad Pour-Ghaz, Mohammed Gabr, Detlef Knappe, Cyrus Parker
View or Download PDF



Work in this project aims at characterizing the degradation in tensile strength of synthetic rubber gaskets used in piping network for water conveyance and exposed to Benzene and Perchloroethylene (PCE) solutions at the saturation level. Saturated aqueous solutions of benzene and PCE, two common chemicals of concern to the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT), are used to represent the worst-case scenario of water pollution. The gasket materials considered in this study include Neoprene (CR), Buna-N (NBR), and VitonTM (FKM).

The study approach employed the Williams-Landel-Ferry (WLF) method to establish time-temperature master curves; these are used to develop a model for calculating service life of rubber gaskets. Using the developed model, the time required for gasket materials to reach a specific level of reduction in tensile strength can be computed. Results indicated that Viton, among rubber gaskets considered in this study, exhibited the highest resistance to degradation in the presence of the study chemical solutions.


For questions about this research, contact Payam Hosseini at