Flexible connectors play a crucial role in bulk processing industries, serving as essential components in systems that require the movement, transfer, and containment of products. Whether it’s milk powder, coffee or flour, it’s imperative to choose the right flexible connector that can perform at its peak and provide clean, safe and efficient product transfer.

While traditional silicone-based connectors have been widely used in the food processing industry in the past, they do come with a number of limitations that can affect overall performance and efficiency.

The Limitations of Silicone Flexible Connectors Compared to Seeflex

Silicone-based flexible connectors have often been used for their ability to withstand a wide range of chemicals and high temperatures; however, these connectors are not without some significant downsides.  

Here we take a look at how silicone flexible connectors compare to the industry-leading BFM® blue-band Seeflex alternative:

Silicone vs Seeflex Infographic

    Silicone Connectors      BFM® Seeflex Connectors
1 Susceptibility to Wear and Tear:
Silicone connectors are susceptible to tearing and wear, which can occur due to factors such as movement, pressure, and exposure to abrasive substances. This vulnerability can lead to frequent replacements and increased downtime, affecting operational efficiency.
  1 Enhanced Durability:
Seeflex is designed to withstand wear and tear, offering a longer lifespan in the field than silicone.  Its construction resists tearing, cracking, and ripping, making it a durable option that reduces the need for frequent replacements.

Attachment Systems Prone to Leakage:
Many silicone connectors rely on hose-clamp attachment systems that are prone to leakage. These attachment points are susceptible to failure, leading to potential leaks and resulting in product loss and safety hazards.


100% Seal with Snap-Fit Installation:
Seeflex connectors utilize the unique BFM® spigot and shaped cuff system that provides secure and leak-free connections. This patented design enhances overall safety and eliminates the risks associated with powder leakage.

3 Opaque Construction:
Silicone connectors are not transparent, making it challenging to monitor the flow and contents of the systems into which they are integrated. 
This lack of visibility means you can't immediately see if there is a product flow or consistency problem.
  3 Transparency:
One of the standout features of our popular Seeflex 040E and 020E materials is its transparency, which allows you to monitor the flow, consistency, and quality of the substances being transported, simplifying troubleshooting and maintenance.

Low Pressure Resistance:
Any surges in pressure inside a process line are unlikely to be contained by a standard clamped silicone connector. 
If there is an explosion inside the equipment, for example, the explosive flames and gases will escape via the point of least resistance, which will be the silicone connector, increasing the chance of a devastating secondary explosion in the plant.


High Pressure/Explosion Resistance:
The design of BFM® fitting’s internal seal is proven to withstand far higher pressures than clamped silicone connectors without leakage.  Increased pressure improves the seal and there are simply no gaps through which product can escape. Seeflex 040E has been tested to safely perform under constant pressures of up to 5PSI (34.5kPa, .345Bar), and explosion pressures of over 9.14PSI (63kPa, .63Bar).


Poor ATEX Safety:
Standard silicone-based connectors are insulative, which means they do not dissipate any static build-up created by powder flow, even when grounded.  This potential electrical charge build-up within the connector means they present a high risk of causing spark discharges, which can be an ignition source for explosions.  They, therefore, have very restricted usage in explosion-hazard environments.


Excellent ATEX Safety:
The BFM® fitting range of Seeflex products is made from a unique, ether-based polyurethane and is all designed to dissipate electrostatic build-up. The most popular and widely used product, Seeflex 040E, has a surface resistivity of 1010 and our specialist anti-static product Seeflex 040AS, rates at 108.  All Seeflex products have also been independently tested and approved for use in ATEX environments.


Expensive Replacement and Cleanup Costs
The frequent need for replacement, coupled with the costs associated with downtime for product clean-ups, can lead to high expenses over time. This financial burden impacts operational efficiency and profitability.


Seeflex’s enhanced durability results in fewer replacements, reduced downtime, and lower maintenance costs. This long-term cost-effectiveness contributes to improved operational efficiency and increased profitability.

The Seeflex Solution

BFM® fitting’s unique ether-based polyurethane alloy, Seeflex, represents a groundbreaking alternative that addresses all these issues for silicone connector users.

BFM® Seeflex 040E and 2 spigots floating above as well as BFM® installed in a milk powder processing plantSeeflex is fully food-safe, compliant with all relevant 3A, FDA, USDA and EU regulations, and it can be safely used with clean-in-place (CIP) process chemicals. It is manufactured using a special process that means it is significantly stronger than most other urethanes, and it simply doesn’t tear or rip – a common problem with silicone.

In factories where food safety is paramount, but operational reliability and performance are also important, the limitations of silicone-based connectors can present significant challenges.

By choosing BFM®’s Seeflex food-grade connectors, food manufacturers can genuinely improve operational efficiency and safety, whilst still ensuring the integrity of their products.

Find out more about the BFM® fitting material range here

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