Freudenberg Sealing Technologies
20-close First-Hand News?

Obtain news and background information about sealing technology, get in touch with innovative products – subscribe to the free e-mail newsletter.


Weinheim (Germany), October 6, 2020. In the safety-driven natural gas industry, system leaks are a dangerous and costly issue. Residential gas meters and regulators, in particular, are at risk when crucial components such as diaphragms are not optimally designed and manufactured for the environment in which they will work.

An advanced polymer technology, trademarked by Freudenberg Sealing Technologies’ Metflex Precision Moulding organization, addresses these challenges with fiber-reinforced materials that improve the reliability, functionality and longevity of critical gas system components. Diaphragms made using Metflex Dispersed Fibre Technology (DFT)™ offer better sealing performance, longer flex life, improved low temperature resilience and enhanced design capabilities than standard diaphragms made from fabric coated polymers. To date, more than 40 million DFT diaphragms have been used in medium and low-pressure application, primarily in North America but also in other regions of the world.

Safety concerns and costs associated with gas leaks and equipment failures

“The natural gas industry is a very conservative when it comes to embracing new technology, given the safety concerns and costs associated with gas leaks and equipment failures,” said Ben Sculthorp, Sales and Marketing Account Manager, Metflex Precision Moulding. “We want these companies to know there is a better alternative available for the safety-critical components used in low and medium-pressure applications of less than 150 psi like residential gas meters and regulators. DFT diaphragms are a proven solution for serious issues like delamination, cracking and leaking in small and medium-pressure gas applications.”

Even as digital metering technologies emerge, mechanical diaphragm gas meters will remain in widespread service for the foreseeable future, especially in China where usage is growing. These devices rely on displacement created by a piston and cylinder system in combination with a diaphragm to move gas from distribution pipelines into residential gas outlets. The diaphragm acts as both a barrier against escaping gas and a force to push it through residential gas lines inside the building.

Diaphragms used in these meters are traditionally designed and manufactured using rubber materials that are bonded to a fabric layer. The fabric typically serves several purposes including increased flexibility, durability and fluid resistance.

Fabric-reinforced diaphragms are commonly used in large, high-pressure applications where tension, motion and working parts are in constant play. This solution is especially appropriate for meters requiring a burst pressure above 150 psi.

For residential applications, smaller displacement gas meters with burst pressures below 150 psi are used. In residential gas meters, fabric-reinforced elastomers can present challenges. These diaphragms compress and expand more quickly as gas use increases in order to maintain a stable flow of gas into the residence. This movement creates friction and stress that can delaminate the fabric bond from the elastomer, compromising the materials’ integrity and resulting in deformation and system leaks. The fabric can also fray on the edges, again compromising the capability of the diaphragm to seal effectively.

Lower hysteresis and longer lifetime performance

The DFT process eliminates this risk by producing a homogenous, fiber-reinforced material that does not require a layer of fabric. The material flexes uniformly and delamination of the reinforcing fibers is impossible. Hysteresis is lower in DFT diaphragms and lifetime performance is longer. Importantly, the uniformity of the material virtually eliminates the issue of deformation that can result when different materials respond differently under pressure and stress.

“DFT gas meter and regulator diaphragms offer tremendous value to equipment manufacturers and utility companies,” said Jeff Kruwell, Senior Global Segment Director – Equipment Manufacturing, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. “They can be designed to precisely fit different gas meter designs, and they lower the incidence of meter and regulator replacements because they are made of a superior, robust material. Maintenance calls have significantly declined in systems where DFT diaphragms are installed. This saves the customer considerable cost over the life of each meter and regulator.”

DFT diaphragms can be manufactured from a variety of polymer materials including NBR (Butadiene Acrylonitrile) and ECO (Epichlorohydrin Rubber). All of the materials meet ISO 9001:2015, EN549 and EN13787 approvals and are certified to WRAS, FDA and BfR standards. Metflex engineers also offer component design services to insure the diaphragms are optimized to function in the meter system for which they are intended.

Ulrike Reich

Ulrike Reich

Head of Media Relations & Internal Communications

Telephone: + 49 (0) 6201 960 5713 32-caret
Cheryl Eberwein

Cheryl Eberwein

Director, Corporate Communications

Telephone: 734-451-0020 32-caret
Cutout of a keyboard with enter key on which an envelope is shown

Press Release Subscription Service

You can subscribe to the Freudenberg Sealing Technologies news alert service, bringing you the news as soon as they are published. You can always unsubscribe from this service.

Subscribe now! 32-caret

Please enter your email address and password.

Email address*


Password forgotten? Click here to reset.

* mandatory fields

You've logged in successfully.

Register and get instant access to exclusive content.

Please fill in all fields

First Name*

Last Name*

Email address*

Company / Organization*


Please repeat your password*

* mandatory fields

Thank you. Your subscription was successful.

We have sent you an e-mail. Please click on the included activation link to complete the registration.

Click here to continue to login.

Have you forgotten your password?

Please enter your email address to reset it.

Email address*

* mandatory fields

Your password has been successfully reset.

Click here to continue to login.

Further Articles With These Taggings

Sealing Expertise for Green Hydrogen


Freudenberg Sealing Technologies produces electrolyzer sealing solutions by applying fuel cell knowledge

Read more 32-caret

Energy Generation Special Seals Sustainability

Expanding Material Portfolio for E-Motors


Freudenberg Sealing Technologies introduces slot liners made from its Thermally Conductive, Electrically Insulating (TCEI) Materials

Read more 32-caret

Material Expertise E-Mobility

A Material from the Bark of a Tree


Caoutchouc is the natural raw material for rubber. The largest exporter of natural rubber is Thailand. There, the first plantations and producers are turning to sustainable cultivation methods.

Read more 32-caret

Sustainability Material Expertise

Flying High… for Hours


New EPDM from Freudenberg Eliminates Fluid Leaks in Slow-Moving Drones, Cargo Planes.

Read more 32-caret

Aerospace Material Expertise

Not Afraid of Extreme Conditions


Freudenberg Sealing Technologies’ 94 AU30000 sets performance benchmark, gains traction and praise with customers.

Read more 32-caret

Material Expertise Recreational Aerospace

Friction-Free Process


The innovative Levitex mechanical face seal helps to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Greatest possible automation and integrated quality control is included.

Read more 32-caret

Material Expertise

Advanced Capabilities


Freudenberg Sealing Technologies offers material testing for lithium-ion batteries.

Read more 32-caret

E-Mobility Material Expertise

At Home in the World


Food. Lifestyle. Films. Culture thrives on variety. But if you’re alert in Morocco, Thailand or Bulgaria, you will be greeted by the familiar.

Read more 32-caret


First Hand News

Best of all, keep up with the latest developments
with the Freudenberg Sealing Technologies newsletter.

Subscribe now!