What are fluoroplastics? A simple guide
Fluoroplastics are unusual and very uncommon plastics. Discover why fluoropolymers are such unique materials, and which fluoroplastic is best suited to your application.
The unique properties of fluoroplastics
Fluoroplastics is a clumsy word given to a group of plastics where the molecules consist of a carbon chain with fluorine atoms attached. These fluorine atoms dramatically change the properties of the material, and give fluoropolymers special properties.
-Very high working temperatures
-Non-stick characteristics and low friction surface
-Total resistance to chemical and solvents
-Very high electrical resistance
-Resistance to weather, UV light and corrosion
-Inert, non-toxic and bio-compatible
Applications for fluoropolymers
The unique properties of fluoroplastics make them high performance materials with limitless possibilities. As a result, PTFE, FEP and PFA can meet severe environmental conditions and are ideal for use in many medical, food and drink, automotive, oil and gas, and other applications.It can also be made into many fluoroplastic products.
The combination of low friction and temperature resistance allows fluoropolymers to be used in applications such as sleeve bearings, push-pull cables and non-stick roller covers. Virtually total chemical resistance at temperatures up to 260°C means PTFE, FEP and PFA can handle the transport of all fluid chemicals and solvents.
Fluoroplastics can also be used to protect less resistant materials, such as glass, stainless steel on stirrers, thermometers, probes and vat heaters. Due to the excellent dielectric and other properties combined, PTFE and FEP find many unique applications in electric and electronic engineering, such as insulation of miniature components and connections in hot environments.
Inert, non-toxic and bio-compatible properties are sought after by medical device manufacturers for applications such as intravenous catheters, catheter introducers and angiographic catheters. Fluoropolymers are also ideal for day-to-day applications and everyday uses, from ski bindings to waterproof jackets.
The different fluoroplastic materials
The more common members of the fluoroplastics family are:
ETFE (Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene Copolymer)
E-CTFE (Ethylene-Chloro Tri Fluoro Ethylene)
PVDF (Poly Vinylidene Fluoride)
PVF (Polyvinyl Fluoride)
MFA (Methyl Fluoroacetate)
ePTFE (Expanded PolyTetraFluoroEthylene)