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Case study: FEP gas sampling chamber

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We create all manner of bespoke materials and products for clients, including air-tight cuboids made from FEP film. At Adtech, we specialise in fabricating bespoke fluoropolymer products and materials for every possible client project.

What’s more, with our advanced plastic manufacturing capabilities in-house, whatever you need to produce, we can turn projects around extremely quickly and can facilitate the journey from conception through to producing hands-on samples often in a matter of days.

One of the best examples of how this works in practice is exemplified by a project we did for the University of Manchester, which needed to produce a single-unit, one-off FEP sample chamber for an environmental monitoring project.

The project: Growing a tree in an air-tight cuboid

The giant fluoroplastic cuboid gas sampling chamber that they had in mind was to be three metres long by five metres wide, completely sealed and atmospherically secure, and able to contain very specific air conditions to enable the effective calibration of particular gases (in this case, growing a tree).

From our point of view, fluoroplastics are the perfect building blocks for creating stable intact environments such as this. Given their excellent capacity to withstanding heat, cold, chemicals and solvents, and having naturally very high electrical resistance, they are extremely robust materials, and if used correctly, provide the ideal environment for sterile, controlled process testing across all manner of scientific, medical and industrial disciplines.

However, for this project, the material the University required us to build this giant cuboid with was extremely thin, 50-micron FEP film (if you think of clingfilm, this is not far off!). While it is easy to produce sheets of the FEP material, a cuboid is quite different. Because the material is so thin, it is near impossible to weld the corners tightly shut, and the material is also not thick enough to hold itself up. So we needed to think outside the box!

The solution: A stable and flexible FEP chamber

However, our Adtech engineers came up with the perfect solution. Instead of focusing on welding and potentially damaging the corners of the structure, we instead determined to create the shape as a film bag with two halves, moulding it across an external cuboid frame to relieve stress on a central welded area and enable easier handling of the material, and welding the two bags shut around the centre of the cuboid instead of at the edges, making it infinitely more stable.

Not only did this produce a reliable, true airlock, but because the FEP bag was created in two halves, the University was then easily able to adjust the capacity of the chamber for future projects by raising and lowering the height of the top section of the frame, giving them valuable flexibility to use the chamber again for other projects in the future.

Since then we have produced a number of these FEP chambers for other clients – and each time, due to room size, chamber capacity needs and other external fittings, each unit has been entirely bespoke to each customer. For us though, we gain great satisfaction from knowing that we can deliver the perfect material each time and make a real difference to what our clients are able to achieve.

Here at Adtech, we are specialists in delivering innovative fluoropolymer solutions for your technical applications. So if you have a bespoke product in mind involving any fluoroplastic material such as PTFE, FEP, PFA, ETFE, E-CTFE, PVDF and PVE, get in touch today to ask for more information or to discuss your requirements:
t: +44 (0) 1285 762000
e: sales@adtech.co.uk 

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