Rather than referring to a specific, singular type of product, the term fluoroplastics is a technical word given to a group of plastics where the hydrogen atoms of their hydrocarbon chains have been replaced with fluorine chains. They are grouped together as this addition of fluorine grants them certain characteristics like a high electrical, chemical and temperature resistance which are incredibly valuable for certain industries.
However, whilst they’re categorised under one umbrella term, there are lots of different types of fluoroplastics with subtle differences including differing working temperatures, durability and applications.
Routinely referred to and embraced by industries where they are valuable, such as the medical, engineering and offshore, another word which they are also known by is fluoropolymers.
The answer is… none!
Fluoropolymer is the more scientific name for these group of unique plastics and alludes to the actual chemical structure, whereas fluoroplastic is the technical term which would likely be used in a more commercial context.
Both words, however, ultimately mean the same thing and are largely interchangeable.
There are a wide range of fluoroplastics out there, but the more common members of the fluoropolymer family are:
ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene Copolymer)
E-CTFE (Ethylene Chlorotrifluoroethylene)
PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride)
PVF (Polyvinyl Fluoride)
To find out more information about each of these fluoroplastics, such as their trade name and general defining characteristics, check out the Fluoroplastic Technical Guide.
Fluoropolymers enjoy several unique properties which make them suitable for use in automotive, electrical and domestic applications, among others.
Very high working temperatures
Very high resistance to chemical and solvents
Very high electrical resistance
Strong and durable
There are slight variants between each individual fluoropolymer type, and if chosen correctly, can deliver good price and performance benefits.