Fluoroplastics is a technical word given to a group of plastics where the molecules contain carbon and fluorine. The plastic polythene is a molecule consisting of a carbon chain with hydrogen atoms attached.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is much the same but with the hydrogen atoms replaced by fluorine atoms. The replacement of the hydrogen atoms with fluorine atoms dramatically changes the properties of the material, and fluoroplastics therefore tend to have special properties:
Very high working temperatures
Very high resistance to chemical and solvents
Very high electrical resistance
This information is very general and at Adtech we are very keen to discuss the properties of these materials and to select the best one for your application. There are many subtle differences in these plastics which, if chosen carefully, can give great price/ performance benefits.
Trade names: Teflon®, Fluon, Hostaflon.
PTFE is the grandfather of all fluoroplastics. It is the most unusual and exhibits the best performance in terms of temperature, chemical resistance and non-stick properties.
Its major disadvantage is that it does not actually melt when heated and therefore is difficult to process, and very unconventional techniques are needed to mould, extrude and weld this fluoroplastic.
Teflon® is the registered trademark of Chemours, previously known as Du Pont de Nemours.
Trade name: Teflon®
FEP is mainly manufactured by Daikin and Chemours and was developed as a ‘melt processable’ version of PTFE. That is, it can be processed by normal plastic methods. It has basically similar properties to PTFE but a lower maximum operating temperature of 200°C instead of 260°C.
Trade name: Teflon®
PFA was developed as a high temperature version of FEP. Generally, PFA fluoroplastics have similar properties to FEP but can be used at temperatures up to 260°C. It is very expensive!
Teflon® is a tradename of Chemours, previously known as Du Pont de Nemours.
Trade Name: Tefzel
Du Pont developed ETFE as a ‘tough' fluoropolymer. It is a normal thermoplastic, but it is much harder than PTFE and FEP and similar in hardness to Nylon and is therefore used as an ‘engineering' plastic.
The improvement in stiffness is paid for by reduced chemical resistance and working temperature.
Trade name: Halar
E-CTFE is a tough plastic with similar properties to ETFE and used mainly for its chemical resistance.
Trade names: Kynar, Solef
PVDF is a very hard plastic roughly comparable to E-CTFE and relatively cheap compared with other fluoroplastics. It has good chemical resistance, but not as good as C-TFE and ETFE.
Trade name: Tedlar®
PVF is again a hard tough fluoroplastic with limited chemical and temperature resistance. It is normally used as a film in gas bags, solar heating panels and printing circuit laminating.
Tedlar® is a tradename of Chemours, previously known as Du Pont de Nemours.