Fluoropolymers are some of the most versatile engineering materials known and, since their discovery over 70 years ago, have been used in nearly every field of modern industry, technology, and science. Their non-stick properties became commonly recognized by the consuming public when E. I. DuPont began marketing his “Teflon®” brand product for use on cookware, as a fiber treatment for stain resistance, and in other household applications.
Fluoropolymer material is recognized for its excellent resistance to heat up to 500°F continuously. Lesser known is its usefulness in extremely cold temperatures well below -200°F. It will remain reasonably flexible to -110°F.
Because fluoropolymers are almost universally inert to industrial chemicals and solvents, their use for corrosion protection has become one of their largest growth areas. With few exceptions, fluoropolymer tubing can handle virtually any corrosive chemical in use today.
In addition to being commonly referred to as Teflon, fluoropolymers are also frequently called by their acronyms PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene), FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene), and PFA (Perfluoroalkoxy). The three have distinct differences and offer different performance characteristics in the form of tubing.
PTFE, a fluorocarbon-based polymer, is a resin supplied in powdered form. It is mixed, preformed, and extruded into a paste, and then finally tubing. PTFE tubing can be used in a large variety of applications due to its chemical resistance, high and low temperature capability, resistance to weathering, electrical and thermal insulation properties, and its low coefficient of friction. The tubing is translucent white in color.
FEP resin is pelletized for its hot-melt extrusion process. FEP tubing is known for its gas and vapor permeability properties and excellent UV transmission rating. While very similar in composition to PTFE, FEP has a lower heat shrink temperature and is clearer and more flexible than PTFE.
PFA resin, like FEP, belongs to a class of melt-processible fluoroplastics. PFA tubing is also known for its gas and vapor permeability properties and excellent UV transmission rating. It is similar in composition to FEP but has better heat resistance and a smoother surface. There are versions of it that are extremely clean, making it an excellent tubing choice for semi-conductor applications where purity is critical. It, too, is clearer and more flexible than PTFE.
Click here to view NewAge Industries’ wide assortment of fluoropolymer tubing and hose.
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