Polypropylene vs. Fluoropolymer
These two materials may seem dissimilar, but they have a number of performance characteristics in common. This article will note each material's features, then compare their similarities and differences.
Developed in the 1950's, polypropylene, or PP, is one of the lightest thermoplastics available. It is used in packaging, reusable containers, automotive and aerospace components, banknotes and more. In tubing form, polypropylene is used for dispensing equipment, food and beverage service, environmental monitoring and potable water supply. In fact the compound used for NewAge Industries' Prolite® polypropylene tubing is NSF-61 (National Sanitation Foundation) certified for drinking water applications. Polypropylene is recyclable in several of its forms and is designated by the number five within a triangular recycling symbol.
Excellent dimensional stability and electrical properties, plus good surface hardness and chemical resistance, are typical polypropylene characteristics. It offers very low moisture absorption and does not contain any animal ingredients or phthalates. Naturally translucent white in color, polypropylene takes coloration well.
Fluoropolymer is best known to consumers by its famous brand name, Teflon®, and use as a non-stick coating for cookware. But since its discovery over 70 years ago, fluoropolymer has been used in nearly every field of modern industry, technology, and science.
There are several types of fluoropolymers. The most common – PTFE, FEP, PFA and PVDF – are known for their heat, chemical, and electrical resistance, as well as their low coefficient of friction (slipperiness) and temperature range. As tubing, fluoropolymer carries those same traits and is practical for applications such as chemical transfer lines, adhesives delivery, deionized water transfer, flame retardant covering, pharmaceutical processing, pure air and fluid systems, and solvent transfer.
While polypropylene and fluoropolymer share many performance properties, there are some significant differences between the two.
Polypropylene tubing costs about half as much as fluoropolymer tubing, and there's good reason for that. Although both provide chemical and corrosion resistance, outstanding electrical properties, and low surface friction, fluoropolymer does it better. It also has a far wider temperature range than polypropylene, and certain formulations can withstand temperatures up to 500°F (260°C).
Another notable difference is the materials' elongation at break, or how much a material will stretch before reaching its breaking point. Fluoropolymer outperforms polypropylene in this respect.
Depending on the application, these differences may not be of concern. If you have questions about which product is best suited for your requirements, contact a Fluid Transfer Specialist at NewAge at 800-506-3924 or 215-526-2300. We can help.
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