Fluorotherm's Chemically Resistant PTFE, FEP and PFA Products are the Materials of Choice

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One of the unique characteristics of PTFE, FEP, and PFA fluoropolymers is that they are the materials of choice over other polymers for applications that require specific performance criteria. Some of these criteria may require electrical, chemical inertness, non-shedding, optical, thermal (both high temperature and cryogenic conditions), ultraviolet light transparency, lubricity, weathering and corrosion resistance characteristics, among others. Fluoropolymers such as PTFE, FEP and PFA uniquely meet one or a combination of these criteria.

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One of the unique characteristics of PTFE, FEP, and PFA fluoropolymers is that they are the materials of choice over other polymers for applications that require specific performance criteria. Some of these criteria may require electrical, chemical inertness, non-shedding, optical, thermal (both high temperature and cryogenic conditions), ultraviolet light transparency, lubricity, weathering and corrosion resistance characteristics, among others. Fluoropolymers such as PTFE, FEP and PFA uniquely meet one or a combination of these criteria.

Chemical Resistance -

Fluoropolymers; specifically perfluorinated materials such as PTFE, FEP and PFA contain only carbon and fluorine with single chemical bonds in the chemical structure. Their hydrocarbon counterparts, such as polyethylene and polypropylene; contain carbon and hydrogen. The morphology or structural shape of the fluoropolymer molecule containing strong C-F single bonds is uniquely tailored to prevent chemical attack of the carbon-carbon backbone by most common chemicals. Think Caesar's Roman army with rectangular shields that received better protection against flying spears than the round shields of opposing armies.

PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) is very resistant to attack by most highly corrosive chemicals. For example, Fluorotherm has many instances of heat exchangers and other products that continue to operate in hot sulfuric, nitric and hydrochloric acids. Our design of heat exchangers were originally introduced to the market in the mid-1960's., and new combinations of increasingly robust design and materials have evolved since then. An example of our heat exchanger frame initially installed in 1982 is shown below. The tubing material has been replaced but the frame is relatively clean considering its exposure to hot nitric and hydrofluoric acids over the the past 26 years.

FEP (polytetrafluoroethylene-co-hexfluoropropylene) and PFA (polytetrafluoroethylene-co-perfluoro alkoxyvinyl ether) have chemical resistance similar to PTFE. Tubing made of these materials have a long life in aggressive environments in the simultaneous presence of harsh chemicals and high temperatures in comparison to other plastics and materials where failure may occur as a result of either structural or thermal degradation.

Extreme chemical inertness of perfluorinated polymers serves well in a broad range of industries and applications. Some of these include the chemical process industry (CPI); the oil well and oil services industries; refinery and petrochemicals, pharmaceutical applications; pulp and paper mills, environmental sampling and laboratory environments., among others.

The list of chemicals that are compatible with our tubing materials is too numerous to mention. In fact, it is easier to list the few materials that do not work with our fluoropolymers. For additional information please click on the following link:

http://www.fluorotherm.com/chemical_resistance.html

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Sachin Shukla
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