Thursday 31 May 2018

10 Fluoropolymer Facts for Designers & Engineers

Fluoropolymers are used nowadays in several industries and applications like flexible tubing, packaging, cooking equipment, wear and friction parts.
In the table below you can find an overview of the thermoplastic fluoropolymer family.

What is their secret and why are they used in high-end applications?
In this blog post I made a fact list which will answer those questions:
  1. Fluoropolymers contain a carbon-fluorine bond which is very polar with a very high bond strength leading to very low intermolecular attractions.
  2. Based on this, fluoropolymers have very low surface energy, a low coefficient of friction and are lipid, water and stain repellant.
  3. Fluoropolymers have both: low and high temperature resistance; furthermore they have excellent dielectric properties and are chemically inert.
  4. When blended with other polymers, fluoropolymers will bloom to the surface due to the very low surface free energy (lubricous behavior).
  5. Latest market studies implicate that the global fluoropolymer market will be worth over $8.8 billion by 2019 and thought to be between 80,000 and 90,000 tons.
  6. Roy J. Plunkett accidently discovered one of the most famous fluoropolymers (Teflon by DuPont) in 1938.
  7. PTFE, PVDF, FEP and ETFE are the most common used fluoropolymers.
  8. Among the fluoropolymers, PTFE has with 0.1 the lowest coefficient of friction.
  9. Most fluoropolymers are fully fluorinated olefinic (aliphatic based) materials and homopolymers contain over 99% fluorine by weight which makes them most resistant to chemicals.
  10. Fluoropolymers are melt processable except of PTFE and PVF.
Here some more honorable mentions:
  1. For the semiconductor industry fluoropolymers are vital. Without them, you would not read this blog post on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
  2. ETFE can be used as a glass replacement: The Allianz Arena in Germany uses ETFE panels.
  3. Coatings out of PTFE are used in high temperature applications up to 290°C e.g. for coating of bakery equipment.
  4. The world’s largest manufacturers of fluoropolymers include DuPont, Daikin, Solvay, Dyneon, and Asahi Glass.
  5. Infographic - 10 Fluoropolymer Facts for Designers and Engineers

I hope you enjoyed this fact list.

Thanks for reading and till next time!
Herwig Juster

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