A Guide to Different Fluoropolymer Tubing Types

April 11, 2020 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Thermoplastics like Industrial Wall FEP Tubing have tons of applications, and it’s not that easy to choose which ones are best for your business. To help you out, here’s a guide on the different fluoropolymers that you can use.

PTFE

You may know PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) as the brand name Teflon, the non-stick layer that coats your pots and pans at home. But, while the low-friction material is often used as a solid lubricant for kitchenware, it also has a lot of industrial applications.

This thermoplastic is chemically inert, so it’s widely used as pipework for reactive and corrosive substances. It prevents contamination in the production lines of manufacturing facilities, particularly food processing plants. PTFE is also one of the best insulators of the fluoropolymer tubing family, so it’s frequently utilized to cover electrical components such as wires and cables.

FEP

FEP (Fluorinated ethylene propylene) tubing is similar to PTFE in many ways. It retains most of the latter’s characteristics, such as chemical resistance, excellent electrical insulation, and low coefficient of friction.

But, what distinguishes them from each other is that the former has a lower melting point. That may seem like a disadvantage for FEP tubing, but it’s not. The attribute makes the tube softer and more formable into a heat shrink material, making it ideal as a coating for electrical wires and cables.

Also, FEP is a clear thermoplastic, while PTFE is available in a wide range of colors and opacities. This is why the former is commonly used as labware tubing in medical facilities and food processing plants.

PFA

Think of PFA (Perfluoroalkoxy) as an improved version of FEP and PTFE. It’s superior in most aspects; plus, it lasts longer than the two. Because of this, the material is more expensive than the others. It’s crucial that you choose it for the right applications, to prevent your business from unnecessarily overspending.

PFA is best used for lab equipment, especially for industries that work with toxic, aggressive, and highly corrosive substances like acids, heavy metals, and strong bleaches. It can also be utilized in high-temperature environments, like the inside of automotive engines and factory machines, because of its unparalleled heat and electrical resistance.

ETFE

For many architects and engineers, ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) tubing is the future. They call it the miracle construction material of the 21st century because while PFA is already sturdy and durable, this thermoplastic goes beyond that.

While having all the properties of PFA, ETFE is also strong enough to hold up to 400 times its weight. And, it can be stretched to three times its length without the loss of elasticity because of its superior tensile strength. For these reasons, it’s not only used in the construction industry but aviation and aerospace applications as well.

PVDF

While other fluoropolymers can be used in a wide variety of industries, PVDF (Polyvinylidene fluoride or polyvinylidene difluoride) is quite different. Since it’s a specialty plastic, it’s only ideal for specific applications.

This tubing is quite similar to PFA in terms of mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties, but there are several factors that set them apart. PVDF has a low-permeable surface, which makes it suitable for critical fluid transfer. It efficiently carries gases and non-viscous liquids.

In addition, PVDF tubing is more abrasion- and radiation-resistant, so it doesn’t break down or deteriorate even when exposed to harsh outdoor environments. In line with this, the material is also amenable to a number of sterilization processes, including gamma irradiation and e-beam methods. They completely sanitize the thermoplastic, making it suitable for high-purity applications in the food, pharmaceutical, and biomedical industries.

From PTFE to PVDF, there definitely is a type of tubing that’ll match your business’ requirements. Get in touch with Tef – Cap Industries Inc. to learn more about them. They’re your go-to FEP Tubing Supplier if you ever need one!

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