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The Benefits and Applications of PFA

A little bit of history and chemistry!

PFA was invented in 1938 by DuPont as a melt processable version of PTFE and is sold under the Teflon brand name. 

PFA is a co-polymer product of PTFE. The co-monomer perfluoroalkyl vinyl ether interferes in the crystallinity and molecular weight to achieve good mechanical properties and melt processability without sacrificing thermal performance and chemical resistance. Because of the high strength between the Carbon, Fluorine and Oxygen atoms, PFA exhibits similar properties to PTFE over a large range of temperatures.

PFA has very similar properties to PTFE, however, one of the biggest differences between the two is that PFA is melt-processed. It can be processed through conventional injection moulding as well as extrusion techniques.

PFA offers higher temperature resistance and purity levels than ECTFE and PVDF and higher mechanical strength and resistance to cracking and stress than other fluoropolymers such as FEP.

WHY, and most important, WHERE can you use PFA?

PFA is widely used for temperature sensitive applications. Routinely thermoformed to create closed end covers, it can be safely shrunk over temperature sensitive materials without causing any damage.

Industries where PFA is recommended, are medical, pharmaceutical, and semi-conductor this is due to its extreme resistance to chemical attack, optical transparency, and overall flexibility.

PFA offers high melt strength, stability at high processing temperatures, and a low coefficient of friction that makes it the ideal material for the manufacture of moving elements in medical devices.

Common applications within these industries: 

  • Semi-conductor Wafer Carriers
  • High Purity Chemical Transport, Storage
  • Semi-conductor Baskets
  • Sight Windows
  • Medical Tubing - due to its resistance to biological impurities
  • Laboratory Products
  • Wire and cable insulation for computers and electronics systems
  • Insulating Bushings

PFA plastic tubing can also be applied in the aerospace, electronics, and water processing industries.

Its chemical, thermal and mechanical stress resistance makes it an excellent choice for chemical applications where it is commonly used as cable coating, tubes, pipes, fittings, pumps, and valves.

One of its main features is its resistance to environmental factors and corrosion, therefore, its resistance to acids and oxidizing products is excellent.

PFA is also a resilient material in applications that require extreme stretching and squeezing.

In some industries, stainless steel and other metals are used as plating tanks, however, using PFA can significantly increase the lifespan of the process tank. These tanks can be made completely out of PFA or lined with PFA. Either way, PFA’s excellent corrosion resistance and low permeability will help preserve the integrity of the tank and prevent the buildup of any impurities.

At Fluorocarbon, we manufacture PFA semi-finished products including rod, tube and sheet by compression moulding and extrusion.

Our Semi-finished capacity and capability:

  • Moulded tube up to 1200mm (47”) dia
  • Moulded rod up to 300mm (12”) dia
  • Extruded tube up to 100mm (3.5”) dia
  • Extruded rod up to 90mm (4”) dia
  • Moulded sheet up to 500mm x 500mm x 40mm (19.5” x 19.5” x 1.5”)

In addition to this, we produce machine finished components for a wide range of industries.

We ensure the highest quality materials by mechanical property testing. All our materials are tested on site to International Standards so we can maintain a consistent quality product without impacting on lead times.

To find out how we can help your latest project contact

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