You may not give much thought to the plastics that you encounter on a daily basis. But given the ubiquitous nature of plastics in the modern world, it’s important to know the differences between plastic types. One widely used plastic is known as perfluoroalkoxy alkanes, or PFA. It’s a copolymer of hexafluoropropylene and perfluoroethers. Like PTFE, PFA can incorporate Teflon, but unlike PTFE, it is melt processed through injection molding and screw extrusion. PFA tubing and coatings are commonly used across many industries and numerous applications.
PFA has many unique qualities that make it ideally suited to a few specialized applications, especially those that demand high purity as part of a process. It has exemplary corrosion and chemical resistance, and it has a low surface friction characteristic that helps in avoiding wear. It can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, and it’s weldable, a trait that makes it ideal for manufacturing. Its low dielectric coefficient makes it perfect for insulation of electrical components. These properties make PFA one of the most widely applied plastics in industry, processing, and manufacturing. Keep reading to learn about a few of the top applications of PFA Teflon tubing and coatings.
Tubing and Hoses
In many industries, finding a tubing material that has the right chemical and corrosion resistance combined with the needed heat-resistant and dielectric properties can be challenging. However, PFA tubing provides just such a material because it can safely handle all types of corrosive and dangerous media. It’s perfect for moving liquids because it’s partially translucent and allows for the visibility of moving fluids. It’s also perfectly suited for use in healthcare, where PFA tubing is used to move potential biohazards, such as blood, plasma, urine, or some medicines. It’s particularly adept at moving liquids in a medical setting that contains suspensions or particulate matter since it resists clogs and kinking. PFA tubing can be found widely used in the aerospace industry, electronics, and water treatment.
You may not fully comprehend the role of coatings in many industries and products, but they’re used widely to make materials more durable. PFA can be used to create super-thin coatings on wiring, moving parts, and machinery. Because of its corrosion resistance and low friction coefficient, it can protect parts from surface corrosion and wear caused by friction that could otherwise damage components. Also, the dielectric nature of PFA and its high heat resistance can further protect components in applications where those factors may present challenges. The beneficial characteristics of PFA as a surface coating are amplified by the fact that it can be applied in extremely thin layers.
Encapsulation of Sampling Equipment
Given the heat and corrosion resistance of PFA, there’s no wonder that it’s the preferred plastic for the encapsulation of sensitive equipment used in hazardous environments. For example, probes or measurement equipment used in chemical processes would be damaged when exposed to aggressive corrosive substances or temperature extremes. However, by encapsulating those devices with PFA, the probes and equipment can be armored in a sense, protecting them from the hazardous conditions of the operating environment. It can also be used to protect other equipment components that are exposed to corrosion, such as O-rings. Its resistance to damage from frequent stretching and squeezing makes it an excellent option in many industrial encapsulation applications.
In the chemical industry, there’s frequently a need for process tanks that won’t react with the chemicals being stored. PFA makes a perfect material for the creation of such tanks since the combination of heat resistance, corrosion resistance, and low conductivity properties make it well-suited to use as a process tank material. Unlike metal tanks, PFA tanks won’t contaminate the process of metal plating. It’s also mostly impermeable, which means that the tanks maintain their integrity with degradation and can easily be thoroughly cleaned between processes.
PFA Teflon tubing, coatings, and materials can thrive in any environment in which anti-corrosive, low-friction, heat-resistant, and impermeable materials and components are beneficial. The unique combination of properties makes it an ideal material for use in a wide range of applications. To learn more about the top uses of PFA plastics, contact Tef-Cap Industries Inc. at (610) 692-2576.