Definition - What does Fluoropolymer mean?

A fluoropolymer refers to a polymer that has carbon backbone and contains fluorine to form strong carbon-fluoride bonds. This polymer performs well in extreme corrosive and high-temperature environments, and meets specific requirements to withstand extreme environments. Due to its high resistance to temperature, chemical reaction, corrosion and stress cracking, it is widely used in the industry as fluoropolymer coating, resin, additives and film products. Fluoropolymer is commonly used in automotive, aerospace, electronics, telecommunications and defense-related industries.

These polymers are mechanically characterized as thermosets or thermoplastics polymers. They can be both homopolymers or copolymers.

Corrosionpedia explains Fluoropolymer

A fluoropolymer is a plastic material based in fluorocarbon containing carbon fluorine molecules. It is a special type of polymer that possesses special properties. The electronegative ion fluoride in a fluoropolymer gives it strong carbon-fluoride bonds, which makes it non-sticky.

Fluoropolymers possess highly industrial, demand-specific characteristics, such as:

  • Inertness to most chemicals
  • Excellent non-stick
  • Resistance to high temperatures
  • Resistance to galling
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Waterproof
  • Extremely low coefficients of friction
  • Excellent dielectric properties, which are relatively insensitive to temperature and power frequency

The combination of these characteristics makes fluoropolymers good for use in the electronics, automotive and aero industries; pipe and chemical processing equipment, and non-stick coatings for cookware and other applications.

Fluoropolymers are made from thermoplastic resins similar to polyethylene, in which some of the hydrogen atoms attached to the carbon chain are replaced by fluorine or fluorinated alkyl groups. Some examples of fluoropolymers are:

  • Fluorinated ethylene-propylene (FEP)
  • Polytetra fluoroethylene (PTFE)
  • Polychlorotrifluoro-ethylene (PCTFE)
  • Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF)

The demand for fluoropolymers is huge and it increases day by day because of new applications that are found for it.

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