Fluoropolymers are a family of high-performance plastics. The most well-known member of this family is PTFE. PTFE is inert to virtually all chemicals and is considered to be the most slippery material in existence. These properties have made it one of the most valuable and versatile materials ever invented, contributing to significant advancement in areas such as aerospace, communications, electronics, industrial processes and architecture.
PTFE has become recognised worldwide for the superior non-stick properties associated with its use as a coating on cookware and as a soil and stain repellent for fabrics and textile products.
Following the discovery of PTFE a large family of other fluoropolymers has been developed. The introduction of the combination of fluorinated or non-fluorinated monomers allowed the industry to design a large number of different polymers with a wide range of processing and use temperatures.
Fluoropolymers possess a unusual combination of valuable properties, including chemical inertness, high dielectric constant, flame retardancy, low friction, non-stick, weatherability, barrier properties.
Fluoropolymers are used in a wide range of applications, including:
- High-performance automotive and aircraft bearings and seals.
- Flame retardants.
- Cookware coatings providing high thermal stability and non-stick properties.
- The linings of piping and chemical tanks.
- Packing for lithium-ion batteries.
- Cable coating in the telecommunications and computer industries.
- Implants and catheters for bio-medical applications.
The Fluoropolymer industry in Europe
A socio-economic perspective
Socio-economic Analysis of the European Fluoropolymer Industry
Guide for the Safe Handling of Fluoropolymer Resins
Other languages (French, German, Italian)
Guide for the Safe Handling of Tetrafluoroethylene
F. Ferrero, M.J. Shenton, D. Bellucci and T. Spoormaker
The chemical hazards associated with handling tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) on industrial production facilities are presented. TFE is an extremely flammable and chemically unstable gas. Even in the absence of oxygen, it can explosively decompose and unfortunately there have been many industrial accidents from the un-wanted ignition of TFE; some of which have resulted in fatalities and significant equipment damage. In addition to TFE property and toxicity data, this report presents some of the latest experimental data on TFE flammability and decompositions, particularly those caused by hot-spots and adiabatic compression of other gases in pipes with a diameter up to 2.5 cm. Furthermore, details of potential ignition sources are discussed as are the risks and hazards of storing and handling TFE at industrial facilities. Examples of explosion protection equipment and procedures are given.
Key words: TFE, tetrafluoroethylene, decomposition, adiabatic compression.
A free electronic copy of this guide is available from PlasticsEurope, PlasticsEurope can be contacted at TFE@plasticseurope.org
- Chemicals and Power
- Food & Pharma
- Medical Applications
- Renewable Energy
For more information, see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluoropolymer