PTFE, PFA And FEP: What's The Difference

In the following post we are discussing the differences between fluoropolymers, PTFE, FEP, and PFA.

Fluoropolymers are used worldwide everyday for an array of different purposes. Roy Plunkett famously said about his discovery of PTFE:

From stove tops to outerspace, from electronics to ecology, from architecture to the Statue of Liberty, Teflon touches every one of us in some way almost every day.”

There are many types of fluoropolymers now and each one has a different purpose. The slight variances in structure of PTFE, FEP and PFA all offer differences that give a wide array of non-stick properties.

PTFE

Polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, was the first of the synthetic fluoropolymers to be produced. dupontYou may know its best known brand name, Teflon, which is produced by the DuPont company.

  • PTFE is great for creating non-stick coatings on objects used for cooking and baking.

  • Bullets and dust collection system also use PTFE.

  • It is hydrophobic, liquids will not wet PTFE as it has a high electronegativity.

  • PTFE is the only known surface to which a gecko cannot stick.

FEP

Fluorinated ethylene propylene, or FEP, is slightly different to PTFE, though it still has some of the same non-stick qualities of Teflon.

  • FEP is softer than PTFE and melts at a lower temperature so baking and cooking uses are not as common.

  • FEP is highly transparent, so whatever it covers will remain the same colour.

  • FEP is resistant to sunlight, so it is good for all weather applications

PFA

The main difference between perfluoroalkoxy alkanes, PFA, and PTFE is the alkoxy substituents that allow the polymer to be melt-processed.

  • On a molecular level, PFA has a smaller chain length to other fluoropolymers.

  • It also has a higher chain entanglement than other fluoropolymers.

  • PFA has an oxygen atom in its structure. The other two do not possess this.

  • This difference in structure gives PFA improved flow, creep resistance and thermal stability.

Rayflon Polymer are experienced in providing solutions using PTFE, FEP and PFA for a wide range of different industries, if you want to know more about about the services provided then get in touch.