We don’t always think about the materials we use for our home appliances, tools, and products. However, understanding them a little better can help us make better choices and feel conscious of what we consume and use. A type of plastic that is important to know about thanks to its properties and advantages is Fluoropolymers or Fluoroplastics.
What are Fluoropolymers?
These are a group of high-performance plastics that are made of carbon and fluorine. This element, fluorine, allows the material to have some unique properties.
What are the advantages of Fluoropolymers?
Fluoropolymers are compatible with many other substances and do not react to cleaning solutions or solvents. They are not easily corroded and can serve for a long time, even when they enter into contact with acids or other solutions that do a lot of damage to different surfaces. Fluoropolymers can take a lot of pressure, and this is a characteristic that makes them safer as well. They are resistant by themselves, which means that there is no leaking or damage from the materials. If you are using mixed rags and solvent to clean something with a protective coating of this material, you will find that it will not be damaged, whether in a factory or home conditions.
This means that Fluoropolymers are used in a variety of industries because of the multiple advantages they have. In particular, they are useful for service industries, food industries, medical industries, and the medical field.
You can find Fluoropolymers across many tools and products. They are used for pipes and containers, cookware, sports clothing, weather-proof clothing, food handling equipment, medical equipment, pharmaceutical companies, wiring of all kinds (including laptops, phones, data communications, and more), and so much more.
What’s the history of Fluoropolymers?
When talking about these materials, we are talking about a whole class of polymers. But the first one, which is known better by its brand name Teflon, was discovered in 1938 by Roy J. Plunkett. Reportedly, it happened by accident. He was trying to develop refrigerants, but after pressurizing tetrafluorethylene gas, he discovered a solid in its place and saw that this material was very resistant to high temperature, acid, bases, and solvents, at least most of them.
This led to these materials being used to fulfill purposes other materials could not, and today they are widely used in situations that require a lot of resistance. For instance, these polymers are often placed as a protective coating that protects wiring from overheating. In addition, computers, phones, medical equipment, military-grade tools, and more all employ these materials because of their properties.
One common use of Fluoropolymer is by trade show booth builders. They offer stable, lightweight, modern-looking booths that can be easily assembled and utilized by companies that want to look professional and innovative.
These polymers are being used more and more. It’s clear that they are particularly useful for many different goals.
What is PEEK?
An alternative type of chemical is PEEK or Polyetheretherketone, which is a rival to Fluoropolymer, also known as PTFE. ptfe vs peek is a common debate. PEEK is also a high-performance thermoplastic with a lot of resistance. It is used for industries that require a lot of stability and strength, but it is often more expensive than PTFE.
What about safety?
There are ongoing studies about the effects of fluoropolymers on health, although so far, they have been considered safe and are widely used for cooking and beyond. In particular, Perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA was previously used to make these polymers and was linked to some concern, but today’s materials no longer employ it.