PCTFE is a thermoplastic chlorofluoropolymer with the molecular formula(CF2CCIF)n. It’s chemically related to PTFE, and has the lowest water vapor transmission of any plastic. Other names for PCTFE are Kel-F® (a product from 3M), Neoflon® (a product of Daikin Industries) or Voltalef®(a product from Arkema).
What is PCTFE?
PCTFE’s most striking property is its capability to operate and maintain its elasticity at extremely low temperatures. It also has one of the highest limiting oxygen index. Because PCTFE is a highly fluorinated resin, it is non-flammable and resists most corrosive chemicals. It exhibits properties like zero moisture absorption and non-wetting. It does not absorb visible light. PCTFE also maintains its outstanding electrical-insulating capability through thermal cycling and in high-humidity environments.
This material’s high compressive strength and dimensional stability make it aptly suited for use as a structural material, especially in applications where the high temperature and chemical resistance is required. Combined with its low out–gassing (0,01%) and its wide temperature range, PCTFE is suitable for use in aerospace. Because it can withstand low temperatures up to -273 °C, it is also well suited for the production of cryogenic parts. For accurate dimensions, it requires special attention during PCTFE machining. For instance, the choice of tool will be detrimental to achieve the proper dimensions.
PCTFE (polychlorotrifluoroethylene) shares many of the excellent qualities of PTFE such as low coefficient of friction, high resistance to temperatures, wear and chemicals… However PCTFE differentiates itself with its mechanical superiority in rigidity. This material’s most striking property is its capability to operate and maintain its elasticity at extremely low temperatures. Other interesting advantage of PCTFE are its very low gas permeability.
Key properties of PCTFE
- Dimensional stability
- High resistance to cold flow
- Excellent chemical resistance
- Transparent and coloured
- Near zero moisture absorption
- High rigidity (difficult to deform)
- Radiation resistance
- Cryogenic applications
- Protection of LCD panels (sensitive to moisture)
- Film for food and pharmaceutical packaging
- Valves and seals
- Protective barrier against chemicals
- Laminating other polymers (PVC, PP)