A fluoropolymer is a fluorocarbon-based polymer with multiple carbon–fluorine bonds. It is characterized by a high resistance to solvents, acids, and bases. The best known fluoropolymer is polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon).
In 1938, polytetrafluoroethylene (DuPont brand name Teflon) was discovered by accident by a recently hired DuPont Ph.D., Roy J. Plunkett. While working with tetrafluoroethylene gas, he noticed that a previously-pressurized cylinder had no pressure remaining. In dissecting the cylinder, he found a mass of white solid in a quantity similar to that of the tetrafluoroethylene gas. It was determined that this material was a new-to-the-world polymer. Tests showed the substance was resistant to corrosion from most substances and had better high temperature stability than any other plastic. By early 1941, a crash program was making commercial quantities.
Fluoropolymers share the properties of fluorocarbons in that they are not as susceptible to the van der Waals force as hydrocarbons. This contributes to their non-stick and friction reducing properties. Also, they are stable due to the stability multiple carbon–fluorine bonds add to a chemical compound. Fluoropolymers may be mechanically characterized as thermosets or thermoplastics. Fluoropolymers can be homopolymers or Copolymer.
The global demand on fluoropolymers was estimated at approximately 7.25 billion USD in 2011. Driven by new developments of products, applications, and processes, as well as strong demands in new markets, the demand is expected to grow by 5.8% in the following years.
Some of the world’s largest manufacturers of fluoropolymers include DuPont, 3M, Solvay Chemicals, BASF and Dyneon.
|Fluoropolymer||Trade names||Monomers||Melting point (°C)|
|PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride)||Kynar Solef Hylar||VF2||175|
|PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene)||Sold by AGC under the tradename Fluon PTFE; Sold by Dupont and Chemours Company under the tradename Teflon; sold by Solvay Specialty Polymers under the tradenames Algoflon Hyflon and Polymist; sold by Daikin under the tradename Polyflon||TFE||327|
|PCTFE (polychlorotrifluoroethylene)||Kel-F (3M), Neoflon (Daikin)||CTFE||220|
|PFA, MFA  (perfluoroalkoxy polymer)||Sold by AGC under the tradename Fluon PFA. Sold by DuPont under the tradename Teflon. Sold by Solvay Specialty Polymers under the tradename Hyflon. Neoflon (Daikin)||PPVE + TFE||305|
|FEP (fluorinated ethylene-propylene)||Sold by DuPont under the tradename Teflon FEP. Also known as Neoflon (Daikin) and Hyflon||HFP + TFE||260|
|ETFE (polyethylenetetrafluoroethylene)||Sold by AGC under the trade name of FluonETFE Tefzel,; sold by Daikin under the tradename Neoflon||TFE + E||265|
|ECTFE (polyethylenechlorotrifluoroethylene)||Halar sold by Solvay Specialty Polymers||CTFE + E|
|FFPM/FFKM (Perfluorinated Elastomer [Perfluoroelastomer])||Kalrez. Tecnoflon PFR DAI-EL (Daikin)|
|FPM/FKM (Fluorocarbon [Chlorotrifluoroethylenevinylidene fluoride])||Viton, Tecnoflon FKM, DAI-EL (Daikin)|
|FEPM (Fluoroelastomer [Tetrafluoroethylene-Propylene])||Sold by AGC under the trade name of AFLAS,||TFE + P|
|PFPE (Perfluoropolyether)||Sold by DuPont under the tradename Krytox. Sold by Solvay Specialty Polymers S.p.A. as Fomblin and Galden|
|PFSA (Perfluorosulfonic acid)||Nafion|
|HDT, @ 66 PSI||D648||°F||250||158||164||219||240||248||300|
|HDT, @ 264 PSI||D648||°F||122||129||118||160||169||-||239|
|Limiting oxygen index||D2863||%||>95||>95||>95||30-36|
|Dielectric constant||D150||1 MHz||2.1||2.1||2.1||2.6|