Fluoropolymers Handle What Other Materials Can’t

Fluoropolymers Handle What Other Materials Can’t

Our 21st-century life wouldn't be the same without fluoropolymers. In fact, Jay West, the American Chemistry Council's senior director, goes as far as saying they are "vital for life."

Thanks to the versatility of this plastics family, fluoropolymers have ingratiated themselves in almost every industry — they even exist in smartphones. They're known for their durability, strength, heat resistance, and chemical inertia, making them perfect for countless manufacturing and industrial needs. 

The unique property combination improves products' fire safety, extends components' lifespan, increases data transmission, and allows for smaller, more powerful electronic products. It's quite a miraculous material family — it's not surprising it's conquering endless industries. 

Fluoropolymers Are Saving Home and Industrial Settings

While they're already a significant factor in many settings, a study conducted by Mordor Intelligence, a market research company, concluded it's set to grow by around 6% until 2024. And this increase does factor in the sometimes-expensive cost of such materials!

People come face-to-face with fluoropolymer-filled products every day without ever stopping to consider it. Their most common at-home uses are as follows:

  • Non-stick cookware and bakeware
  • Wire insulation
  • Packaging for lithium-ion batteries
  • Desktop computers, cellphones, laptops, tablets, etc.

Put simply, fluoropolymers are everywhere.

The Top 3 Industries

Certain industries have seen extra-special positives from the rise of various fluoropolymers — specifically, the healthcare, tubing, and environmental sectors.

Fluoropolymers in Healthcare

Plenty of today's innovative medical procedures wouldn't be possible without these plastics. Their non-porous, durable, and smooth characteristics have created life-saving waves in the healthcare industry for over 90 years.

The material group is lauded in medical environments for its non-corrosiveness, non-stickiness, and non-reactivity. Hospitals rely on these qualities for a plethora of applications, including:

  • Crafting prosthetics and implants — Their strength and durability, combined with ample flexibility, makes fluoropolymers fantastic for prosthetic limbs. Typically, joint replacements are made from them. 
  • Surgical instruments — Usually, medical manufacturers apply fluoropolymer coatings to surgical instruments to ensure a smooth, easy-to-clean, non-porous surface that prevents infection. 
  • Making catheters and tubes — Again, their strength and flexibility work wonders to navigate the body's movement. Plus, their chemical inertia ensures they never react with sensitive tissue.

Fluoropolymer Tubing

Fluoropolymer tubing rivals other types. Why? Because it possesses unmatched heat and chemical limits while also ensuring maximum insulation. 

The plastics family has saved plenty of industries with its unbeatable tubing, including:

  • Electrical manufacturing
  • Chemical processing
  • Electric automotive production
  • Food and beverage production
  • Semiconductor production
  • Medical equipment and pharmaceuticals

It's the go-to solution for any application where chemicals or fires may occur.

Fluoropolymers in Environmental

The environmental industry has sky-rocketed to the forefront of everybody's minds. But it couldn't do such a grand job without non-leaching fluoropolymers.

Their lack of chemical reactivity makes them excellent for all kinds of environmental activities, specifically air, water, and soil monitoring. Without such a versatile material, neither above- nor below-ground sampling could occur.

It's a Bright Future for Fluoropolymers

Industries understand the unmatchable characteristics of fluoropolymers, promising a bright future for this ultra-versatile plastics family. 

Next article Processing and Workplace Safety Tips for Fluoropolymer Medical Tubing