What is PFA and what is it used for?
What is PFA?
Perfluoroalkoxy alkane (PFA) is a semi-crystalline material developed to enhance the properties of FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene), allowing it to be used in a wider range of environments. It is a derivative of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) and a copolymer of hexafluoropropylene and perfluoro ether.
PFA is a strong, flexible, transparent fluoropolymer, used extensively for flexible tubing and fluid processing equipment. Its high purity, chemical resistance and outstanding electrical properties make it the ideal material for operations in extreme temperatures and harsh chemical environments.
What are the key features and benefits of PFA?
PFA combines many of the properties associated with PTFE and FEP including outstanding resistance to corrosive agents and is often used when high dielectric strength, a low dissipation factor and a low dielectric constant are required.
As well as these shared properties, PFA offers a number of other key benefits, including:
- High purity and chemically inert. It is physiologically harmless and has outstanding resistance to almost all industrial chemicals and solvents.
- Non-flammable and exceptional thermal resistance, with an ability to operate in temperatures between -260°C (-436°F) and +260°C (500°F).
- A high degree of clarity with a refractive index of 1.34.
- Excellent sustained mechanical strength and a low dielectric constant for outstanding insulation.
- Non-soluble and low permeability, due to lower void and pinhole content and better deformation (cold flow) resistance.
- Outstanding stress crack resistance and more than 10 times the flex life of FEP.
- The ability to withstand exposure to all weather conditions without any compromise to its performance.
- Smooth internal surfaces, resulting in no particulate build up.
- Excellent UV resistance, negligible moisture absorption (less than 0.01%), oil repellent and optimum anti-ageing properties.
- Can comply with a number of regulations, including FDA, RoHS3/Reach (Without Phthalates, EU 2015/863), ADI-free, UL94 (V-0) & USP Class VI.
What is PFA used for?
Due to its versatility, PFA can be used in a variety of applications. Whether in film, sheet, tape, membrane or tubing form, it’s flexibility, tensile strength, and chemical and temperature resistance make it one of the most multifaceted materials available.
PFA is used in a wide variety of applications, including:
- Chemical process plant
- Downhole oil well instrumentation
- Medical/Cleanroom tubing
- Laboratory equipment
- Heat exchangers
- Semi-conductor baskets
- Valve liners
- Heat-shrink tubing
- Pumps and fittings, including thin-film diaphragms for chemical pumps
- High-temperature release film for composite manufacture.
PFA Tubing. PFA Tubing is available from Polyflon in long continuous lengths, can be thermoformed into custom 2D shapes or tip-formed. High Purity grades are also available.
Find out more here > PFA Tubing availability.
PFA Film. PFA film is available in semi-finished form on standard rolls, or can be heat sealed and thermoformed, metalized or laminated to a wide variety of materials.
Find out more here > PFA Film availability.
Have any questions or need a quote?
If you wish to compare PFA against other commonly used Fluoropolymers you can download our Fluoropolymer Tubing Materials guide here.
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