PFA, aka: PerFluoroAlkoxy is a fluoropolymer with a very similar property profile to the industry standard PTFE. Both fluoropolymers were invented by DuPont Co. What makes PFA unique is that unlike PTFE, PFA is a melt processable material which means it can be injection molded or screw extruded.
PFA is commonly used in equipment and tubing due to its optical transparency and extreme flexibility. In Semiconductor equipment, often PFA is used for tubing due to extreme resistance to chemical attack in corrosive environments. PFAs structure is identical to PTFE’s structure with the exception that it incorporates an oxygen atom replacing one of the fluorine atoms on every other repeating PTFE group, that oxygen atom is saturated with 3 fluorine atoms thus making a super fully fluorinated polymer system. The addition of the chain linkage creates a viscosity more conducive to being melt processable.
|Tensile Strength (ASTM D638, psi)||3,600||4,000|
|Tensile Modulus (ASTM D638, psi)||80,000||80,000|
|Flexural Modulus (ASTM D790, psi)||72,000||96,000|
|Melting Temperature (F)||621||581|
|CLTE (ASTM D695, x 10^-5, in/in/F)||7.5||13|
WHAT MAKES PFA UNIQUE IN TERMS OF APPLICATIONS?
- THERMAL PROPERTIES – due to the high covalent strength between the Fluorine, Oxygen and Carbon atoms, PFA maintains its excellent properties at elevated temperatures such as that of PTFE but better than partially fluorinated polymers
- PROCESSING – PFA offers similar properties as that of PTFE while offering a melt processable solution
- CHEMICAL RESISTANCE – Being a fully fluorinated fort, PFA maintains almost inert chemical resistance even at elevated temperatures. PFA exhibits excellent resistance to strong acids, inorganic bases and oxidizing agents.
- ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES – PFA possesses the dielectric constant of PTFE as well as a similar dissipation factor; however PFA has a dielectric strength of 3-4X higher than that of PTFE.
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