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 copolymers.
Examples of monomers used to prepare fluoropolymers
- Ethylene (E)
- Propylene (P)
- Vinyl fluoride (VF1)
- Vinylidene fluoride (VDF or VF2)
- Tetrafluoroethylene (TFE)
- Hexafluoropropylene (HFP)
- Perfluoropropylvinylether (PPVE)
- Perfluoromethylvinylether (PMVE)
- Chlorotrifluoroethylene (CTFE)
Current market and forecast
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.
Examples of fluoropolymers
|Fluoropolymer||Trade names||Monomers||Melting point (°C)|
|PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride)||Kynar Solef Hylar||VF2||175|
|PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene)||Sold by DuPont under the tradename Teflon; sold by Solvay Solexis under the tradenames Algoflon and Polymist||TFE||327|
|PCTFE (polychlorotrifluoroethylene)||Kel-F (3M), Neoflon (Daikin)||CTFE||220|
|PFA (perfluoroalkoxy polymer)||Sold by DuPont under the tradename Teflon. Sold by Solvay Solexis under the tradename Hyflon||PPVE + TFE||305|
|FEP (fluorinated ethylene-propylene)||Sold by DuPont under the tradename Teflon||HFP + TFE||260|
|ETFE (polyethylenetetrafluoroethylene)||Tefzel, Fluon||TFE + E||265|
|ECTFE (polyethylenechlorotrifluoroethylene)||Halar||CTFE + E|
|FFPM/FFKM (Perfluorinated Elastomer [Perfluoroelastomer])||Kalrez. Tecnoflon PFR|
|FPM/FKM (Fluorocarbon [Chlorotrifluoroethylenevinylidene fluoride])||Viton, Tecnoflon FKM|
|PFPE (Perfluoropolyether)||Sold by DuPont under the tradename Krytox. Sold by Solvay Solexis S.p.A. as Fomblin and Galden|
|PFSA (Perfluorosulfonic acid)||Nafion|
- Kirsch, Peer (2004). "Fluorine". Modern Fluoroorganic Chemistry: Synthesis, reactivity, applications. pp. 3–10. ISBN 978-3-527-30691-6. Retrieved 2011-05-07.
- Hounshell, David A.; Smith, John Kenly (1988). Science and Corporate Strategy: DuPont R&D, 1902–1980. Cambridge University Press. pp. 147, 156–57, 482–484. ISBN 0-521-32767-9.
- Okazoe, Takashi (2009). "Overview on the history of organofluorine chemistry from the viewpoint of material industry". Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B 85 (8): 276–89. Bibcode:2009PJAB...85..276O. doi:10.2183/pjab.85.276.
- "Market Report: Global Fluoropolymer Market". Acmite Market Intelligence.
- Tedlar is a registered trademark of DuPont
- Christopher C. Ibeh (2011). THERMOPLASTIC MATERIALS Properties, Manufacturing Methods, and Applications. CRC Press. pp. 491–497. ISBN 978-1-4200-9383-4.
- Kynar is a registered trademark of Arkema, Inc.
- Solef is a registered trademark of Solvay Solexis S.p.A.
- Hylar is a registered trademark of Solvay Solexis S.p.A.
- Hyflon is a registered trademark of Solvay Solexis S.p.A.
- Tefzel is a registered trademark of DuPont
- Fluon is a registered trademark of Asahi Glass Company
- Halar is a registered trademark of Solvay Solexis S.p.A.
- Kalrez is a registered trademark of DuPont
- Tecnoflon is a registered trademark of Solvay Solexis S.p.A.
- Viton is a registered trademark of DuPont
- Krytox is a registered trademark of DuPont