PCTFE (Polychlorotrifluoroethylene) is one of the most widely used polymers in various technological sectors thanks to its chemical-physical characteristics, which make it particularly resistant to a wide range of internal and external stresses, even extreme ones. Discovered in 1934 by the German scientists Schloffer – Scherer of IG Farben, it is a variant of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) and differs from it in its basic chemical structure due to the replacement of a fluorine atom with a chlorine atom. This results in a lower melting point, set at 218 degrees Celsius, which forms the basis of its extraordinary properties. These characteristics make PCTFE ideal for applications in demanding sectors such as food, cryogenics, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and aeronautics. Its hardness, strength and malleability are a direct result of the possibility of modulating the percentage of crystallinity in the material. This particular adaptability gives PCTFE high performance and strong demand in the high-tech market and in the scientific field. The characteristics that make PCTFE (polymerised chlorotrifluoroethylene) a crucial material in various industrial and scientific fields include:

  • high compressive strength;
  • stability and rigidity under dimensional stress;
  • cold creep resistance and minimal deformation under load;
  • non-flammable and low permeability to outgassing;
  • almost absolute impermeability between -204C and +193C;
  • resistance to chemical and radioactive agents.

How PCTFE is processed.

It is precisely by acting on the possibility of altering the percentage of crystallinity of the molecule by controlling its cooling, that companies such as TAFER, a leader in the processing of PCTFE and PTFE, produce patterned and semi-finished products; in fact, by altering the pre-shaping consistency of the raw material, it is made suitable for one of the ways in which the semi-finished or finished product will be created.
The main methods used to shape a PCTFE element are:

  • extrusion: the initial shapeless semi-liquid paste is passed through a die that will mould its shape, and then cut to the desired length;
  • injection moulding and compression moulding, where in the former the material is brought to a liquid state and injected, under high pressure, into the mould, while in the latter, once heated to a paste-like consistency, it is compressed inside a mould.

The processing of PCTFE affects parameters such as zero strength time (ZST), residual stress and crystallinity: as a rule, compression moulding has a higher ZST than extrusion and injection moulding; a higher ZST ensures better final product characteristics.
The physical properties it possesses, such as insulation from external agents and the stability of its structure within an extended temperature range of -204 to +193 degrees Centigrade, make it a unique and irreplaceable material for uses such as the manufacture of components for cryogenic and/or chemical procedures; production of customised joints and gaskets; components for aerospace valves, pump elements, plugs, diaphragms and impellers; laboratory components used in various fields; external protection (coating) of valves for oxygen and nitrogen, both in liquid form.
Importantly, PCTFE is biocompatible and resistant to radiation exposure, characteristics that make it particularly suitable for use in the nuclear industry. This includes medical and surgical applications, as well as other specialised areas that require materials capable of withstanding radiation exposure without degrading.

In addition, PCTFE is the basis for particular uses such as:

  • packaging, where it is used when there is a need to protect the contents from moisture, such as in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, as well as for those electronic components that are sensitive to moisture and corrosion due to the environments in which they are used;
  • electroluminescence: lamps found in sectors such as aerospace, military and also in civil applications in buildings, use PCTFE films. These films are used to encapsulate the phosphor, ensuring its protection from moisture. Once electrically excited, phosphorus emits light, and PCTFE is essential to maintain the integrity of this process.

Why choose TAFER for PCTFE processing.

In the polymer production and handling sector, speed of reaction to customer requests is the basis of a high level of service, regardless of the sector to which the customer belongs. It follows that the possession of a warehouse such as TAFER’s, which is well stocked with semi-finished products in PCTFE, but also in other materials such as PEEK and PTFE, represents an extra gear to satisfy all requests at any time and quickly.
Furthermore, a distinctive feature of a company operating in the PEEK and PCTFE processing sector, as well as in metal stamping, is the possibility of numerical control and production to drawing, a production method that guarantees the extreme adherence of the semi-finished and finished elements to the specifications provided on the order.
We at TAFER, a company with roots in Bergamo, are a benchmark in the field of semi-finished PCTFE (KEL-F) polymers, thanks to our wide range of expertise. Our experience, which spans more than three decades, allows us to guarantee maximum reliability, backed by UNI EN ISO 9001-2015 certification. Our strength lies not only in the technical expertise of our staff and the advanced technology of our machinery, but also in our in-depth knowledge of the industry. For more information on our products, please contact us via our website.

Write Us

For more technical or commercial information, our team of expert technicians is always ready to help you.