Algoflon® PTFE - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Algoflon® mean and what is it?

Algoflon® is the main trade name for PTFE products commercialized by Solvay Specialty Polymers.
 
Algoflon® PTFE is a high-molecular-weight thermoplastic consisting wholly of carbon and fluorine atoms. Parts made of Algoflon® PTFE offer performance at extreme temperature, chemical inertness, corrosion resistance, and mechanical toughness among their many properties. The benefits of Algoflon® PTFE resin make it the preferred plastic for many applications and different processing techniques.
 

Which are the main properties of Algoflon® PTFE?

  • Outstanding chemical inertness
  • Hydrophobicity (neither water nor water-containing substances wet it)
  • Excellent thermal resistance with a maximum service temperature of 260°C
  • Maintains high strength, toughness and self-lubrication at low temperatures down to −260°C and good flexibility at temperatures above −79°C
  • Excellent electrical and dielectric properties
  • One of the lowest coefficients of friction against any solid

PropertyValue
Density2.2 g/m3
Melting point (after 1st fusion)327°C
Coefficient of friction0.05–0.10
Yield strength~ 23 MPa
Volume resistivity1018 Ω•m
Dielectric constant ε2.1
Dissipation factor tan(δ)< 0.0001
Dielectric strength (1 MHz)~ 60 MV/m

What is the service temperature range of Algoflon® PTFE?

Algoflon® PTFE offers the widest range in temperature resistance among fluoropolymers: from −260°C to +260°C with minor changes in mechanical as well as electrical properties. 

What is the chemical resistance of Algoflon® PTFE?

Algoflon® PTFE has an outstanding chemical inertness. The only chemicals known to affect its carbon-fluorine bonds are some alkali metals (molten or in solution) and, at high temperatures and pressures, some rare fluorinated compounds. Some organic and halogenated solvents are absorbed causing small dimensional changes but the effects are physical and reversible.

Please ask our Specialty Polymers Experts for guidance.

Is Algoflon® PTFE resistant to Oxygen, Weather, Fire and UV light?

Algoflon® PTFE has an intrinsic resistance to natural aging and does not require anti-UV additives to resist exposure to direct sunlight. Its remarkable stability when exposed to solar radiation and weather is demonstrated by both accelerated and multiple-year outdoor weathering studies.

Algoflon® PTFE is not affected by oxidation and it is a self-extinguishing material which offers superior fire resistance according to various independent tests (such as UL-94, Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI) and auto-ignition temperature).

What are the key differences among the different Algoflon® PTFE resins?

Different polymerization processes are used to produce Algoflon® PTFE resins: 

  • emulsion polymerization
  • suspension polymerization

Algoflon® PTFE grades can also be classified in:

  • Homopolymer
  • Modified PTFE

Homopolymers are obtained from the polymerization only of TFE monomer while modified PTFE resins contain a limited amount of a comonomer.

According processing techniques, Algoflon® PTFE resins can be sub-divided in different family:

  • Granular Powders (fine cut, free flow and pre-sintered) 
  • Fine Coagulated Powders 
  • Aqueous Dispersions
  • Micronized Powders (with Solvay registered trademarks:
    • Polymist® – obtained through suspension polymerization
    • Algoflon® L – obtained through emulsion polymerization
  • Resins with the same composition and polymerized according to the same process can still differ in properties which determine a different behavior in the final application (e.g., molecular weight, morphology, particle size, etc.). 

Please ask our Specialty Polymers Experts for guidance to choose the most suitable Algoflon® PTFE grade for your application.

What families of Algoflon® PTFE grades are commercialized by Solvay?

Solvay offers resins grades relative to the following families:

  • Granular Powders – homopolymers only
    • Fine-cut Algoflon® F 
    • Free-flow Algoflon® S
  • Fine Coagulated Powders – homopolymers and modified PTFE 
    • Algoflon® DF
  • Aqueous Dispersions – homopolymers and modified PTFE 
    • Algoflon® D
  • Micronized Powders
    • Suspension polymers Polymist® 
    • Emulsion polymers Algoflon® L 

What is the physical form of Algoflon® PTFE grades and how can they be processed?

Algoflon® PTFE products are produced in form of powders, aqueous dispersions, or micronized powders to cover all possible processing techniques such as:

  • Powders: molding, extrusion, etc.
  • Aqueous Dispersions: impregnation, coating, co-coagulation
  • Micronized Powders: additives in several host materials

Which are the most common applications of Algoflon® PTFE?

Algoflon® PTFE is a versatile material that is found in many markets and applications:

  • It is well known for its use in non-stick coatings for pans and other cookware, as it is hydrophobic and possesses fairly high heat resistance.
  • Its high chemical and corrosion resistance make it useful in laboratory environments, where it is used for containers and as tubing for highly corrosive chemicals. In the chemical industry, it is used for vessel linings and pipework for reactive and corrosive chemicals.
  • Because of its superior chemical, anti-stick and thermal properties, it is used for the manufacture of gaskets and seals.
  • Its excellent dielectric properties at high radio frequencies make it suitable for use as an insulator in cables and connector assemblies and as a material for printed circuit boards used at microwave frequencies in aerospace and computer applications (e.g., hookup wire, coaxial cables).
  • In industrial applications, owing to its low friction, it is used for applications where sliding action of parts is needed (e.g., plain bearings, gears, slide plates). 
  • PTFE is widely used as a thread seal tape in plumbing applications, largely replacing thread pastes.
  • Where used as a lubricant, it reduces friction, wear and energy consumption of machinery. 

What are the most frequent processing techniques and items obtained from Algoflon® PTFE?

  • Compression Molding
    Basic stock shapes of cylinders and billets to be machined into different final parts (i.e., seals, bearings, bushings, piston rings, diaphragms) or skived to obtained sheets employed for chemical vessel linings and gaskets.
  • Paste Extrusion
    Wire and cable insulation; Push/pull cable liner; premium hoses; electrical tapes; spaghetti tubing; heat-shrinkable tubing; unsupported tubes hoses; thread sealant tapes; expanded webs; gaskets.
  • Impregnation, Coating, Additive
    Impregnated woven packing; coated glass fabrics for food, industrial and architectural uses; cast films; metal coating; reinforced bearings; anti-drip additive for thermoplastics.
  • Blending with host materials
    Used as additives in plastics, elastomers, paints and coatings, inks, and lubricants.

What are the recommendations for Algoflon® PTFE handling, transportation and storage?

General Rule

  • Storage and handling facilities should be clean since even very small foreign particles can cause defects in finished products. Keep resin drums closed and clean.
  • Sensitive to shear stress, particularly above PTFE transition point (19°C) and effect depends of PTFE type.

Algoflon® DF

  • PTFE fine coagulated powders must be handled below 19°C because above this temperature the powders are softer and can be more easily laminated. It is recommended sieving of powders below 19°C before adding lubricant. Strong vibrations and shocks must be avoided as much as possible for prevent lumps formation. 
  • Storage and transportation should be carried out in the range 5 - 19°C. Moreover, the powders must be stored in a dry room because the absorption of moisture could negatively affect its processing.

Algoflon® D

  • Temperatures lower than 5°C must be avoided to prevent irreversible settling.  
  • Some settling may occur on prolonged standing and/or heat exposure.  It is therefore strongly recommended that the product is always kept at temperatures below 35°C.  
  • The storage and transportation temperature range is 5 - 25°C.  
  • It is also advisable that the product is homogenized by gentle rolling or stirring once per month and prior to use.

Algoflon® F and S

  • Before use the temperature of the powder must be conditioned above 19 °C (between 21-27 °C). Below this temperature the powder is difficult to mold without cracks.  
  • Too high temperatures should also be avoided to prevent powder lumping and poor flow

Is it safe to process Algoflon® PTFE?

When processing Algoflon® PTFE, as with all polymeric materials exposed to high temperatures, good safety practice requires the use of adequate ventilation to prevent exposure to irritating or toxic fumes and gases that may be generated in case of excessive heating. 

As a general reference about safety when processing Algoflon® PTFE products, please consult the “Guide to the Safe Handling of Fluoropolymer Resins” published by Plastics Europe.

Please also follow the handling and storage suggestion reported in the Technical Data Sheets and Safety Data Sheets (SDS), which are available by contacting our Specialty Polymers Experts.

Where can I find Safety Data Sheet of Algoflon® PTFE grades?

Safety Data Sheets are available upon request by contacting our Specialty Polymers Experts.