So what are the reasons to engineer with PVDF? PVDF or polyvinylidene fluoride is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic fluoropolymer. It can be machined but can also be molded into many standard parts: machine screws, cap screws, hex nuts and washers and as well as wide range of custom parts. It is sold under the brand name Kynar®, Hylar®, Solef®, and others. It is valued for its purity, chemical resistance, and electrical properties as well as its resistance to UV degradation and to radiation. Among fluoropolymers it also has a relatively high heat tolerance. Because of these characteristics it is used in a wide variety of applications in many industries. These are discussed below.
The purity of PVDF makes it suitable for the food processing industry. It is FDA compiant and completely nontoxic. The semiconductor machinery manufacturing industry uses PVDF as well. As much particlate as possible must be removed from the photolithography process to enhance ICU production yeilds. Combined with chemical resistance, PVDF works very well in these applications. Also, its purity is important to the pharmaceutical and medical industries.
Excellent Chemical Resistance
PVDF parts display high resistance to mineral acids and organic acids. Mineral acids include hydrochloric , nitric acid and sulfuric acid . Organic acids such as lactic acid, and citric acid do not affect PVDF. Thus it is used in food processing equipment for its acid resistance.
You will want to engineer with PVDF as it is uneffected by aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. Aliphatic hydrocarbons include methane, and propane. Benzene and toluene are examples of aromatic hydrocarbons. Theses are just a few chemicals PVDF has excellent chemical resistance to. So it is no surprise that the chemical processing equipment industry uses PVDF. Heat shrinkable or flexible tubing is made from PVDF. And the plastic is used on a large scale to make liners for pipes and valves.
Alcohols and halogenated solvents do not affect PVDF. Halogenated solvents include methylene chloride, tricloroethylene and tetracloroethylene. However, like other fluoropolymers, PVDF does not perform well when exposed to strong bases and other caustics, esters or ketones.
PVDF is used to make fasteners and parts for semiconductor manufacturing equipment because of its high purity and high chemical resistance. In chemical processing equipment it is used in pumps, valves, pipes, tubing, fittings, sensors and actuators.
Piezoelectric and Pyroelectric Properties
Piezoelectric Effect is the ability of certain materials, PVDF among them, to generate an electric charge in response to applied mechanical stress. Piezoelectric films made of PVDF are sensitive transducers that are used in a variety of applications. It is also used as a pyroelectric sensor and laser beam profile in advanced applications.
PVDF is gaining acceptance for use in cathodes and anodes in lithium batteries. Also membranes made from this plastic are used as separators in lithium-ion batteries.
Heat Tolerance of PVDF
Another reason to engineer with PVDF is that it has flammability rating of UL94-V0. That means this plastic is considered non-flammable and non-dripping. It is also self-extinguishing. PVDF resins are used in the power, renewable energies, and chemical processing industries for their excellent resistance to temperature, as well as to harsh chemicals. It is used as a coating in the aerospace industry for its fire retardance.
In powder form it is added to high end paints. PVDF paints exhibit good gloss and high color retention. The Taipei 101 building in Taiwan is painted with PVDF paint. It is the right choice because it is also chemically resistant, shows excellent weather-ability.
It is also be used in the mining, plating and metal preparation industries for its resistance to hot acids of a wide range of concentrations.
Tolerance to UV Radiation
Also, you will want to engineer with PVDF if your application is required to operate in sunlight. PVDF is highly resistant to UV radiation. When this plastic is added to coatings, PVDF paints have the highest UV tolerance in the industry.
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