Fluoropolymer Coating - Q&A
What is a fluoropolymer? A fluoropolymer is a fluorocarbon-based substance that contains atoms of fluorine. It is characterized by a high resistance to solvents, acids, and bases. Fluoropolymers were discovered by happen-stance in 1938 by Dr. Roy J. Plunkett as he was working on freon (for the DuPont corporation) and accidentally polymerized tetrafluoroethylene.
The result was PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), more commonly known as Teflon. This material was found to have the lowest coefficient of friction of any known solid and was inert to virtually all chemicals known. Its corrosion resistivity (in almost all applications) exceeds that of glass (borosilicate and enameled glass-steel) and exotic alloys such as Hastelloy, Niobium, Tantalum and Titanium.
Why was fluoropolymer coating applied to stainless steel duct?
Fluoropolymer coated stainless steel was born out of necessity in the early 1990's as semiconductor companies and their insurance underwriters were not seeing eye to eye on corrosive fume exhaust systems. Existing vent duct products were just not delivering the standard of performance that semiconductor cleanroom applications required and the safety that insurance companies demanded.
Insurance companies were pushing for fire-approved FRP duct, despite its poor chemical resistance, because they would rather have that than have the fab burn down. Semiconductor companies understood the need to eliminate combustible materials from the fab, but they were still seeking greater chemical resistance.
PVC offered somewhat better resistivity, but after several years the material would become embrittled. Insurance companies did not approve of PVC because of the burn characteristics and smoke generation.
In need of a solution, one IBM semiconductor chip plant in Essex Junction, Vermont, set out to find a replacement that would be chemically resistant and make their insurance company happy.
Fab-Tech's PSP® fluoropolymer barrier coating is applied to 300 series stainless steel duct then heated and "baked" to form a chemical and mechanical bond with the metal substrate.
Through a proprietary primer technology, the remarkably stable bond that is formed between the steel and this non-adhesive polymer is a capability that no other company has been able to replicate successfully.
Why use fluoropolymer coated stainless steel?
When compared to fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP), polypropylene (PP) and polyvinylchloride (PVC), the superiority of fluoropolymer coated stainless steel becomes readily apparent.
Based on published data, fluoropolymer coated stainless steel far surpasses other materials in chemical resistance and mechanical stability.
Fluoropolymer coated stainless steel has been tested in over 400 chemical applications, and proven superior to both FRP duct and plastics when tested for corrosion resistance, chemical concentration tolerance and upper temperature limit.
If you would like more information about PSP® corrosive fume vent pipe and duct, please feel free to download our general information guide below: