PCTFE / Kel-F® / NEOFLON™ Compression Molding


PCTFE / Kel-F® / NEOFLON™ Compression Molding

PCTFE is often still referred to as Kel-F®, even though 3M quit manufacturing Kel-F® PCTFE in 1995 and sold the rights to Daikin, who now produces the resin under the NEOFLON™ PCTFE brand name.

PCTFE (polychlorotrifluoroethylene) is formed by the polymerization of the homopolymer of chlorotrifluoroethylene.

PCTFE is a crystalline polymer whose degree and type of crystallinity can be controlled by its thermal history, especially by how fast it is cooled.  This makes PCTFE a versatile material whose properties can be modified over a wide range depending on manufacturing conditions.  When molded with high crystallinity, PCTFE is dense and has high mechanical strength and low elongation.  However, amorphous molded PCTFE has a lower density, is more elastic and optically clear.

Because PCTFE is not well suited for injection molding certain kinds of parts, compression molding followed by machining is used instead.

PCTFE objects made by compression molding are stronger than those made by injection molding or extrusion.  Because PCTFE isn’t very stable in its molten state, injection molding or extrusion of PCTFE, which require elevated temperatures, can lead to molecular degradation (loss of molecular weight) and reduced properties as revealed by zero-strength-time (ZST) tests (ASTM D1430).  However, expertly performed compression molding doesn’t cause the material to overheat and doesn’t induce a preferential orientation to the material.


PCTFE / Kel-F® / NEOFLON™ Properties

  1. Near-zero moisture absorption

  2. Extremely low gas permeability

  3. Fantastic barrier material toward air, water, steam and many fluids, including liquid gases

  4. Very low outgassing

  5. Nonflammable, even in the presence of a high oxygen concentration

  6. Exceptional chemical resistance to all mineral reactants and most organic reactants

  7. Excellent corrosion resistance

  8. High optical transparency

  9. Excellent electrical insulator (even with high humidity and thermal cycling)

  10. Resistance to strong UV radiation

  11. Retains its properties upon exposure to gamma radiation

  12. High compressive strength

  13. Low deformation under load, superior rigidity

  14. Lower cold flow than other fluoropolymers

  15. Useful temperature range of -400 °F to +400 °F

  16. Superior cryogenic properties

  17. Expensive relative to many other materials

  18. PCTFE is attacked by many organic solvents

  19. Low coefficient of thermal expansion

  20. High dimensional stability

  21. Can be machined to precise dimensions

PCTFE / Kel-F® / NEOFLON™ Applications

Because PCTFE has high dimensional stability and compressive strength, it is a good structural material to use when the high temperature resistance and chemical resistance of fluoropolymers are required.  Although PCTFE has somewhat less heat resistance and chemical resistance than PFA and FEP, its mechanical properties are superior, especially its hardness.

Low outgassing and permeability make PCTFE ideal for laboratory and aerospace applications.

PCTFE is used for cryogenic applications such as liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen handling.  Because PCTFE retains its mechanical properties over a wide temperature range down to almost absolute zero, it is used in refrigeration engineering.

Because PCTFE absorbs essentially no moisture, direct contact with water or high humidity do not affect its dimensional stability, allowing it to remain an excellent electrical insulator even in adverse climates such as the tropics and marine environments.

PCTFE has good resistance to ionizing radiation.  It is used in nuclear engineering components and uranium enrichment equipment.

Compression-molded PCTFE / Kel-F® / NEOFLON™ Parts

  1. Seals

  2. Lip seals

  3. Valve seats

  4. Valve stems

  5. O-rings

  6. Back-up rings

  7. V-rings

  8. Gaskets

  9. Washers

  10. Sleeve and thrust bearings

  11. Pump housings

  12. Linings of chemical processing components

  13. Containers

  14. Vessels

  15. Nozzles

  16. Balls

  17. Semiconductor parts

  18. Medical parts

  19. Rollers

  20. Wear pads

  21. Spacers

  22. Bushings

  23. Rings

  24. Plugs

  25. Cams

  26. Blocks

  27. Pads

  28. Guides

  29. Rods

  30. Caps

  31. Supports

  32. Miniature electrical and electronic components

  33. 1.Connectors

  34. 2.Crossbars

  35. 3.Flanges

  36. 4.Spigots

  37. 5.Adapter plugs and pins

  38. 6.Antennas   

PCTFE Compression Molding Resins

NEOFLON™ PCTFE from Daikin America



PCTFE / Kel-F® / NEOFLON™ Testing

  1. Tensile strength

  2. Elongation

  3. Specific gravity

  4. Durometer hardness

  5. Zero strength time (compression molded)

  6. Dimensional stability

  7. Dielectric strength

Perfecting Surfaces Since 1949   •

(714) 533-3183     info@thermech.com

PCTFE / Kel-F® / NEOFLON™ Compression Molding


Compression Molding and Machining of PCTFE / Kel-F® / NEOFLON™


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