PCTFE plastic is designed for cryogenic temperatures
PCTFE, Polychlorotrifluoroethylene, is a fluoropolymer, the same family as PTFE. Just like all fluoropolymers, it offers a wide chemical resistance. It is mainly preferred for its wide temperature range, beginning at cryogenic temperatures and its low absorption of gases.
PCTFE is part of the fluoropolymer family
As part of the fluoropolymers, PCTFE includes a strong carbon-fluorine bond but, here, some carbon atoms are also linked to a chlorine atom. This gives to PCTFE materials unique properties. PCTFE parts are very stable over time and in demanding environments.
Due to its chemical composition, polymer chains of PCTFE have less flexibility, a higher glass transition temperature than PTFE. PCTFE shows an excellent chemical resistance, but narrower than PTFE, because carbon-chlorine bonds are weaker than carbon-fluorine ones.
Its chemical structure then offers a different asset. PCTFE offers the best performance in gas barriers. PCTFE parts especially offer the best performance in low permeation capability of moisture and steam atmosphere. It is also recommended for its high resistance to oxidation and its compatibility with liquid oxygen.
Most important about PCTFE is its wide temperature range. It can be used under cryogenic conditions, down to -255°C. At such temperature, PCTFE parts show no brittleness contrary to most high performance or engineering polymers.
PCTFE is not limited to low temperatures. PCTFE shows however a melting point lower than PTFE, at 214°. The recommended continuous service temperature reaches 150°C, even if PCTFE is clearly preferred for cryogenic temperatures. PCTFE parts can also withstand for a short time a maximum peak temperature at +200°C.
- Good flow resistance
- High rigidity
- Wide operating temperature range, from -250°C to
- 150°C, compatible with cryogenic applications
- No brittleness even at -250°C
- Low creep under compression
- High dimensional stability
- High chemical inertness
- High chemical resistance
- Compatible with liquid oxygen
- Extremely low gas absorption and outgasing
- Impermeability to liquids and gases even at low temperature
- Low permeation capability to moisture and steam atmosphere
- Non flammable
- Excellent electrical properties
PCTFE parts are used in critical applications
PCTFE is often used in cryogenic applications, like cryogenic valves or pumps. Its mechanical properties at -250°C are optimal in LNG installations. As a soft material, compared to metal or PEEK, it is a good seal or valve seat.
Thanks to its low gas absorption and outgassing, PCTFE is commonly used in Aerospace applications. This property is also important when producing a moisture barrier for highly critical material in electronics or in pharmaceutical industries.
It is also often used in cryogenic applications, like cryogenic valves or pumps.
PCTFE is always used as virgin polymer. PCTFE compounds are not produced for technical hindrances.