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Managing Editor  | October 2017

PVDF integrated with glass fibers to create stronger fluoropolymer

Arkema, Inc., a chemicals and advanced materials company headquartered in France, has released information about its work to reinforce polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) with glass fibers to provide a stronger, stiffer, and higher temperature-resistant material.



Extruded rod made with glass-reinforced PVDF. (Arkema Inc.)


The report was published by AZO Materials and indicates that PVDF was previously reinforced with carbon fiber, but that was not a cost-effective process. PVDF has been commercialized for more than 50 years and has other properties, such as chemical resistance, UV resistance, and flame resistance that have made it popular across many industries.


Arkema wanted to develop a fluoropolymer that would work in specific applications that require increased stability and strength. It recently released the Kynar UHM fluoropolymer series to fit in this niche.


The article explained, “Being aware that keeping the processing temperatures lower is a safer process with glass-filled fluoropolymers, the glass-reinforced PVDF products are manufactured with comparatively high melt flow rate PVDF base resin.


“The incorporation of the glass fiber drives up the viscosity of the polymer blend, but the melt flow rate of the suggested polymer composite still rests in the range at which the product can be injection molded at temperatures below 210 °C and extruded at or below 240 °C.”


Material properties were adjusted by controlling the reactions, adding monomers such as hexafluoropropylene (HFP), or varying the amount of glass-fiber filler.


“If the glass is compounded into the PVDF at an adequately high concentration,” the article continued, “it can become a restrictive factor in the chemical service rating. The percent loading of the glass fibers into the PVDF base is a huge impact on how high the mechanical properties are raised in comparison to the neat resin.”


According to Arkema, the new Kynar line of materials are “extremely” flame resistant and maintain stiffness and strength even under high temperatures.


The article noted, “PVDF already is used highly in the petrochemical recovery, chemical processing, electrical wiring and connections, solar energy, aircraft, military, automotive, mining, ship, water processing and food processing industries. Articles currently already composed of neat PVDF that could also be improved by glass-filled composites are pipes, fluid connectors, nozzles, tanks, clamps, fittings, valves, tapes/films, dump tower packing, pump parts, wires and connectors, and filaments.”


Read the full paper at https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=14405

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