Fluoropolymers / Alfa Chemistry

Chemical Property Analysis


The chemical structure has a great influence on the performance of fluoropolymers, so it is very necessary to fully characterize the chemical structure in the process of designing new polymers. Alfa Chemistry Fluoropolymers can provide customers with detailed chemical analysis services. The analysis and determination contents of fluoropolymer composition and structure include monomer composition, terminal structure, sequence structure, degree of branching/crosslinking, relative molecular weight and distribution, and condensed structure.

Analysis contents and test methods

Analysis ContentsTest Methods
Monomer compositionNuclear magnetic/sequential resonance, infrared/Raman/ultraviolet/fluorescence spectroscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy, pyrolysis chromatography-mass spectrometry, elemental analysis (organic elemental analysis, ion chromatography), etc.
End structureNuclear magnetic resonance, infrared spectroscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy, etc.
Sequence structureNuclear magnetic resonance, infrared spectroscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy, pyrolysis chromatography-mass spectrometry
Branching/cross-linking degreeGel permeation chromatography, infrared spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, chemical reaction method, rheological method
Relative molecular weight and distributionGel permeation chromatography, solution light scattering method, viscosity method, laser light scattering method, osmotic pressure method, melt rheological behavior, graded precipitation method
Condensed matter structureXRD, DSC, various microscopes, etc.

For insoluble fluoropolymers, solid-state NMR is the best choice for analyzing its composition and structure.

Main test equipment and applications

  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer
  • Determine the molecular structure of small molecules and macromolecules.

  • Gel Permeation Chromatography
  • Test the molecular weight and distribution of polymers.

  • UV-Vis spectrophotometer
  • Test the electronic transition behavior of molecules, and can perform qualitative and quantitative analysis of some organic compounds, inorganic salts, etc.

  • Infrared spectrometer
  • It can measure the vibration-rotation behavior of molecules of substances in gas, liquid, solid, and viscous fluid states, and obtain molecular spectrum characteristic spectra. Can perform qualitative and quantitative analysis of some compounds.

  • Pyrolysis chromatography-mass spectrometry (Pyrolysis-GC-MS)
  • Used to characterize various polymers and composite materials that cannot be analyzed by traditional methods.

  • X-ray diffraction analyzer (XRD)
  • Used for phase qualitative analysis, phase quantitative analysis, crystal structure analysis, stress analysis.

The influence of chemical structure on the performance of fluoropolymers

  • Case 1

The polymerization of TFEFigure 1. The polymerization of TFE

The rigid spiral polymer chain of PTFE is easy to crystallize, resulting in its crystallinity as high as 98%. It also causes PTFE to have a higher melting temperature and a higher melt viscosity, which also makes it difficult to process PTFE with traditional polymer processing methods. In addition, due to the compact crystal structure and dense fluorine atoms, PTFE is the heaviest polymer material with a density of 2.1 g/cm3.

  • Case 2

The polymerization of CTFEFigure 2. The polymerization of CTFE

Compared with PTFE, only one fluorine atom in PCTFE is replaced by chlorine. The introduction of chlorine atoms in the polymer structure interrupts the crystallization ability of the polymer backbone. PCTFE has lower crystallinity, lower melting temperature, better intermolecular interaction and better mechanical properties. An important advantage of PCTFE is its melt processability.


  1. Hongxiang Teng, Overview of the Development of the Fluoropolymer Industry, Appl. Sci. 2012, 2, 496-512.
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