Properties of PCTFE
- PCTFE is a homopolymer of chlorotrifluoroethylene (CTFE) monomer. The inclusion of relatively large amounts of chlorine in the polymer chain reduces the tendency to crystallize.
- The low molecular weight PCTFE polymer can be used as oil or grease.
- PCTFE is very suitable for applications at very low temperatures; however, at high temperatures, it is not as good as other fluoropolymers other than PVDF. It has a relatively low melting point of 211°C (412°F), and exhibits thermally induced crystallization at temperatures below its melting point, leading to brittleness.
- PCTFE has excellent chemical resistance, especially for most very harsh environments, especially strong oxidants (such as fuming oxidizing acid, liquid oxygen, ozone) and sunlight.
- The disadvantage of PCTFE is that it is eroded by many organic materials and has low thermal stability in the molten state.
- The main application of PCTFE is special film for packaging in applications with high moisture resistance requirements, such as pharmaceutical blister packaging and the healthcare market.
- In electroluminescence (EL) lamps, PCTFE film is used to encapsulate the phosphor coating to provide area light during electrical excitation. The film acts as a water vapor barrier, protecting phosphor chemicals that are sensitive to moisture.
- PCTFE film can be used to package corrosion-sensitive military and electronic components. Due to their excellent electrical insulation properties, these films can be used to protect sensitive electronic components that may be exposed to moisture or harsh environments. They can be thermoformed to fit any shape and detail. PCTFE film is also used to protect the moisture-sensitive liquid crystal display panels of portable computers.
- PCTFE film can be laminated to various substrates such as PVC, polyethylene terephthalate (PETG), amorphous polyethylene terephthalate (APET) or polypropylene (PP). Other applications of PCTFE include pump components, transparent sight glasses, flow meters, pipes, and linings for chemical industry and laboratory equipment.
- In the field of scientific research, PCTFE has been proven to be used for membrane gas separation. Due to the combination of F and Cl substituents in the polymer, PCTFE membranes provide excellent He/gas separation performance. On the one hand, the F substituents increase the solubility of He and produce unfavorable interactions with H2 and CH4. On the other hand, the asymmetric substitution of Cl increases the solubility parameter and Tg in the polymer, increasing the size sieving ability. Both of these contribute to excellent He/gas separation performance (especially He/H2 and He/CH4).
Figure 1. The role of halogen in membrane gas separation in PCTFE 
- Milad Yavari, Yoshiyuki Okamoto, and Haiqing Lin, Journal of Membrane Science, 11 (2017) 043.
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