Fluoropolymers / Alfa Chemistry

Surface Treatment for Fluoropolymers


Fluoropolymers have good chemical resistance, low dielectric constant, low dielectric loss and low coefficient of friction, making them ideal for applications such as reactor linings, circuit boards, and kitchen utensils. However, non-stick properties make them difficult to bond to other materials or to themselves, limiting the application of fluoropolymers.

After years of development, Alfa Chemistry Fluoropolymers can provide customers with a variety of surface treatment methods to promote adhesion and enhance the bonding strength of fluoropolymers.

Fluoropolymer surface treatment services

  • We can perform surface chemical etching or plasma etching on various fluoropolymers, including PTFE, FEP, PFA, PVDF, ECTFE, ETFE and other fluoropolymer pipes, heat shrink tubing and films.
  • We can process the inner or outer surface of the material according to the specific needs of customers, such as surface treatment services including providing fixed-length ID and OD, only ID or OD, and ID and OD.

Chemical etching

The chemical etching process causes the fluorine molecules on the surface of the material to react with the sodium solution. The main function is to defluorinate the fluoropolymer and strip the fluorine molecules from the carbon backbone of the polymer. The chemical etching process changes the surface finish by changing the properties of the polymer, making them very suitable for bonding with most adhesives, such as epoxy, polyurethane, and silicone RTV. After sodium etching, the fluorine atoms on the surface of the fluoropolymer are replaced by hydroxyl groups, carbonyl groups and other functional groups that can form hydrogen bonds. The surface energy of the modified surface is increased and the wettability is significantly improved.

Plasma etching

Similar to chemical etching, the fluoropolymer is exposed to plasma for plasma etching, a charged gas, which defluorinates the fluoropolymer. The difference between the two etching methods is that the degree of defluorination of the fluoropolymer is different, and the bonding strength produced by sodium etching is much higher than that of plasma etching. In the plasma etching process, plasma treatment will change the surface morphology, and the use of different plasma gases will result in different morphologies.

Advantages of surface treatment

  • By changing the properties of fluoropolymers at the molecular level, the etching process can use adhesives such as polyurethane, epoxy, and silicone RTV to tightly bond fluoropolymer materials to other surfaces for various uses and applications.
  • Fluoropolymer etching provides additional functionality to our fluoropolymers while maintaining the integrity of the product, which is very useful for expanding the application of fluoropolymers in various fields.
  • In the fluoropolymer etching process, the etching process only penetrates to a depth of a few angstroms (10-10 m), and only change the top layer of the fluoropolymer surface, which means that all the original quality of the product can be maintained.

Matters needing attention for storage

  • The etched fluoropolymer "grabs" molecules from the air to repair their electronic defects, which leads to a weakening of the surface etching effect. Therefore, all etching materials should be stored in the sealed bag.
  • In order to prevent the adhesive performance of the products from being reduced due to prolonged exposure to oxygen and ultraviolet rays, wrap them and place them in a dark place.
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