Fluoropolymer tubing stands out as one of the most versatile materials companies across industries leverage for various projects. Fluoropolymer's physical and chemical properties make it an ideal choice for projects with unique parameters, including projects in which materials are exposed to extreme heat, cold, tension, and chemicals. Though there are seven different types of fluoropolymer tubing, which include PTFE tubing, FEP tubing, PFA tubing, ETFE tubing, PVDF tubing, H2 tubing, and heat shrink tubing, each offer their own unique set of properties and distinct advantages.
Today we take a look at FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene) tubing, which is known for being one of the more cost-effective options among fluoropolymer tubing. Given what we know about the distinct advantages of each type of tubing, when could FEP tubing be a solution for your next project?
You seek an affordable alternative to PTFE.
FEP tubing is in many ways similar to PTFE tubing, which is considered to be the original fluoropolymer. FEP was initially developed as a way to make PTFE easier to manufacture, but it actually does vary in subtle ways from PTFE, particularly in terms of its mechanical properties. If your company is overseeing a project that could make applicable use of PTFE, FEP can serve as an advanced, yet less expensive, alternative.
Your project involves electrical components.
FEP is a suitable solution for those with projects involving cabling and electrical insulation, or more specifically, foamed coaxial labels, foamed plenum wires, or coating for telephone wires. FEP tubing contributes far less heat when insulating electrical properties as compared to other commonly-used materials. For example, while FEP tubing contributes just 2,200 BTUs/lb., PVC contributes up to 14,000 BTUs/lb., and polyethylene gives off 20,000 BTUs/lb. Specifically, FEP can easily facilitate electrical breakdowns and maintains a low dielectric constant with a value of just 2.1. FEP also stands out as an ideal material for electrical projects because it maintains a relatively high temperature use at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
You're in need of longer lengths of tubing.
If your company's cabling project requires fluoropolymer tubing of considerable length, FEP tubing is your answer. The manufacturing innovations developed for this type of tubing, specifically its function as a melt-processible fluoropolymer, allow it to be produced in long, continuous lengths, unlike PTFE tubing.
Your project requires organized tubing.
Because FEP tubing can be manufactured as both clear and colored tubing, it's often used for projects that require tubing to be clearly identifiable and organized. Complex cabling arrangements in data centers, for example, can leverage the benefit of colorful FEP tubing to keep specific cables in the right order/position. In addition to a clear exterior, this type of tubing is available in blue, black, yellow, and red.
You could benefit from tubing with higher working pressure.
FEP maintains a working pressure that's 30% higher than the working pressure of PTFE. This is a key advantage for projects in which tubing will be exposed to harsh environments, or in which properties will pass through at higher pressures, such as in medical devices or automotive systems.
These comprise just a few of the reasons FEP tubing might be a suitable solution for your company's next project. For a more comprehensive look at the properties of FEP tubing and its advantages, learn more here.