Arkema and Polymer Engineering Develop Blending Technology for Kynar Flex PVDF and Rubber
The capability to blend Kynar Flex PVDF with various types of rubber developed by Arkema and Polymer Engineering results in products that have a range of properties offered by each respective component.
The capability to blend high-performance PVDF with various types of rubber has been achieved jointly by Arkema, King of Prussia, Penn., and Canada’s Polymer Engineering Company (PEC), a 36-year old privately owned consulting company which offers specialized expertise in the field of polymer technology, including plastic and rubber materials, coatings, paints, adhesives, and other unique polymeric applications.
The combination of Kynar Flex PVDF thermoplastic fluoropolymer with rubber materials allows melt processing through chemical compatibilization and vulcanization. The capability to create various fluoropolymer-rubber combinations reportedly results in products that have a range of properties offered by each respective component.
Kynar Flex PVDF fluoropolymers have been shown to impart high chemical resistance, resistance to swelling, UV resistance, high heat stability, high contact angle and good release properties. Rubbers can impart a range of other favorable properties such as impact strength, flexibility, strain recovery, electrical resistance, lightweight, softness and compressibility. The final combination of properties can be tailored by the selection of the base fluoropolymer and the rubber, or combinations of rubbers, which will determine overall cost and performance.
These blends of Kynar Flex PVDF and rubber can be extruded into profiles and/or injection and compression molded at temperatures similar to polyolefin thermoplastics. Said PEC’s president Marek Gnatowski, “Many industries, such as the fuel and chemicals sectors, are challenged by changes that occur related to regulation modifications and technology-related upgrades. Materials of construction that may have been previously considered reliable for long-term service in 2015 are then determined to be no longer suitable as the contact chemicals are altered for future use. The ability to blend rubber with a high-performance fluoropolymer allows the system designer to keep the friendly properties of rubber without early cracking or swelling failures in service.”
Arkema and PEC can provide manufacturing guidance for processors interested in offering blends of Kynar Flex PVDF and rubber in applications such as tubing, hose, gaskets, O-rings, films, linings, wire insulation, cable jacketing and molded structural parts. Due to the lower melting point associated with PVDF, compared to other fluoropolymer materials, these blends can be easily processed on standard equipment with minimal or no additional investment.
The degree to which molded parts shrink as they cool is largely dependent upon the composition of the material being processed.
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