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PFA vs. PTFE vs. FEP: Which Fluorinated Polymer to Choose?

PFA vs. PTFE vs. FEP: Which Fluorinated Polymer to Choose?

Discover the differences between PFA, PTFE and FEP and find the right fluorinated polymer for your application. Learn why these unique materials are so crucial in various industries and which one offers the best performance.


This comparison of PFA, PTFE and FEP reveals the unique properties that make fluorinated polymers suitable for a variety of applications. Learn why PTFE excels in temperature resistance, why FEP is ideal for shrink applications, and why PFA is preferred for demanding high-temperature and chemical stress conditions. Make the right choice for your project and optimize your performance.

PFA vs. PTFE vs. FEP – Properties and Differences

PTFE, FEP and PFA are the most well-known and common fluorinated polymers. But what exactly are the differences between these materials? Find out why fluorinated polymers are unique materials and which type is best suited for your application.

The Unique Properties of Fluoropolymers

Fluorinated polymers have several unique properties that make them suitable for use in medical, automotive, electrical and household applications.

Fluorinated polymers possess the following properties:

  • Very high operating temperatures
  • Non-adhesive character
  • Low coefficient of friction
  • Very high resistance to chemicals and solvents
  • Very high electrical resistance

Different fluorinated polymers exhibit subtle differences, including varying operating temperatures, and are suitable for different applications. If chosen correctly, fluorinated polymers can offer both price and performance advantages.

The Benefits of PTFE

PTFE, or Polytetrafluoroethylene, is the founder of all fluorinated polymers. Discovered by scientist Roy J. Plunkett in 1938, it has exceptional properties of temperature, chemical resistance and non-adhesive properties.

In addition to enjoying the unique properties of fluorinated polymers, PTFE is distinguished by the following advantages:

  • Best price-performance ratio
  • Continuous working temperature of +260°C – This is the highest working temperature for any fluorinated polymer.
  • Resistant to almost all chemicals
  • Very non-adhesive
  • Milk white

The main disadvantage of PTFE is that it does not actually melt when heated and is therefore difficult to process. Very unconventional techniques are required to form, extrude and weld this fluorinated polymer.

View in-stock PTFE Hoses

The Benefits of FEP

FEP, or Fluoroethylene Propylene, is the fusible version of PTFE. FEP has very similar properties to PTFE, but has a lower maximum operating temperature of +200°C. Nevertheless, FEP is easier to process and can be easily welded and reshaped into complex profiles.

In addition to possessing the unique properties of fluorinated polymers, FEP enjoys these advantages:

  • Welding and remodeling options
  • Operating temperatures from -200°C to +200°C – FEP remains flexible at cryogenic temperatures
  • Total resistance to chemicals and UV
  • Biocompatible
  • Bright in color

FEP (Fluoroethylenepropylene) hoses are used in a variety of applications for different reasons. Here are some of the main reasons why FEP hoses are popular:

Excellent Chemical Resistance: FEP hoses are highly resistant to a wide range of chemicals and solvents. This makes them suitable for applications involving the transport of aggressive chemicals, such as in the chemical industry.

High Temperature Resistance: FEP can be used at temperatures ranging from -200°C to +200°C. This makes it suitable for both cryogenic applications and situations requiring higher temperatures.

Low Friction: FEP has a very low coefficient of friction, which means that liquids and gases can flow through it easily. This makes FEP hoses suitable for applications where minimal resistance and high throughput are important.

Excellent Electrical Insulation: FEP is an excellent electrical insulator, which is why FEP tubing is often used in electrical and electronic applications, such as cable sheathing and insulation.

Biocompatibility: FEP is biocompatible and is used in medical applications, such as medical tubing and hoses, where direct contact with the human body is required.

UV resistance: FEP is resistant to UV radiation and weathering, making it suitable for outdoor applications.

Transparency: FEP has high optical clarity and is transparent. This makes it suitable for applications where visibility or visual inspection is important.

Easier to Process: FEP is fusible and can be welded and formed into complex profiles, making it suitable for various production methods.

The Benefits of PFA

PFA, or Perfluoroalkoxy, is a high-temperature version of FEP. PFA has similar properties to FEP, but can be used at operating temperatures up to +260°C while maintaining the melting process, thanks to a lower melt viscosity than PTFE.

In addition to enjoying the unique properties of fluorinated polymers, PFA is distinguished by the following advantages:

  • Continuous working temperature of +260°C
  • Welding and remodeling options
  • Good permeability resistance
  • Excellent chemical resistance, even at elevated temperatures
  • Biocompatible
  • Availability of high-purity quality grades
  • Bright in color

The main disadvantage of PFA is that it is more expensive than PTFE and FEP.

PFA is ideal for applications requiring higher purity, excellent chemical resistance and high working temperature. PFA (Perfluoroalkoxy) hoses are widely used in various critical applications because of their unique properties. Here are some key application areas for PFA tubing:

  1. Chemical Industry: PFA hoses are often used in the chemical industry because of their excellent chemical resistance. They can transport a wide range of aggressive chemicals and acids without being affected.
  2. Pharmaceutical and Medical Applications: PFA hoses are used in the pharmaceutical industry for the transfer of drugs and chemicals. They are also used in medical equipment, such as tubes for fluid transport in medical devices.
  3. Semiconductor industry: PFA hoses are often used in the semiconductor industry for the transport of ultra-pure chemicals, where the smallest contamination can have serious consequences for production.
  4. Food processing: PFA hoses with FDA approval are used in the food processing industry because they can safely contact food and liquids. For example, they are used in hoses for transporting dairy products and beverages.
  5. Environmental Applications: PFA hoses are used in environmental engineering for transporting sampling fluids and chemicals in environmental research and monitoring.
  6. Electrical and Electronic Industry: PFA is used for the insulation of wires and cables because of its excellent electrical properties and temperature resistance.
  7. Analytical Instrumentation: PFA tubing is used in laboratory instruments for transporting reagents and samples because of its chemical compatibility and low solubility.
  8. Aerospace: PFA hoses are used in the aerospace industry for a variety of applications, including fuel lines and hydraulic systems.
  9. Heat Exchangers: PFA hoses are used in heat exchangers because of their excellent heat transfer properties and resistance to high temperatures and corrosion.
  10. Electroplating: PFA tubing is used in electroplating processes to transport chemical solutions used in electroplating of metals.

In short, PFA hoses are suitable for a wide range of applications where chemical resistance, high temperature performance and reliability are critical.

View in-stock PFA Hoses

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