Considering Kel-F ® PCTFE within Plastic Fasteners?

When choosing components and fasteners for manufacturing and production, it’s important to consider the application, the environment of the finished products and the characteristics of the materials available. Plastics, and especially some of the advanced composite materials, make a great choice for many applications and offer exceptional strength and resistance to wear. In this post we’ll look at properties of Kel-F ® PCTFE, or PolyChloroTriFluoroEthylene.

Note:  the commonly used name for PCTFE is Kel-F ®, and is the registered trademark of the 3M Corporation.  3M no longer manufacturers the product.  However, E&T Fasteners provides PCTFE through other manufacturers.

Considerations when Selecting Components Made from Kel-F ® PCTFE

Here are some reasons to consider PCTFE within plastic fasteners:

  • It exhibits properties like near zero-moisture absorption and is non wetting.
  • It has excellent chemical resistance.  For example, it is resistant to the attack by most chemicals and oxidizing agents.
  • PCTFE exhibits extremely low outgassing.
  • PCTFE has high tensile strength and stress-crack resistance.  Its high mechanical strength and low shrinkage rate at low temperatures provides excellent stability for applications such as valve seats.
  • It provides excellent performance under a wide temperature range (from – 400° F to 400° F)
  • It has the lowest limiting oxygen index (LOI) amongst plastic fasteners.
  • It provides outstanding electrical-insulating capability in high-humidity environments.
  • It is resistant to oxidation because it does not have any hydrogen atoms.
  • It does not absorb visible light. Therefore, its best applied to use in applications that require transparency.

What applications can you use it in?

The product’s high tensile strength make it a good choice for structural fastener.

At the same time, its low outgassing rate and permeability make PCTFE a good choice within lab, instrumentation, or aerospace applications. Some other common non-fastener applications for PCTFE include its use in wire and cable insulation, in valves or inert seals & lubricants, and in film for food and ‘blister pack’ pharmaceutical packaging.

Standard shapes and thickness

  • Sheet: .125” – 1.25” thick
  • Rod: .125” – 3” diameter

Summary

When purchasing fasteners and components, you’ll find many durable materials that are specialized for your various projects, but it’s always wise to verify that the manufacturers are recognized for high quality components and offer a wide variety of molded plastic fasteners or machined metal fasteners to meet your needs. Talk to us today about your plastics fastener needs.