Fluoron’s PTFE And FEP Heat Shrink Jacket: Space Age  Fluoropolymers For Modern Flight Systems

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There are a handful of options for fluoropolymer wraps and jackets. Carbon filled Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is the gold standard for abrasive applications, while Fluoroethylene Propylene (FEP) is ideal for most use cases. This publication discusses both types and elaborates some use cases. 

The Flagship Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene  Wrap For Aerospace – FEP

FluoroClear, a Fluoron product, is fabricated out of transparent FEP material and is the most commonly used cover or jacket in aerospace applications. Several thickness options are available, with and without adhesive bonding.

Fluoroethylene propylene (FEP) is:

  • Clear in appearance
  • Inert to ultraviolet rays (low absorption rate)
  • Non-stick to prevent corrosion and buildup
  • Bio-compatible
  • Sturdy, wear resistant
  • High tensile strength
  • Able to withstand high temperatures of +375°F and low temperatures of -375°F
  • More affordable than PTFE

The Abrasion Resistant Fluoropolymer Wrap For Aerospace – PTFE

FluoroStat non-stick carbon filled PTFE products are designed for applications that have the potential to create a static charge, such as low-moisture content manufacturing for aerospace. Typically these materials are bonded  the interior diameter of a system such as a vessel, pipe or tank, however at Fluoron we have a few tricks up our sleeve that allow us  to deliver a heat-shrinkable carbon filled heat shrinkable PTFE wrap for outer diameter applications using our proprietary fluoropolymer welding technology. The reality is that if you are  considering a custom designed shape made out of PTFE, we have a way to thermoform these useful materials to accommodate your project.

Hissing Noise On Your Radio Receiver? – PTFE Wraps Can Solve It.

FluoroStat wraps and jackets are effective for preventing static charge buildup. In the aerospace industry, electrical charges can cause radio frequency interference when they discharge. These charges and discharges cause communications disruption for several frequency ranges (VLF, HF, VHF), as well as sparking and arcing in systems. Wrapping systems and subsystems in FluoroStat conductive covers is an effective preventative measure for static charge buildup in aerospace systems.

Why Is This Static Buildup Happening? 

Friction of course. If you are reading this, you are aware that air molecules are bouncing off of flight system components. Lowering the friction coefficient of the components means less electrons are exchanged between the systems and the atmosphere. PTFE jacketing and wraps lower that friction coefficient. Beyond the typical air molecules we still have the problem of selectively ionized particulate matter from exhaust systems. These larger molecules are discharging on contact with other systems and can cause static buildup as they pass by, or even worse: they can buildup on surfaces. This buildup increases friction, and static charge. However, by utilizing carbon filled materials we convert our insulated sleeve into a conductor, reducing the potential for static buildup and discharge. 

PTFE Wraps and Jackets

FluoroStat, our 100% conductive PTFE wrap, is a clever blend of a conductive carbon and the base polymer that produces a completely static dissipative jacket for aerospace with an electrical resistance of 107- 109 ohms / in². These heat shrink sleeves and wraps have some of the lowest surface energy of any fluoropolymer and are reinforced for a much longer life than a standard FEP wrap. 

  • Heat shrinkable, and custom sized for one of a kind shapes and challenges.
  • High temperature resistance – Installed FluoroStat wraps withstand temperatures up to 475ºF.
  • Low temperature resistance
  • Electrical resistance of 107- 109 ohms / in²
  • Typical thickness – 0.060 in.
  • 10X higher wear resistance than other Fluoropolymer alternatives.
  • Inert and broadly chemical resistant.
  • Black in appearance
  • Good softness, shielding, and low attenuation for electrical systems
  • Low coefficient of thermal expansion
  • Low outgassing
  • High purity

Some Typical Uses Cases For FEP & PTFE Wraps

Understanding that aircraft and spacecraft are large and diverse projects, we offer custom sized fluoropolymer wraps and jackets for extra large dimensions. Both Fluorostat anti-static heat-shrinkable wraps and FEP jackets are suitable for aircraft shells and casings. These inert jackets are also great for securing wires, bundles, insulation, or anything else you don’t want to shift during flight. Some of our customers use fluoropolymer wraps to protect exhaust pipes, water tanks, and extend the life of equipment with sanitation or extreme temperature requirements. Others use our wraps to cover radomes in extreme conditions.

Use cases

  • Shells
  • Casings
  • Subsystem wrapping
  • Protecting surfaces and systems from exhaust particulates
  • Covering radomes and other high performance communication systems
  • Securing exterior and interior insulation
  • Full vehicle wraps

Parter With Fluoron

Our experienced teams of problem solvers provide custom manufactured Fluoropolymer solutions, at a pace that is significantly faster than the competition. Fluoron turns projects around in weeks, while the rest of the industry needs months. We iterate quickly and leverage our proprietary welding techniques to keep up with the pace of industry. We look forward to working with you.

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