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Ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene, or ECTFE, is a popular copolymer material selection for protecting wires and cables in automotive and aerospace applications. This melt-processable material can be extruded as a drawn fiber for braiding over wires and cables for robust protection from chafing. ECTFE’s mechanical and electrical properties make this material well-suited to wiring applications.
ECTFE’s chemical resistance and very low permeation have made this polymer material a preferred option for use as a chemical barrier. Known as Halar® in some settings, ECTFE has an upper temperature limit of 298 °F (148 °C) allowing it to be used close to engines such as in automotive settings. Supporting its use in hot environments, ECTFE is flame resistant and does not melt or drip. ECTFE’s lower temperature limit of -94 °F (-70 °C) supports its use in the coldness of the upper altitudes for aerospace applications.
ECTFE can be sterilized via gamma irradiation and e-beam methods, and its highly smooth surface minimizes opportunities for potential growth of bacteria and other microbes on its surface. ECTFE also has a lower water permeation than most fluoropolymers.
For outdoor use, ECTFE shows superior durability against weathering with only slight changes to its properties over prolonged exposure to UV light and climate. ECTFE is hydrophobic forming an excellent water barrier, and this material is also weldable.
Zeus ECTFE products include extruded tubing and drawn fiber. ECTFE products offer good performance at a competitive price.
Contact our team or call toll-free in the US 1-800-526-3842 or +1-803-268-9500 internationally today to see how we can develop a precision solution to give you a competitive advantage or to request prototyping samples.
Note: The information in the Zeus website, catalog, and other sources presents and discusses generally accepted properties for non-pigmented virgin polymer resins from which Zeus fabricates its line of extruded products. Actual properties may change due to processing method, resin grade, extruded dimensions, and other variables. It is the end user’s responsibility to fully evaluate and test the fitness of the product for their specific application.
Halar® is a registered trademark of Solvay.
Barrier Layers – The broad chemical resistance of ECTFE makes this material a good match for use as liners and barrier layers for anti-corrosion protection as well as a defense against chemical contamination and seepage. ECTFE is also hydrophobic to keep water out.
Critical Fluid Transfer – ECTFE is particularly used for chemical process and laboratory applications involving corrosive chemicals. ECTFE’s low permeability, hydrophobicity, and mechanical properties are especially preferred in these applications.
Wiring Harness – ECTFE has a high presence in the aircraft and automotive areas where it is particularly preferred to provide flame resistant insulation covering wires and cables. In addition to adding stiffness and protection from abrasion, ECTFE tubing does not melt or drip should ignition occur.
Convoluted Tubing – This type of tubing contains multiple convolutes in series resulting in a highly flexible and maneuverable tubing material. Frequently referred to as flexible conduit, convoluted tubing is used as protective covering for wires in critical areas of aerospace, automotive, and general industrial applications where flexibility and performance are paramount. ECTFE convoluted tubing can withstand continuous temperatures up to 298 °F (148 °C).
Extruded Tubing – ECTFE tubing can be used to protect contents from chemical contaminants, mechanical stresses, or water all while providing excellent flame-resistant insulation over wires. ECTFE’s durability makes it highly suitable for long-term use outdoors easily tolerating weathering and UV exposure for years. Where complete coverage is not required, ECTFE spiral cut tubing allows unwieldly cables and wires to be bundled and stowed more easily. Our spiral cut product forms an expandable tubing for wire harnessing applications where it is wrapped around cumbersome and disorganized wires. With its broad working temperature range and good protection against corrosive chemicals, ECTFE provides a very cost-effective solution for many of these applications.
Fiber – ECTFE is UV and abrasion resistant. As drawn fiber this material is an excellent material for braiding over electrical wiring and hoses. This material imparts excellent impact resistance to the protected components comparable to more expensive polymers such as PEEK or FEP. This fiber has a very smooth surface finish and holds up extremely well to weathering. For monofilament, standard sizes range from 0.003″ (0.076 mm) to 0.400″ (1.016 mm). This monofilament is lightweight and sterilizable via multiple protocols. This monofilament is available as a custom order.
- KEY PROPERTIES
Chemical Resistance – ECTFE exhibits excellent resistance to a broad group of chemical types including aliphatic hydrocarbons, alcohols, halogens, salts; and organic, and inorganic acids bases.
Flame Resistance – ECTFE has a UL 94 rating of V-0 meaning that this material is highly reluctant to burn. Even under combustion conditions, ECTFE does not melt or drip and produces little to no smoke; these qualities have made it highly preferred in aerospace and mass transit applications. Additionally, ECTFE has a Limiting Oxygen Index of 52 (compared to ETFE’s of 32, for example) insuring that it will almost certainly not burn in open atmosphere.
Sterilizable – ECTFE is sterilizable via gamma irradiation and e-beam methods.
Weather Resistance – ECTFE shows only very slight change in appearance or in its properties with long-term outdoor use. ECTFE exhibits superior stability under extended duration UV exposure and weathering.
Wide Working Temperature Range – ECTFE has a wide service temperature range from -94 °F (-70 °C) to 298 °F (148 °C) enabling it to be used in almost all ordinary working environments.
Ultra-Low Permeability – ECTFE offers excellent permeation resistance to many chemicals. ECTFE’s chemical structure gives it very low permeation to simple gases such as hydrogen, oxygen, or nitrogen. ECTFE’s permeation is lower than other polymers such as HDPE, ETFE, and PFA, and is typically further reduced for more complex molecules.
UV Resistant – This material is highly resistant to UV exposure meaning that it will not breakdown or deteriorate under sunlight exposure.
Summary of Properties
PHYSICAL ASTM ECTFE Density (g/cc) D792 1.67 Water Absorption (%) D570 0.5 Standard Percent Crystillinity (%) na Refraction Index na Radiation Resistance (MRad) na Oxygen Index (%) D2863 na MECHANICAL ASTM ECTFE Hardness, Shore D D2240 75 Ultimate Tensile Strength (MPa) D638 47.8 Elongation at Break (%) D638 220 Modulus of Elasticity (GPa) D638 1.67 Flexural Modulus (GPa) D790 1.94 Coefficient of Friction 0..252 ELECTRICAL ASTM ECTFE Volume Resistivity (Ω-cm) D257 na Dielectric Constant 1MHz D150 2.55 Dielectric Strength (V/mil) D149 728 THERMAL ASTM ECTFE Thermal Conductivity (W/m-K) C117 0.155 Maximum Service Temp, Air (°C) 148 Minimum Service Temp, Air (°C) na Melt Temp (°C) 237 Glass Temp (°C) 85 Decomposition Temp (°C) E1131 na CTE, linear 20° (µm/m- °C) D696 91.5