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Fluorinated ethylene propylene, or FEP, was developed in 1956 as a melt processable fluoropolymer alternative to PTFE. FEP can be extruded in long continuous lengths and has several distinct advantages over PTFE. Applications where FEP is chosen are typically those requiring greater optical clarity and flexibility.
FEP heat shrink has a lower recovery temperature than PTFE and meets AS23053/11 Mil Spec guidelines. As convoluted tubing, FEP meets 81914 Mil Spec certification. FEP has low gas and permeability properties and possesses excellent UV transmission rating. FEP is also suitable for use in a biomedical setting and is gamma sterilizable.
All of these attributes and more make FEP ideal for a diverse range of applications from environmental monitoring equipment to medical devices and electronics. Because it is a thermoplastic, FEP is also easily heat formed, tipped, tapered, flared, and flanged.
Zeus offers a wide range of standard size products and precision custom extruded tubing made from fluoropolymers and advanced materials. We manufacture FEP in a wide variety of custom and stock sizes, such as extruded tubing, heat shrink, lay-flat, custom profiles, and multi-lumen tubing. Zeus also offers etching for bonding of these products to other materials including other plastics.
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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.
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Critical Fluid Transfer – The chemical resistance, mechanical integrity, optical clarity, and high maximum temperature of FEP are ideal for critical fluid transfer. FEP yields to forming and making special shapes such as dip tubes that can fit male ends to provide safe and efficient ways to move caustic fluids. FEP is also the outer component of Double Containment Tubing, which has an inner layer of PFA. The FEP layer provides an enhanced barrier for caustic chemical transport. FEP tubing used in fluid transfer applications can be found in areas ranging from automotive, aerospace, scientific and analytical, to medical.
Electrical – Because FEP is an excellent insulator, FEP heat shrink is an ideal option to provide electrical insulation while at the same time conferring chemical resistance when shrunk over wires. FEP provides high temperature protection in caustic environments. As heat shrink, FEP is also a good splicing aid for designed applications or repairs in the field. FEP heat shrink has a high presence in automotive, aerospace, oil and gas exploration, and many other general industrial applications.
Fiber Optics – FEP products are frequently used to house and protect delicate optical fibers while maintaining a high degree of flexibility. FEP tubing can be formed into shapes and multi-lumens to allow multiple passages within a single tube through which fiber optics can be passed. FEP convoluted tubing meets Mil Spec 81914.
General Industrial – The durable yet clear nature of this material make FEP heat shrink an optimal choice for light bulb encapsulation. FEP’s UV rating means that it can stand up to UV exposure and not degrade or breakdown. FEP’s temperature tolerance prevents it from melting even when bulbs become hot. In the oil and gas industry, battery packs and rock core analyses benefit from FEP heat shrink’s clarity and temperature resistance.
Medical – FEP resin can be provided with radio-opaque fillers such as barium to create catheters which are visible under fluoroscopy. FEP heat shrink is used as a manufacturing aid to reflow softer materials such as Pebax® or nylon for catheter jackets during catheter construction.
Wire Harness – As heat shrink, FEP meets AM23053 Mil Spec standards and is commonly used for its dielectric strength in wire harness applications. Convoluted FEP tubing, typically ordered as Mil Spec 81914, serves as a flexible conduit for protection of wires, cables, and fiber optics from abrasion. FEP wire harness applications are extensive in the automotive and aerospace industries but are also adaptable to many other areas.
Convoluted Tubing – This tubing contains multiple convolutes in series resulting in a highly flexible and maneuverable tubing material. Commonly called flexible conduit, this tubing is used as protective covering for wires and fiber optics in critical areas of aerospace, automotive, and general industrial applications where flexibility, clarity, and performance are key. FEP convoluted tubing meets Mil Spec 81914, is UV resistant, and can operate in temperatures up to 400 °F (204 °C).
Custom Monofilament – Our lightweight monofilament fibers are developed for a multitude of environments, and we offer them in several resins. Our standard monofilament size ranges from 0.003″ (0.076 mm) to 0.400″ (1.016 mm). With a low coefficient of friction and luminous transmission of 96 %, FEP monofilament is one of the most lubricious and optically clear monofilaments available. This monofilament is sterilizable, chemically inert, and biocompatible.
Etching – FEP’s highly smooth surface and inertness works against it when needing to adhere FEP to another material. We have the ability to chemically etch FEP tubing to create a surface that can be bonded to another material. Etching can be done over the length of the tube or for specific lengths on the end. FEP extrusions can also be etched on the inside diameter, outside diameter, or on the tip of the tubing.
Fillers – FEP tubing is available with a number of fillers to further tailor your product for your specific application. Barium can be added to produce radio-opaque tubing that can be illuminated during medical procedures like fluoroscopy. Glass filler can be added to impart additional abrasion resistance; carbon aids static dissipation that can be present in numerous applications; and pigments are available for color specifications. Additional fillers are available by request.
Heat Shrink – FEP heat shrink meets AS23053 Mil Spec standards and has broad applications from covering and protecting critical components from harsh working environments to wire splicing and fiber optics coverings. FEP heat shrink’s chemical and temperature resistance make it a prime option requiring clear component or wire encapsulation.
Multi-Lumen – Our Multi-Lumen tubing contains numerous lumens, or “passages,” to create multiple working channels that run the length of the tubing. Multi-lumen tubing is widely used in medical devices such as catheters as well as in electronic devices and fluid handling applications. We manufacture multi-lumen tubing with tight tolerance capabilities and high quality standards.
- KEY PROPERTIES
Biocompatible – Zeus FEP is non-toxic and USP Class VI approved making it perfectly suited to biomedical and laboratory use.
Chemically Resistant – FEP is unreactive towards almost all commonly encountered solvents including acids, bases, or hydrocarbons.
Excellent UV Transmission Rating – FEP’s UV rating means that this tubing can stand up to UV exposure and not degrade or breakdown. The ability of FEP to withstand this type of UV exposure means that it can be used under sterilizing UV light.
Flame Resistant – FEP tubing is safe to use at elevated temperatures, resists burning, and is UL 94 V-0 compliant.
High Dielectric Strength – FEP possesses exceptional dielectric strength and thus doubles as insulating material when used with electrical components.
High Working Temperature – FEP has a maximum service temperature of 400 °F (204 °C).
Low Absorption Of Solvents – Consistent with FEP’s inert chemical nature, FEP has extremely low absorption of solvents (<1 %).
Many Preferred Traits Over PTFE – FEP’s lower heat shrink temperature (420 ± 50 °F / 215 ± 10 °C) means that it can be used over components that may not be able to withstand the higher heat shrink temperature of PTFE (650 ± 25 °F / 340 ± 5 °C). FEP heat shrink has a lower gas and vapor permeability than PTFE and is less expensive. FEP is also more flexible than PTFE and has greater optical clarity.
Melt Weldable And Thermoformable – In heat shrink form, our FEP is fully weldable when heat is applied and is thermoformable.
More Lubricious Than PFA – FEP has a lower coefficient of friction that PFA resulting in a highly smooth and non-stick surface.
Sterilizable – FEP’s temperature tolerance and physical properties allow it to easily tolerate gamma, ETO, e-beam, and autoclave sterilization protocols.