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THV is a polymer comprised of three different monomers: tetrafluoroethylene, hexafluoropropylene and vinylidene fluoride. Thus, THV is a terpolymer meaning it is composed of three parts (similar to tertiary, meaning “third”). THV monomers are typically joined in this same order: ―T―H―V―T―H―V―T―H―. THV is a melt-processable material that can be made into tubing with a high degree of optical clarity which also has many other desired properties.
THV tubing is among the most flexible tubings made from fluoropolymers, and this tubing has an exceptional flex life. THV’s flexibility is maintained even at low working temperatures. Additionally, unlike many fluoropolymer products, THV can easily be welded or bonded to itself despite its excellent chemical resistance. This polymer resin also has a relatively low processing temperature compared to other fluoropolymer resins. THV can be used in contact with foods in its high purity FDA compliant grade which meets FDA 21.CFR.177.2660 (rubber articles for repeated use) specification.
We manufacture THV tubing that is dimensionally stable. Our THV tubing is available in ultra-low extractables grades for use in critical fluids handling as well as flame resistant grades which meet UL 94 V-0 standards. THV tubing has been used in areas such as biotechnology, chemical processing, semiconductor manufacturing, and automotive industries.
THV’s flexibility together with its superior optical clarity and permeation resistance makes it perfectly suited to demanding applications which also require a melt-processable fluoropolymer.
At Zeus, we offer a wide range of precision custom THV products. Zeus processes THV for use in a number of different forms from conventional tubing, lay-flat tubing, special profiles, monofilament, to multi-lumen tubing.
All of our THV products can be further modified to your needs with the addition of fillers such as glass, carbon, bismuth, and other special materials. Because of THV’s relatively low processing temperature, THV is available with both organic and inorganic pigments to add color. THV is also available in a number of different packaging options including pre-cut coiled lengths, double poly bagged, end capping, clean room packaging, and private labeling.
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. For example, as a terpolymer, the monomer ratio of THV can be altered which thus affects it physical, mechanical, and chemical properties. The properties given here are typical but not necessarily universal due to this variation in resin composition. 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.
Architectural and Protective Coatings – THV has been used as an interlayer material in the construction of safety glass. The interlayer must be optically clear while at the same time hold the glass together safely in the event of breakage. The high temperature and heat resistant properties of THV allow the production of safety glass with a one-hour fire rating. Similarly, THV films have been used as protective coatings for solar panels to mitigate breakage.Barrier Layers – For the automotive industry, THV is used as an integral part of fuel systems to prevent leakage into the atmosphere: As part of an adhesion layer with nitrile rubber (NBR) or epichlorohydrin rubber (ECO), THV is used to form an NBR-THV-NBR or ECO (outer layer)-THV (inner layer) composite barrier to insure fuel is not lost during normal operation. THV also serves as an excellent flexible liner for chemical holding tanks.
Critical Fluid Transfer – THV’s unique properties have produced many new applications for this product including use in multi-layer hoses and tubing for fluid management. THV’s chemical resistance and low permeation make it suited as fuel lines or to carry other hydrocarbons, gases, and even air. These same traits make THV tubing an excellent choice for chemical processing particularly where tight radius bends of the tubing require high flexibility without cracking. High purity FDA approved THV can be used with food. THV’s optical clarity allows visualization of the tubing’s contents. THV tubing has also found its way into semiconductor manufacturing because of its very low permeation and resistance to leaching of extractables. With clean room integrity the highest priority, THV excels in critical applications for semiconductor manufacturing.
Fiber Optics – Optical fiber communication components are commonly made with multiple polymer cladding materials including THV. This polymer’s low index of refraction makes it well suited for optical fiber sheathing.
Glazing – THV is used for viewing windows in tents such as in arctic conditions with the goal of maintaining the windows’ flexibility in low temperatures.
Retractable Tubing – While still a form of extruded tubing, we use a proprietary process to “heat set” THV tubing into helical coils that remain flexible yet recoil or retract when released. Retractable tubing is commonly found in pneumatic tool applications such as spray guns. As a retractable tubing air line, the line is kept out of the operator’s work space. When released, the attached line and tool return to their designated location.
Custom Monofilament – Our performance monofilament fibers are lightweight, developed for a multitude of environments, and available in several resins. Our standard monofilament size ranges from 0.003″ (0.076 mm) to 0.040″ (1.016 mm). This monofilament is sterilizable and highly chemically resistant. THV monofilament is available as a custom order.
Custom Profiles – At Zeus, we are industry leaders in the production of tight-tolerance custom profiles and shapes for our extruded products. THV tubing profiles are unique shapes which you, the customer, tell us you need. Engineered surfaces can be applied to the inner, outer, or both diameters of the tubing. Our engineers, scientists, and technicians have developed the technology to bring unique extruded profiles from concept to reality.
Extruded Tubing – THV’s many preferable properties including broad service temperature range, clarity, flexibility, and chemical resistance have made it adaptable to a range of applications. THV maintains its flexibility down to -58 °F (-50 °C) and has an extended flex life compared to many other polymer tubings. THV tubing can be used to protect its contents from chemical contaminants and mechanical stresses while also providing insulation for electrical uses.
Fillers – THV tubing is available with a number of fillers or additives to further tailor your THV product. Addition of bismuth creates radio-opaque tubing to provide visibility under fluoroscopic procedures. Glass increases heat deflection temperature as well as tensile strength, and carbon enhances electrical dissipation. Because of THV’s comparatively low processing temperature, organic and inorganic pigments can be added for color. Additional fillers are available upon request.
Lay-Flat Tubing – Our Lay-Flat tubing is tubing which is pressed flat and delivered spooled onto rolls or cut to length. This kind of tubing provides a seamless, flexible, and flattened tubing with all of the physical, mechanical, and electrical benefits of THV. Lay-Flat tubing is yet another solution for protection and build-up prevention essential for laser printer rolls, copiers; and fax and paper machines. Lay-Flat tubing configurations are based on your specific needs with all aspects kept confidentially to each customer.
Multi-Lumen – Our Multi-Lumen tubing contains numerous lumens, or “passages,” to create multiple working channels that run the length of the tubing. These channels allow multiple instruments, guide wires (medical), fluids, or gases to be passed through the tube but remain contained within a single outside diameter tubing. Multi-lumen tubing is used in electronic devices and fluid handling applications. Zeus THV multi-lumen tubing is manufactured to tight tolerances and to the highest quality standards.
- KEY PROPERTIES
Bondability – THV shows excellent bondability to many common elastomers and plastics. Thus, THV is frequently used in composite and multi-layer applications. THV can also easily be welded to itself.
Chemical Resistance – While not quite as resistant as its fully fluorinated counterparts PTFE and FEP, THV has very high chemical resistance to nearly all commonly encountered solvents. Solvent soluble grades of THV for coating applications can be dissolved in ketones, esters, and ethers for solution preparation.
Flame Resistant – THV flame resistant grade is highly disinclined to burning and can be used in heat applications up to 302 °F (150 °C). This grade of THV resin meets UL 94 V-0 criteria.
Flexibility – THV exhibits the greatest flexibility of any fluoropolymer and even maintains this flexibility at sub-freezing temperatures.
Long Flex Life – Compared to other fluoroplastics, THV’s superior mechanical properties translate into a very long flex life for this tubing, particularly at lower temperatures.
Low Limiting Oxygen Index – In line with THV’s flame resistance, this material has a limiting oxygen index of >65 meaning that there must be >65 % oxygen present for THV to combust.
Low Permeation – THV tubing shows extremely low permeation to hydrocarbons, gases, and corrosive chemicals. These qualities make THV very amenable to automotive, oil and gas, and chemical processing applications.
Low Water Absorption – In keeping with THV’s extremely low permeation properties, THV tubing exhibits a water absorption of <0.01 % at 50 % relative humidity.
Optical Clarity – THV has extremely high transparency with low haze and excellent transmittance in both UV and visible wavelengths. These properties mean that THV is a good choice where a glass-like clear tubing with good high and low temperature tolerance is required.
Wide Working Temperature Range – THV functions well at both low and high temperatures from -58 °F (-50 °C) up to 302 °F (150 °C); THV maintains its mechanical temperatures especially well even at lower temperatures.