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A Complete Guide to Fluoropolymers

What Is a Fluoropolymer?

The high-performance fluoropolymer plastic family is known for its strong carbon-fluorine bonds. Fluoropolymers offer chemical resistance, electrical insulation, and thermal stability, making them ideal for many industrial uses. Some of these include medical, automotive, electronics, and aerospace applications. They come in several types: PTFE, ETFE, PFA, CTFE, PVDF, ECTFE, FEP, Rulon®, and PCTFE. Here, we will explore what fluoropolymers are and the properties of each type to help you choose the ideal solution for your application.

Types of Fluoropolymers

Teflon®/PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene)


Types of Fluoropolymers

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or Teflon® offers several beneficial characteristics, including:

  • High resistance to electricity
  • Low coefficient of friction (non-stick properties)
  • Chemically inert and non-toxic
  • Bio-compatible for medical applications
  • Exceptional resistance to solvents and chemicals
  • Corrosion, weather, and UV resistant
  • Withstands operating temperatures of 260 °C

PTFE’s non-stick properties and heat resistance make it ideal for bearings, insulators, surface coatings, and conveyor belt rollers in the food processing and service industry. PTFE gaskets and linings are suitable for chemical applications due to the material’s chemical resistance, and its high-temperature resistance makes it ideal for insulating external aircraft fittings and jet engines in the aerospace industry. The medical industry prefers PTFE for its bio-compatibility, making syringes and catheters easy to insert without irritating human tissue.

ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene)


Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) offers the following advantages:

  • Long lifespan
  • Lightweight construction
  • Stable at extremely low and high temperatures
  • Can reach B1 flame-retardant ratings
  • Recyclable

Because of its resistance to petroleum, ETFE is increasingly being used for fuel tubing in the automotive industry, as well as for gaskets, o-rings, and hose linings. The electrical industry uses the material for insulating wires and components like connectors.

PFA (Perfluoroalkoxy Fluorocarbon)


Perfluoroalkoxy fluorocarbon (PFA) offers the following properties:

  • Withstands a wide range of temperatures
  • Chemical stability
  • Low coefficient of friction (non-stick properties)
  • UV and chemical resistant
  • High dielectric strength
  • High purity

PFA is ideal for insulating bushings, cables, and wires due to its electrical and thermal resistance. It can coat components and tubes for chemical processing due to its high resistance to most chemicals and anti-stick properties. Its purity and FDA approval also make it ideal for sensitive applications like pharmaceutical and semiconductor handling processes.

CTFE (Chlorotrifluoroethylene)


Chlorotrifluoroethylene (CTFE) offers several beneficial properties, including:

  • Radiation and arc resistant
  • Low coefficient of friction (non-stick properties)
  • Withstands high temperatures
  • Low deformation under stress
  • Remains flexible at low temperatures
  • High dielectric strength
  • Flame and chemical resistant

CTFE is ideal for manufacturing chemical apparatus and fluid handling system components. It is also widely used in fabricating gaskets, bearings, cams, gears, valve seats, stems, and seats. High-vacuum applications use CTFE because of its crack and corrosion resistance.

PVDF (Kynar®)


Kynar® or polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) offers the following properties:

  • Mechanical strength
  • Resists abrasion, chemicals, UV light, and radiation
  • High creep resistance under stress
  • Low water absorption
  • High dielectric strength
  • Withstands high and low temperatures

PVDF is ideal for creating flexible, heat-shrinkable tubing and components like pumps and sensors for chemical processing. The electronics and electrical industry uses PVDF for jacketing, coating wires, and insulation in industrial and aerospace applications.

ECTFE (Halar®)


Ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene (ECTFE) offers several beneficial properties, including:

  • Weldability
  • Hydrophobic properties
  • Resists weathering and UV exposure
  • Smooth surface inhibits bacterial growth
  • Chemical and flame resistant
  • Withstands high and low temperatures

ECTFE is suitable for coating ductwork in the semiconductor industry to prevent contamination and corrosion. The oil and gas and chemical industries use it to line vessels, tanks, and other components. ECTFE films are used in architecture, offering a longer lifespan and a washable surface for glass and windows. Cables and wires in the electronics industry can be jacketed or coated in ECTFE.

FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene-Propylene)


Fluorinated ethylene-propylene (FEP) offers the following properties:

  • Tear and impact resistance
  • Weather resistance
  • Chemical resistance
  • Range of operating temperatures
  • High dielectric strength
  • Low coefficient of friction
  • Weldable and heat-sealable

FEP is ideal for insulating electrical wires, cables, and connectors. It can line chemical processing equipment and tubing. FEP is also suitable for manufacturing thermoformed components and heat-sealable bags.



Rulon® offers the following properties:

  • Low coefficient of friction
  • Resistant to chemicals
  • Abrasion resistance for improved lifespan
  • Withstands a range of temperatures and pressures

Rulon® is ideal for manufacturing piston rings, seals, thrust and flanged bearings, sleeves, skived sheets, bearings, and other components for valves, appliances, air compressors, and printers.

Polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE)


Polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE) offers the following beneficial properties:

  • Low deformation under load
  • High dielectric strength
  • Low moisture absorption and gas permeability
  • Resists wear and stress cracking
  • Suitable for cryogenic fluid service valves
  • FDA-approved
  • Chemical, corrosion, and weather resistance
  • Cold flow resistance
  • Durable and rigid

PCTFE is ideal for components in chemical and cryogenic applications. It is suitable for aerospace plugs, diaphragms, impellers, pumps, and valve seats and can be used in high radiation or nuclear applications. It is also ideal for seals, gaskets, laboratory equipment, and valve linings in liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen applications.

Benefits of Fluoropolymers

Fluoropolymers are a preferred material in various applications and industries due to their favorable properties:

  • Exceptional Chemical Resistance: Will not react or corrode when exposed to most chemicals.
  • High-Temperature Stability: Non-flammable and withstands high-temperature environments.
  • Low Friction and Non-Stick Properties: Reduces wear, prolongs service lifespan, and makes the material easy to clean.
  • Electrical Insulation: Non-electrically-conductive due to their high dielectric strength and low dielectric constant.
  • UV and Weather Resistance: Withstands various types of weather and will not absorb water.
  • Excellent Purity and Biocompatibility: The material will not cause contamination through leaching. It will not cause adverse effects when exposed to living tissue.
  • Mechanical Strength and Durability: Resists cutting and crushing under loads and stresses.
  • Easy Machining and Fabrication: Fluoropolymers are tough yet easy to machine and fabricate into tubing, sheets, films, and other forms.

Fluoropolymers by National Plastics & Seals

Now that we have explained the various types, benefits, and applications of fluoropolymers, you can choose the ideal fluoropolymer for your application. National Plastics & Seals is a leading provider of precision machined and fabricated plastic components with over 35 years of experience in the industry. Request a quote to start a solution for your application.

Metal Detectable Plastics

National Plastics and Seals specializes in metal detectable plastics, bolstering our role as a leading full-line distributor of precision-engineered custom plastic components. Read on to learn how metal detectable plastics are already helping food, pharmaceutical, and packaging industries improve their quality control while maximizing the value of their services.

What is a Metal Detectable Plastic?

Using specialized additives, it’s possible to produce a high-density plastic that shows up on metal detectors. These metal detectable plastics are increasingly essential to maintain safety and improve quality throughout the food industry. By transitioning to metal detectable plastic components, food processing companies minimize the chances of plastic contamination in their products.

This can occur as processing equipment wears down or breaks, which can occur by the slow, gradual release of small bits of plastic that are very hard to detect. However, verifying the presence of metal detectable plastics is easier, but the components are more durable and less prone to wear in the first place.

These core advantages help food and pharmaceutical processing companies maintain the purity and safety of their products while protecting their consumers. It also provides a clear sign of equipment breakdown, indicating the need for essential maintenance services.

At National Plastics and Seals, we have the capability to produce metal detectable plastics from polyethylene, acetal, polyurethane, nylon, UHMW, PTFE, and PEEK.

Metal Detectable Plastic Applications

Our metal detectable, ultra-high molecular weight (UHMW) polyethylene suits numerous parts common to the food and pharmaceutical processing industries. The packaging industry also uses metal detectable plastic parts to keep processing lines free of stray plastic pieces, which reduces the chance of damaged parcels or conveyor equipment.

Any industry dependent on detecting broken plastic parts can now use metal detectors to notify technicians of plastic contamination and equipment breakdown. Most importantly, it reduces risk to consumers, especially with edible or ingestible products. A bottling or canning machine made of metal detectable plastic, for instance, will automatically trigger a metal detector when even small pieces of machinery enters a finished product.

From there, companies can establish various processes to stop and remove contaminated products and investigate the source of the plastic breakdown. By replacing standard plastic components with custom-engineered metal detectable plastics, your company can immediately improve product safety and quality controls while reducing liability.

Metal Detectable Plastic Benefits

Metal detectable plastics from National Plastics and Seals can help you meet or exceed some of the highest industry standards for product safety. Consider the full range of benefits metal detectable plastics provide compared to traditional plastic parts:

  • Ultra-detectable by both X-rays and metal detectors with special formulation
  • Many metal detectable plastics feature a characteristic blue color for easy visual identification
  • Resistant to wear and abrasions
  • FDA-approved for direct food contact

Why Choose National Plastics & Seals

We back our innovative metal detectable plastic services with a commitment to lean manufacturing and ISO 9001:2015 industry standards, for final products that always conform to the customer’s specifications. Through superior technical support and client services, we’re always looking for new ways to bring value to your operations.

In business since 1985, National Plastics and Seals is known as “standing above the crowd” in meeting your requirements of quality, reliability, competitive pricing, technical support and unsurpassed service. It has guided us to our current role as a fully in-house provider of specialty custom plastic manufacturing solutions. We also provide extensive distribution services for the following:

  • Plastic sheet, rod, and tube
  • Heat shrink tubing
  • Rubber components

For more information, contact us or request a quote, and tell our custom plastic fabrication and manufacturing experts about your metal detectable plastic needs.

Plastic Parts & Components Machined for Automation Equipment

Let’s explore plastic parts machining and its potential applications within automation equipment. We will also discover why producing good quality  parts is critical in the automation industry and where to find reliable vendors with expertise in manufacturing services.

Plastic Parts

High-Quality Plastic Machined Components for Automation Equipment

Today’s automation equipment is becoming increasingly advanced and thus requires high-quality plastic machined parts to work efficiently. These custom-made parts are designed for tasks requiring custom automation equipment, ensuring the process runs smoothly without any operational problems.

  • Bushings: Bushings are an essential component of many engineering projects. They help reduce friction and wear on moving parts, allowing for more efficient equipment operation. Bushings can be made from various materials, including Rulon® and acetal.
  • Guide Rails: Guide rails are a cost-efficient and reliable way to ensure precise linear movement. Made with UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene), guide rails offer superior durability in challenging industrial environments.
  • Rollers: Rollers are essential to manufacturing equipment, such as conveyor systems. They are usually made from Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW) or High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE).
  • Fabricated Nozzles & sprayers: These nozzles and sprayers are designed to meet each customer’s requirements and ensure precision in spraying liquids or materials, ultimately providing greater efficiency, accuracy, and cost savings.
  • Flat Panels: Flat panels, or flat sheet materials, are versatile products made with advanced automation equipment. These panels provided an ideal solution for many applications, made out of different plastics like acrylic and polycarbonate. Both materials offer superior impact resistance, strength, and durability.

Benefits of Plastics in Automation Equipment

Plastics are an essential part of automation equipment, providing several benefits. Plastics offer lighter-weight components that require less energy to move and operate. This can greatly reduce the power needed for operation, reducing energy costs.

The impact resistance of plastics makes them an excellent choice for applications such as shock or vibration absorption, further reducing wear and tear on other components within the system.

Plastic Machined Parts & Automation Equipment

National Plastics & Seals, Inc is the perfect choice if you’re looking for top-of-the-line precision machined plastic parts. We specialize in creating exceptional-quality pieces and can rapidly produce a full range of plastic products to meet your specific needs.

Our state-of-the-art facilities and knowledgeable staff guarantee that each customer receives the highest service and support. Whether for automation equipment or other applications, we are here for all your manufacturing needs.

With our extensive fabrication capabilities, we ensure you get parts that exceed expectations in terms of efficiency and accuracy. So don’t hesitate to contact us today or request a free quote, and we can start your project!

How Does Heat Shrink Tubing Help Electric Vehicles?

Electric vehicles (EVs) make up a rapidly-increasing segment of the automotive market. As green technology and environmentally friendly initiatives continue to influence the automotive industry, many large-scale original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are focusing more exclusively on EV production.

This massive market shift places critical importance on EV batteries. Electric vehicle batteries must be properly encapsulated and secured, using specialized materials that protect from environmental conditions while increasing dielectric strength and reducing flammability. This article will discuss how to heat shrink wrap an EV battery, and the benefits heat shrink tubing delivers.

Heat Shrink Tubing

How to Heat Shrink Wrap a Battery

Heat shrink tubing is an effective method of sealing and protecting electric vehicle batteries. It not only provides protection from weather conditions but short circuits as well. To shrink wrap a battery, you must follow these steps:

Choosing Heat Shrink

While many types of heat shrink are available, a large diameter, thin PVC heat shrink is an effective choice for EV battery applications.

Sizing the Heat Shrink Tubing

Heat shrink is available in rolls and is measured by its expanded inside Diameter (ID) and recovered ID. To calculate the size needed for a given application, the perimeter of the battery must be calculated. Most heat shrink has a shrink ratio of 2:1 and should be less than twice the battery’s size. It’s important to choose a size that will fit snugly on the battery.

Benefits of Using Heat Shrink Tubing on Electric Vehicle Batteries

Heat shrink tubing delivers many significant benefits for electric vehicle batteries. For example, it provides reliable protection against many types of challenging environmental conditions. Without exposure to factors such as humidity, oils, grease, chemicals, and other substances, the battery along with its wiring and cables can perform optimally for much longer. Other benefits include:

  • Insulation. Heat shrink tubing provides an additional layer of non-conductive insulation between the battery and anything that might come into contact with it. Thicker insulation facilitates better energy transmission and adds an additional level of safety.
  • Cable stress reduction. Wiring and cables receive increased mechanical support and protection against exposure to environmental conditions when heat shrink tubing is used. Heat shrink also ensures cables aren’t stretched or confined to areas of insufficient space.
  • Corrosion resistance. While the metals used in cables and wiring can be made to be corrosion-resistant, insulating them with a reliable material is the only way to ensure they are fully protected from corrosion. Heat shrink tubing is highly effective at protecting batteries and wires from corrosion.


Heat Tubing

Why Our Clients Choose National Plastics and Seals for Heat Shrink Tubing Electric Vehicle Batteries

National Plastics and Seals has over 30 years of experience delivering heat shrink tubing solutions. We offer a comprehensive selection of heat shrink tubing products, including a wide range of shrink ratios, materials, sizes, and colors.

Value-Added Services

To meet the unique needs of each application, we offer several value-added services, including:

  • Cut to length. Utilizing state-of-the-art tube cutting machines, National Plastics and Seals cuts heat shrink tubing to any desired length from spools or 4 ft. sticks.
  • Printing and marking. Customer part numbers, serialization, and sequential numbering can be added using the latest heat shrink printing technology.
  • Customer requirements. We comply with PPAP, REACH, COC, RoHS, and other material certifications. We can also meet military and major commercial specifications.

National Plastics and Seals supplies heat shrink tubing with inside diameters that range from 3/64 in. to 6 in., and lengths ranging from 4 ft. to 1,000 ft. spools. Heat shrink solutions from National Plastics and Seals meet stringent international specifications and deliver high flexibility even in low-temperature conditions. Our products help protect against punctures, ultraviolet radiation, diesel, petrol, and many other chemicals, which is extremely important for EV batteries. Additionally, the broad selection of color options we carry allows for easy wire color-coding.

National Plastics and Seals for Heat Shrink Tubing Solutions

Batteries used in electric vehicle applications are exposed to many challenging environmental conditions that can be highly damaging. Heat shrink tubing safeguards against these risks and helps ensure a longer and more reliable battery and wire lifespan. As an industry leader in precision fabricated plastic components, National Plastics and Seals delivers highly effective heat shrink tubing solutions that meet even the most stringent specifications. Learn more about our products and services by requesting a quote today.

Engineering Plastics to Use in Precision Machined Parts

Precision machining is a controlled manufacturing process used to manufacture high-precision parts out of various materials, such as plastics. Precision machined plastic parts are found in nearly every industry, valued for their lightweight and versatile properties. Here we’ll discuss the most common materials used in precision plastic machining and their respective benefits.

Popular Plastics for Precision Machined PartsEngineering plastics

Precision machining, specifically computer numerical control (CNC) machining, is compatible with a wide range of plastics. CNC machining is an automated, computer-controlled manufacturing process. Here is an overview of the best types of plastics to use for precision machining.


Acetal has a slippery surface and impressive wear resistance. It is common in valve components, bearings, and gears.


Nylon is a type of low-friction engineering thermoplastic with excellent chemical resistance, abrasion resistance, and high impact strength.

Polyetheretherketone (PEEK)

PEEK is a lightweight, durable thermoplastic valued for its unique combination of mechanical properties. It is resistant to wear, liquids, fatigue, creep, chemicals, and high temperatures up to 260 °C. 

Polycarbonate (PC)

PC is a tough, lightweight plastic that can withstand high heat and has good electrical insulation properties. Polycarbonate sub-types include:

  • Abrasion-resistant PC
  • Glass-filled PC
  • Static dissipative PC
  • Bullet-resistant PC

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

PTFE—also known as Teflon®—is a high-performance polymer with impressive physical and mechanical properties, including resistance to chemicals, water, UV, light, high temperatures, moisture, fatigue, and weathering. PTFE is also popular for its low coefficient of friction and corrosion resistance. 

Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS)

PPS is a high-temperature engineering thermoplastic that can withstand up to 200 °C for extended periods of time. It is the best material choice for complex parts with tight tolerances because of its dimensional stability under temperature and humidity fluctuations.

Benefits of High-Precision Machined Plastic Parts

Each plastic type stands out for its distinct mechanical and physical properties. They each have applications for which they are best suited when precision manufacturing parts. Below are the benefits of these commonly used plastics.


  • Wear resistance
  • Good stiffness
  • Dimensional stability
  • Heat resistance
  • Chemical resistance


  • High impact strength
  • Chemical resistance
  • Abrasion resistance


  • High resistance to chemicals, wear, fatigue, and high temperatures
  • Lightweight
  • Recyclable
  • Biocompatible
  • Insoluble in most solvents


  • Lightweight
  • Clarity
  • Tough 
  • Good electrical insulation
  • Transparency; excellent light transmissivity


  • Anti-adhesive
  • Chemical resistance
  • High-temperature resistance
  • Light and UV resistance
  • Wear resistance
  • Fatigue resistance
  • Water resistance 
  • Creep resistance  


  • High-temperature resistance
  • Good electrical insulation
  • Dimensional stability
  • Chemical resistance
  • High tensile strength

High-Precision Machining at National Plastics and Seals

At National Plastics and Seals, we pride ourselves on our in-depth expertise with polymeric materials and high-precision machining. We work with a wide range of plastics, including nylon, PTFE, PEEK, polycarbonate, PPS, and acetal. We are uniquely equipped to partner with you on material selection based on your specifications. Contact us to discuss your project, or request more information to learn more about our products and services. 

Choosing the Right Heat Shrink Tubing

Heat shrink tubing provides added protection and is a common choice for securing wires and electrical connections. Choosing the right heat shrink tubing is the key to a smooth project. Some of the best ways to ensure you’re making the right choice is to:

  • Consider the application environment, such as temperatures, weather, potential contaminants, and more.
  • Ensure it meets the right certifications and standards for your industry.
  • Based on your application’s needs, decide the color, expanded ID, recovered ID, recovered wall thickness, and material.

In this guide, we’ll go over the various factors to keep in mind when choosing the best heat shrink tubing, as well as their common materials.

Heat Shrink Tubing Considerations

Because heat shrink tubing protects wiring and electrical lines from the environment, it needs to be able to keep all potential environmental hazards at bay. The exact conditions can vary from location to location, so it’s important to keep these heat shrink tubing considerations in mind:

Abrasion or Flex Damage

Electrical lines and wiring will shift over time. Above-ground installations may be bumped, moved, or pushed against; even below-ground installations may encounter some flex as the ground expands and compresses in the weather. The right heat shrink tubing material will be able to handle the physical hazards in your intended application environment. 

Arc Flash

An arc flash occurs when an electric current leaves its path and travels through the air to the ground, or from one conductor to another. In this case, the proper heat shrink material would encase the wiring and provide sufficient resistance to ensure electrical current stays on course.

Exposure to Chemicals

Almost no locations are free from the risk of chemical contaminants. Assess the likely chemicals, including solvents, chemical salts, oils, and greases, present in your application environment. You may need specialized materials or multiple/thick layers of protection to ward away particularly caustic or pervasive substances.

Exposure to the Elements

In outdoor or partially enclosed environments, protection against harsh temperatures isn’t enough. The material must also be strong enough to withstand rain, snow, abrasive winds, and direct or indirect UV exposure.

Exposure to Temperature Extremes

Very cold or very hot climates present different risks to the effectiveness of heat shrink tubing. Even if the line is buried and out of direct exposure, temperatures can reach deep into the ground. Make sure you choose a heat shrink tubing material that can withstand extreme heat and cold, or large variations in temperature. 

Fire Risks

The heat shrink tubing you choose needs to both halt the spread of a fire and mitigate the risk of an external flame from reaching and damaging the wires; this is also referred to as flame-retardancy.


Virtually every environment will have moisture, ranging from ambient humidity to rainfall or even proximity to marine spaces. Determine the amount of water, frequency of exposure, and duration of exposure the heat shrink material needs to be able to protect the wiring against.

Common Heat Shrink Materials

Now that you know what to look for, consider the properties of commonly used heat shrink materials to find the right fit for your needs. Common material options include:

  • Fluoroelastomers. This material is flexible, even at cold temperatures. It can also resist diesel and fluid damage.
  • Fluoropolymers (PTFE). PTFE has multiple grades, including a medical grade variation. This material can also operate reliably across hot and cold temperatures.
  • PET. Polyethylene terephthalate is strong, clear, and comes in food-safe options.
  • Polyolefins. This material is well-regarded for its insulative ability. It can be used in a wide range of manufacturing and industrial use cases.
  • PVC. PVC is flexible, easy to work with, and can handle physical impact without degrading. However, it does have a relatively low-temperature resistance.

Choose Heat Shrink Tubing From National Plastics & Seals, Inc.

Choosing the right thickness, material, and characteristics of your heat shrink tubing can make all the difference for protecting electrical wiring long-term. At National Plastics & Seals, we specialize in formulating and producing high-quality heat shrink tubing that can work in a variety of conditions. We excel at customer service and meeting the needs of clients with custom projects and specifications. Contact us today to learn more about our products or request a quote to get started.