FEP tubing / Extruded FEP
FEP tubing, or to give it its full title, Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene tubing, is one of the most versatile materials available for a range of industrial applications. As it is non-toxic and virtually chemically inert, FEP is ideal for use in food preparation and is FDA compliant. It also withstands extremes of temperature, highly corrosive materials as well as highly dynamic applications.
We can provide extruded FEP tubing in a variety of lengths to your requirements, cut as one complete piece or in specified sizes. If you need your extruded FEP tubes to be readily identifiable, we can embed pigment either as a solid colour, to making recognition easier. Please note that a minimum order quantity and development time is applicable.
FEP material compatibility
FEP is a highly versatile fluoropolymer with some outstanding properties which can make it a top choice for tough environments. These include its chemical inertness, low friction and ability to self-lubricate, as well as its non-stick, self-cleaning properties. It is also nontoxic, has a broad temperature range and is non-flammable.
There’s not much which will react with FEP; in fact, the only known materials to cause a reaction are:
- Elemental alkali metals (sodium, potassium, lithium)
- Highly potent oxidisers, fluorine and related compounds
- Sodium and potassium hydroxide at 80 per cent plus concentration and at the upper levels of the operating temperature range
- Blends of finely divided metal powders such as magnesium or aluminium
The list of materials which are compatible with FEP are enormous, but it’s worth checking if you’re unsure as to whether this material is suited to your needs. Contact our team for advice, and we’ll assess which is the right material for you.
FEP vs PTFE
PTFE and FEP are pretty similar materials in terms of their material properties. However, there are some important differences to note when selecting the material for your requirements. Notably, you will know if you are already working with FEP tubing or PTFE, as FEP is completely transparent whereas PTFE is a milky white colour.
More important than this are the different properties of extruded FEP vs PTFE, namely:
- Low melting temperature – significantly lower than PTFE
- Low coefficient of friction, making it better for highly dynamic applications
- Water resistant, with an absorption rate of less than 0.01 per cent
- Huge temperature range of -250°C up to 205°C
- More flexibility than PTFE
- Non-stick capabilities that are even greater than PTFE
- Chemically inert to a greater extent than PTFE
- Resistant to UV, meaning it will not degrade with age
Typically, FEP tubing is the preferred material of choice when any of these factors comes into play. However, it can also be preferable to PTFE if a clear line of sight is required, such as in soil sampling materials or other processes where seeing through the tubing is an advantage. If you’re not sure whether you should be considering extruded FEP or PTFE, talk to our expert team and we’ll be pleased to offer advice.