A fluoropolymer film supplier has segmented its high-performance Korton product line in the face of a lingering resin shortage of fluorinated ethylene propylene, known as FEP.
Wire and cable producers use almost 80 percent of available FEP, largely for dielectric properties for computer printed circuit boards and high-speed data transmission applications. Airplane makers use FEP as a release liner in the bagging layup of reinforced epoxy parts for composite tail and wing sections and other applications such as door frames and lavatories.
Now, Norton Performance Plastics Inc. is offering Korton-brand alternatives for aerospace mold-release liners. Norton lists ethylene tetrafluoroethylene copolymer for 250° F contoured-shape cures and ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene copolymer and polymethylpentene for 250° F flat-surface cures. Both shapes use FEP or ETFE for parts curing at 350° F and perfluoroalkoxy with methyl vinyl ether for those at 450° F.
``Customers of release film could save 10-20 percent [over FEP] depending on which film they use,'' said Paul Ortiz, business development manager of high-performance films for Norton Performance Plastics.
Norton manufactures the melt-processed products in Wayne, N.J., and also plans in 1999 to make the items overseas.
Demand has impacted the two FEP suppliers, Daikin Industries Inc. and DuPont Co.
``All uses and applications of FEP have felt a tightness in the last six to 12 months,'' Kevin Gillespie, national sales manager for the Daikin America Inc. unit, said in a telephone interview from his office in Orangeburg, N.Y. ``We see [the tightness] continuing for a number of years.''
Osaka, Japan-based Daikin makes FEP for Norton in Decatur, Ala. It also makes FEP in Kashima, Japan. DuPont of Wilmington, Del., makes FEP resin in competition with Daikin and processes FEP in Circleville, Ohio, for a film line in competition with Norton.