AeonClad Coatings LLC has started up a pilot reactor that can coat polytetrafluoroethylene powders with a nano-polymer coating.
“PTFE's unique lubricity, chemical inertness, and electrical properties make it a very desirable material worldwide, but difficulty in processing has always been a limitation until now,” explains AeonClad President Tom Taylor in a news release. “AeonClad's coating process retains PTFE's positive attributes but in a form that allows for easy incorporation into composites.”
Micronized PTFE has potential in diverse markets, according to the Austin, Texas, firm. Possible uses include rubber composites for auto suspension and drive belts and high-speed electronic materials for communications.
In one example, the company coated PTFE and added it to polyurethane and created an affordably priced new composite with the same strength as untreated PUR but with an internal lubricant for reduced friction and wear.
The new pilot reactor uses plasma coating of PTFE. Its capacity is 50 times as great as earlier production levels at AeonClad. The company cited figures prepared by Freedonia Group that predict the U.S. annual demand for fluoropolymers will rise to $2.4 billion by 2016 and PTFE will remain the largest segment of the market.
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