What are the benefits of PFA sheathed cables?

PFA is the abbreviated term for Perfluoroalkoxy. It’s a fluoropolymer with similar properties to that of PTFE over a large range of temperatures due to the heightened chemical strength between Carbon, Oxygen and Fluorine atoms. It can be used as a sheathing material for electrical cables.

PFA sheathing can deliver excellent resistance to chemicals, extremes in temperatures, strong mineral acids, lubricants, oils, and inorganic oxidising agents. It also exhibits superior flexibility and increased dielectric strength. A benefit of PFA is its melt processability - it has a lower melt viscosity than PTFE. However, despite its strengths it can react with fluorine and molten alkali.

PFA cables can have used in industries such as medical life sciences, military defence, and aviation. Also, it can be specified in environments where there is high intensity lighting or extremes in environments (both hot and cold).

Key characteristics include:

  • Lightweight, good flexibility and excellent dielectric strength
  • Chemically inert to a wide variety of industrial solvents, oils and chemicals
  • Exceptional dielectric insulation properties
  • Non-stick surfaces and low co-efficient of friction
  • Excellent weather resistance and a wide operating temperature range (-200°C- +260°C)

PFA has been known to be compared to FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene) as the two have similar mechanical properties, however PFA has superior electrical properties and works across a higher service temperature.

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