Molecular weight and crystallinity are two factors in PTFE that determine many of it's performance qualities. Both of these properties are highly dependant on the sintering operation of the PTFE production. If the material is cooked (sintered) too long or at too high a temperature it can degrade the polymer. Molecular weight is a measure of the polymer chain length and it affects flex life, tensile strength and elongation. As molecular weight increases so do these properties and paying attention to gel temperatures and dwell times during sintering is extra critical.
Crystallinity of PTFE can vary considerably depending on processing. This value can be seen in small variations in the specific gravity although in practice most PTFE materials fall in the 50-60 percent crystalline percentage. Increasing crystallinity decreases flex life, increases compressive stress and decreases recovery values, permeability and wear life. Other properties of PTFE, such as thermal, chemical, electrical and friction, are not generally affected by crystallinity changes.
So, sintering and other processing steps do a make a difference in deterimining the quality of PTFE. If you need to maximize the performance of your PTFE parts, including Rulon, Fluorosint, Ultraflon or even generic products, be sure you contact Tri Star Plastics first. We can help you select the right material and the right process.