What Is POREFLON?

POREFLON Microfiltration Membrane Module

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What Is POREFLON?

POREFLON is the trade name for a porous material produced by Sumitomo Electric from 100% polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). We have commercialized the product to meet our customers' needs, with manufacturable pore sizes covering a wide range from 0.03 to 10 µm (microns).

POREFLON has the following four principal features.

First, PTFE offers excellent chemical resistance. POREFLON is chemically stable and does not degrade when exposed to virtually all chemicals.

Second, POREFLON is extremely tough and thus has a long service life.

Third, POREFLON is highly permeable to water thanks to its high porosity. The Illustration of POREFLON shows the microscopic structure of our POREFLON products. The white area is made of PTFE fibers. The black parts represent voids, or pores. The ratio of pore spaces to the total volume is referred to as the porosity. Without strength limitations and other restrictions, the porosity of POREFLON can be increased up to around 90%. A higher porosity implies less resistance to the passage of water and translates into higher water permeability.

Lastly, POREFLON has a high resistance to heat. This is also another of the excellent features of PTFE, the material used for POREFLON. In membrane filtration applications, POREFLON Membrane Modules will function up to 200ºC

Illustration of POREFLON

Illustration of POREFLON

PTFE

PTFE–an acronym for polytetrafluoroethylene–is a type of fluororesin.

Polyethylene is a commonly used plastic, whose molecular structure has four hydrogen atoms (H) connected around two carbon atoms (C), as shown in the illustration on the structure of PTFE. If two hydrogen atoms (H) of polyethylene are replaced by two fluorine atoms (F), you have polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF). In PTFE, all four hydrogen atoms of polyethylene are replaced by fluorine atoms, which have a large atomic radius and thus cover and protect the carbon-to-carbon chemical bonds. Consequently, PTFE is extremely stable, exhibiting high chemical and heat resistance. Nowadays, PTFE is used in abundance by the chemical and semiconductor industries and has already become a general-purpose plastic.

Illustration of PTFE

Illustration of PTFE

POREFLON Product: Flat Membrane

Sumitomo Electric patented its PTFE expanding technology in 1962. Following this, in 1963 the Company began to produce and sell flat membrane and sheet products. Sheet products are used as filter media in cartridge filters such as the one shown in the illustration of POREFLON flat membrane products. Principal applications span from the chemical analysis and reagent research level to filters used to obtain high-purity cleaning agents used in production processes in semiconductor and liquid crystal factories.

Illustration of POREFLON flat membrane products

Illustration of POREFLON flat membrane products

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