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Flourinated Polyethylene Provides Chemical Barrier Against Aggressive Liquids.

Flourinated polyethylene provides greater chemical protection recommended for use in secondary spill containment of aggressive chemicals. Certain chlorinated solvents are incompatible with standard polyethylene and require an added barrier of chemical resistance. Flourinated spill pallet and spill decks provide that solvent barrier for greater protection from liquids that attack regular polyethylene.

The fluorination process used in the construction of flourinated spill pallets and flourinated spill decks eliminates or reduces a variety of potential problems associated with the chemical attack of polyolefins including:

  • Chemical permeation
  • Paneling and distortion
  • Product weight loss
  • Container discoloration
  • Odor emission
  • Flavor, fragrance and/or active ingredient loss
  • Interaction of the container with the product

How does the fluorination process work?

Fluorine is chemically bonded to the chain-like molecules on the outermost surfaces of the plastic. The reaction permanently forms a thin fluorocarbon polymer surface layer with increased chemical stability. Once set in place, the fluorine becomes permanent and is not readily removable, nor will it become unbound with time. This flourinated layer produces an outstanding hydrocarbon solvent barrier that is widely used in spill pallets, spill decks, IBC's, packaging and other industries.

This barrier greatly reduces the permeation of a range of fuels, chemicals, solvents, flavors and fragrances. Fluorination effectively extends the application bounds of polyethylene containers, allowing inexpensive polyethylene to be used in applications with aggressive chemicals, such as with agricultural chemicals, solvents, institutional/industrial cleaning formulations, food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics where an untreated container would have limited success in containing the product.

The fluorination treatment is a permanent molecular bonding of fluorine atoms on the exposed surfaces of the polyolefin substrate. The barrier performance resulting from the fluorination treatment lasts for the life of the container, even in multi-trip packaging such as oil drums and IBC's.

Fluorinated containers are much more water wettable than non-fluorinated. This can be detected by observing water beads or spread of dyne test fluids. Generally it is best to perform any test on the inside surface of the container as wettability and dyne tests cannot readily discriminate between fluorination and flame treatment or corona/arc tunnel surface treatments.
Fluorinated containers generally have a detectable loss of subtle indicators, FTIR testing with a surface reflectance sampling accessory (e.g. Harrick, Pike or ASI) to qualify fluorine IR absorbance bands is the most effective method for determining if a container has been fluorinated.

Solvent barrier studies for fluorinated polyethylene have shown that the fluorinated surfaces reduce the rate of permeation for many solvents. The barrier property has been related to physical and chemical properties of the solvent. For instance, solvents having a dielectric constant between 7 and 10 were not retained as well as solvents with a dielectric constant less than 7.

The fluorination process is a computer controlled fluorination treatment, where plastics and other materials are introduced to elemental fluorine in a strictly-controlled environment under specific conditions of temperature, pressure and time. This environmentally safe application is a custom process with strict quality controls.

Natural high density polyethylene (HDPE) resin with low amounts of additives fluorinate best, providing a good chemical barrier that does not have a tendency toward yellowing.


Related Dawg® Products
Flourinated Spill Pallets and Spill Decks






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