Polyvinylidene fluoride, also known as polyvinylidene difluoride or PVDF, is a low-weight, high-purity, specialty thermoplastic that is used in applications requiring toughness, stability, and strong resistance to solvents, acids and bases. It is extremely abrasion resistant and is one of the most structurally rigid melt-processible fluoropolymers.
PVDF is commonly used in the chemical, semiconductor, defense, medical, and life science sectors. More specifically, PVDF media is used in western blots for immobilization of protein because of its non-specific affinity for amino acids. Additionally, it has found application in lithium-ion batteries as well as a growing number of applications in the aviation and aerospace sector.
+ Key Strengths:
Compared to other fluoropolymers such as PTFE (2.2 g/cm3), PVDF has a fairly low density (1.78 g/cm3). It exhibits low thermal conductivity and low permeability to a wide range of liquids and gases. Classified by Underwriters’ Laboratories as Self Extinguishing, Group 1, it is flame retardant and retains useful mechanical properties up to 149°C (300°F). It is highly resistant to abrasion and chemical corrosion, and demonstrates good mechanical strength and toughness. PVDF also withstands harsh thermal conditions and long-term exposure to sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet radiation. It retains its properties in high vacuum and gamma radiation and is resistant to most acids and alkalis. PVDF is also valued as a material of choice when its microporous structure will be exposed to ozone or chlorine.
- Key Drawbacks:
PVDF tends to be a higher cost thermoplastic and exhibits low absorbency and less stability in certain environments. Additionally, it tends to be fairly heat sensitive and to have poor resistance to sunlight. PVDF has good chemical resistance, though hot sulfuric acid and hot amines can attack it.