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Polymer Info Summary

Polymer fittings and ferrules have proven to be superior to stainless steel in many analytical applications. Upchurch Scientific has compiled the following solvent compatibility information for the polymers commonly used in HPLC.

Quick Reference Polymer Solvent Compatibility Chart:

                   
SOLVENT
Delrin
Halar
Kel-F
PEEK™†
Polypropylene
PPS1
Radel R
Teflon2
Tefzel
UHMWPE
ULTEM
Aromatics
R
R
R
R
NR
R
M
R
R
NR
R
Chlorinated
M
R
M
M
NR
M
M
R
R
M
M
Ketones
R
R
R
R
M
R
M
R
R
M
M
Aldehydes
R
R
R
R
R
R
M
R
R
R
M
Ethers
R
R
M
M
NR
R
M
R
R
M
M
Amines
M
M
R
R
R
R
M
R
M
M
N/A
Aliphatic Solutions
R
R
R
R
M
R
R
R
R
M
M
Organic Acids
NR
NR
R
M
M
R
R
R
R
M
M
Inorganic Acids
NR
NR
R
M
M
M
M
R
M
M
M
Bases
NR
NR
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
M
Sulfinated Compounds
R
R
R
M
M
R
M
R
R
M
M
THREAD STRENGTH*
Excellent
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Fair
Excellent
N/A
Good
Good
Good
N/A
 
MAX RECOMMENDED OPERATING TEMP. (C)  
FEP   PFA
     
Fittings  
60
80
125**
40
50
N/A
N/A   80
80
50
N/A
Tubing  
N/A
N/A
100
N/A
N/A
100***
50    80
80
N/A
125
1 Chemical resistance assumes room temperature use. Elevated temperatures may result in a significant reduction in chemical resistance.
2 While the solvent compatibility of FEP & PFA Teflon is virtually identical, please note the temperature rating differences between them.
R Recommended
M Some solvents in this category are satisfactory, others are not. In addition, maximum concentration can vary with the specific product type and chemical. Please contact Upchurch Scientific for further information.
NR Solvents in this category are generally not recommended for use with this polymer.
* Sheer strength
** In some cases, PEEK fittings can be used to 150 degrees C. Please contact Upchurch Scientific for specific information.
*** Radel is an amorphous polymer, and as such, its upper limit service temperature is application and chemical dependent, and may be higher than 100 degrees C in some cases.
In some circumstances, acetonitrile has been reported to swell and occasionally burst PEEK tubing. Exercise caution when using high concentrations of acetonitrile at or near the maximum pressure of this tubing.

Additional Polymer Descriptions
Delrin® Acetal Resin
Delrin exhibits excellent chemical resistance tomost organic solvents as well as to most neutral-pH aqueous solvents. However, it is not suitable for use with acids, bases, or oxidizing agents. This polymer’s high tensile strength yields superior, highly wear-resistant threads. Delrin’s use in the Upchurch Scientific® product line is limited to threaded products; it is not typically used for tubing or ferrules.

Halar® ETCFE (ethylene-chlorotrifluoroethylene). Halar is a member of the fluoropolymer family. It offers excellent chemical resistance coupled with a mechanical strength superior to Teflon. Halar also outperforms Teflon in ability to withstand radiation, making it an attractive alternative for medical applications. Its exceptionally smooth surface enhances optical clarity while also helping prevent the shedding of microparticles into the fluid stream.

Kel-F® PCTFE (polychloro-trifluoroethylene).
Kel-F has excellent chemical resistance. In general, only THF and a few halogenated solvents will react with it. This resilient polymer is ideal for fittings and sealing surfaces, and is generally used for high pressure fittings and frit containment rings in the Upchurch Scientific product line.

PEEK™ Polyetheretherketone
PEEK polymer has excellent chemical resistance to virtually all commonly used solvents. However, the following solvents are usually not recommended for use with PEEK: nitric acid; sulfuric acid; halogenated acids, such as hydrofluoric acid and hydrobromic acid (hydrochloric acid is approved for use in most applications); and pure halogenated gases. Additionally, due to a swelling effect, be cautious in using the following solvents with PEEK tubing: methylene chloride, THF, and DMSO. PEEK polymer is used extensively throughout the Upchurch Scientific product line to manufacture tubing, fittings, filters and other accessories.

Polypropylene
Polypropylene is a relatively soft polymer commonly used in low pressure applications. Polypropylene is excellent for aqueous solutions; however, it should not be used with chlorinated, aromatic, and some organic solvents. Polypropylene is used primarily for adapters, low pressure fittings and accessories in the Upchurch Scientific product line.

PPS Polyphenylene Sulfide
PPS is a resilient polymer known for its high tensile strength and excellent chemical resistance. PPS may be safely used at room temperature with most organic solvents and neutral-to-high pH aqueous solvents. However, it is not recommended for use with chlorinated solvents, inorganic acids, or any solvent at elevated temperatures. PPS is used sparingly in the Upchurch Scientific line of fittings, and is not normally used to produce tubing or ferrules.

Radel® R Polyphenylsulphone.
Radel R is an amorphous thermopolymer that is mechanically strong and offers good chemical resistance. This polymer withstands repeated autoclave sterilization cycles without suffering themal breakdown. This property, coupled with its optical clarity, makes Radel R tubing an excellent choice for medical and other applications where visual monitoring is essential. Radel R is also readily wetted material, minimizing air bubble accumulation on the inner walls of tubing manufactured with this polymer.

Teflon® FEP (fluorinated ethylene-propylene) and PFA (perfluoroalkoxy alkane)
Both forms of Teflon are virtually inert to all chemicals used in HPLC. However, because of their relative softness and low durability, Teflon polymers are generally used for low pressure applications. Teflon is utilized in the Upchurch Scientific product line for low pressure fittings, tubing and accessories. Choose PFA for high purity applications, or choose FEP for general, low pressure applications.

Tefzel® ETFE (ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene).
As a member of the fluoropolymer family, Tefzel has excellent solvent resistance. Its relatively high tensile strength makes it ideal for demanding sealing applications. While most commonly used solvents do not interact with Tefzel, take caution when using some chlorinated chemicals. Tefzel is used extensively in the Upchurch Scientific product line to manufacture low pressure fittings, tubing and accessories.

UHMWPE Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene.
UHMWPE is a well-known and durable manufacturing polymer. Its physical properties make it ideal for general, aqueous-based environments. Take caution when using this polymer in heavily organic-based applications. Upchurch Scientific uses UHMWPE in its line of pump accessories, filters, and frits.

Ultem® PEI (polyetherimide)
An amorphous thermoplastic offering high heat resistance, high strength and broad chemical resistance. Tubing made from Ultem is transparent and exhibits good kink resistance. This polymer withstands various sterilization methods, such as repeated autoclaving as well as gamma radiation, ethylene oxide gas and dry heat. Ultem meets the criteria for ISO10993, FDA and USP Class VI certification.


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