Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene, commonly referred to as ETFE, is a form of fluoropolymer. Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene is a lubricious plastic with low coefficient of friction, due to which it is used for applications requiring abrasion protection. In production of ETFE, the monomer tetrafluoroethylene is transformed into polymer ethylene tetrafluoroethylene using polymerization and does not involve use of any solvent. In further processing, the material is extruded to varying thicknesses depending on application. The ability to endure high temperatures and tough environments makes Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene a worthy choice for numerous applications such as medical, aerospace, nuclear and instrumentation industries.
In automotive industry, Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene wiring is used in oxygen sensors, ABS braking systems, brake wear sensors, and seat heating systems. It also provides a durable jacketing material that easily slides over fiber optics without causing damage and thus, is widely used in the chemicals industry. Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene is a lightweight compound and has high translucency (95%) and can be used for any application that requires high temperature resistance, chemical resistance, radiation resistance, and good electrical properties. Owing to properties such as high mechanical toughness and resistance to high-energy radiation it is used for wire coatings in the aerospace and aviation industries.
Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene Market Taxonomy
On the basis of type of material, global market is classified into:
On the basis of product type, the global market is segmented into:
On the basis of application, the global market is segmented into:
On the basis of end use industry, the global market is segmented into:
Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene wires are used in aviation wiring, aerospace, nuclear, electronics, medical, and appliance wiring. It offers high purity, excellent chemical and abrasion resistance, high impact strength, good resistance to permeability, and resistance to heat sterilization and radiation. Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene coating is used as a dual laminate and bonded to FRP for use in pipes and tanks. It is sterilizable with further processing which includes gamma irradiation, ethylene oxide, and autoclaving. Due to high degree of chemical inertness ethylene tetrafluoroethylene tubing is used in a medical setting and is Class VI approved.
Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene Market Outlook – Need for Robust and Lightweight Materials Expected to Boost the Demand
Rapidly growing construction, automotive, and chemicals industries coupled with rising demand of lightweight and durable materials has boosted growth of the ethylene tetrafluoroethylene market, Asia Pacific being one of the largest contributors to the market. This is mainly attributed to rampant growth of the automotive and construction industries in the region. According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian plastics industry exported plastic products worth USD 7.64 Bn. Factors such as availability of materials and cheap labor have attracted the manufacturers towards the region, thus boosting growth of market.
Fluctuating raw material prices is a major restraining factors for growth of the global ethylene tetrafluoroethylene industry. Research and development for increasing the applications of ETFE is one of the key strategies followed by the top players in the market. Foiltec is presently testing the capabilities of attaching photovoltaics to ethylene tetrafluoroethylene panels for use as an insulating 'nanogel' which will enhance thermal properties of the panels. Some of the major companies operating in the global ETFE market are Daikin Industries Ltd., E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Dyneon GmbH, Quadrant AG, Asahi Glass Company, Guangzhou Lichang Fluoroplastics Co. Ltd., Hubei Everflon Polymer Co. Ltd and Ensinger GmbH.
Increasing adoption of ETFE in the development of polymer electrolyte membranes is expected to boost the market growth. For instance, in July 2019, researchers from Clausthal University of Technology, Germany, reported fabrication of polymer electrolyte membranes by graft copolymerization of 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid and acrylic acid on poly (vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and ETFE activated by electron beam treatment.
Similarly, in November 2018, researchers from Clausthal University of Technology reported fabrication of polymer electrolyte membranes via radiation-induced graft copolymerization on ETFE using the crosslinker n,n′-methylenebis(acrylamide).
Increasing R&D activities related to ETFE is expected to boost the market growth. For instance, in May 2019, researchers from University of Lleida reported investigation of the energy and luminous performance of an organic photovoltaic /ETFE glazing element for building integration.