Welch Fluorocarbon (“Welch”) was recently mentioned in the press as a potential source of PFCs (perfluorinated compounds). One PFC, known as perfluorooctanoic acid or “PFOA,” has recently been in the news because it has been detected in some wells in the towns of Merrimack and Litchfield in south central New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) has been investigating the cause of the contamination in those wells and has now taken the precaution of asking numerous manufacturers around the state whether they have used materials containing PFCs as part of their manufacturing processes. Welch was one of the companies receiving a letter from NHDES requesting more information.
Welch is pleased to report that PFCs (e.g. PFOA) have never been used, produced, disposed of or emitted at Welch due to the fact that the raw material we use to manufacture components and products, thin fluoropolymer film, has never had PFCs in it when delivered to Welch.
Before being phased out completely in December of 2015, PFCs were used by chemical companies during the polymerization of fluoropolymers. Once the polymerization was complete all of the PFCs were removed during the production of both the pelletized resin and the extruded film. Therefore, the fluoropolymer film we use has always arrived at Welch free of PFCs.
Welch Fluorocarbon takes EHS issues very seriously, and is committed to conducting its business in a transparent and ethical fashion that advocates for the wellbeing of our employees, customers, community and environment.
We have responded to NHDES’s letter in writing, and we will post a copy of Welch’s response once NHDES has had a chance to review it.
Teflon® Simulation Chambers (smog chambers) are designed to create a chemically inert controlled environment that allows users to conduct a wide variety of scientific tests and accurately monitor their results. We are able to manufacture Teflon® (Fluoropolymer) Simulation Chambers large or small and customize them with a wide array of convenient features such as: hanging options, ports, access sleeves, fittings, reinforced slits and more.
Welch Fluorocarbon has years of experience vacuum forming components made from high performance PEEK film. Typical thicknesses of the PEEK film range from .003” up to .030”. Continue reading
Thermoforming / vacuum forming FEP film, sometimes called Teflon® FEP and Norton® FEP, is possible due to its thermoplastic nature. Here at Welch Fluorocarbon, Inc. we have over 27 years experience thermoforming FEP film gauges from .002” up to .090”. Thermoforming FEP film can yield parts with wall thicknesses as thin as .001”.
Parts thermoformed from FEP film make possible long, thin wall thickness that are not possible in injection molding. Continue reading
Parts thermoformed from an extruded thermoplastic film will exhibit tapering in the wall thickness when thermoformed. This makes sense when you consider that you start with a flat film that has a uniform thickness, heat it, and then form it into the mold geometry using pressure, typically supplied by vacuum. The degree of tapering and gauge loss will be different with each mold geometry.
When you melt and “work” a plastic resin at or above its crystalline melt temperature, like in extrusion, the plastic resin likes to remember the physical torture it was put through as it is then cooled quickly. Depending on the type of plastic resin that memory can be large amounts of stress.
Here at Welch Fluorocarbon we pride ourselves on being experts in Thermoforming ultra-thin PEEK (Polyetheretherketone) film into three-dimensional components for the medical device industry. About a year ago Welch Fluorocarbon teamed up with Evonik® (makers of Vestakeep® PEEK film) to draft a press release explaining the benefits of our specialized Thermoforming technique using their Vestakeep® PEEK film.
Our melt-phase thermoforming process using high-performance films is capable of producing extremely thin part walls. Back at the start of 2010 Doug Smock of Design News and our very own Scott Behner teamed up to highlight our Thermoforming expertise. All of the information is still very much relevant today!