Fiber Structures
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Materials Information

Have a specific polymer in mind? We can process many other polymers, contact us to discuss.

The following is intended as a general guide to some, but not all, of the materials Paradigm Optics can work with to create optical fiber, capillary tubing, and polymer fiber structures. For detailed technical information, please follow the link to the manufacturer's web site.

Please scroll down for a comparison of these materials' characteristics. If you would like more detailed information on the various materials used, please contact us today.

Common materials: PMMA (acrylic), polystyrene, polycarbonate, etc. have myriad manufacturers. We regularly work with these materials.


Material
Description/Comments*
Link to Manufacturer
PVDF

Polyvinylidene fluoride, or polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) is a highly non-reactive and pure thermoplastic fluoropolymer.
PVDF is a specialty plastic material in the fluoropolymer family; it is used generally in applications requiring the highest purity, strength, and resistance to solvents, acids, bases and heat and low smoke generation during a fire event. Compared to other fluoropolymers, it has an easier melt process because of its relatively low melting point of around 177 °C.

PP Polypropylene (PP), also known as polypropene, is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications. An addition polymer made from the monomer propylene, it is rugged and unusually resistant to many chemical solvents, bases and acids.
PETG PETG or PET-G (Polyethylene Terephtalate Glycol-modified; Eastman Chemical, SK Chemicals, and Artenius Italia are some PETG manufacturers). PETG is a clear amorphous thermoplastic that can be injection molded or sheet extruded.
FEP Fluorinated ethylene propylene or FEP is a copolymer of hexafluoropropylene and tetrafluoroethylene. It differs from the PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) resins in that it is melt-processible using conventional injection molding and screw extrusion techniques. Fluorinated ethylene propylene was invented by DuPont and is sold under the brandname Teflon FEP. Other brandnames are Neoflon FEP from Daikin or Dyneon FEP from Dyneon/3M.
TPX or PMP

Polymethylpentene (PMP) is a thermoplastic polymer of methylpentene monomer units. It is used for gas permeable packaging, autoclavable medical and laboratory equipment, microwave components, and cookware. It is commonly called TPX, which is a trademark of Mitsui Chemicals.
TPX is a lightweight, high temperature polyolefin with exceptional acoustical and electrical properties. TPX has low moisture absorption and excellent chemical resistance. It is often used for applications requiring low distortion of sound waves including sonar covers, speaker ones, and ultrasonic transducer heads. TPX is also used for electrical insulating applications requiring high dielectric strength and low dielectric constant.

ULTEM Ultem is a family of PEI products manufactured by SABIC as a result of acquiring the General Electric Plastics Division in 2007. Ultem resins are used in medical and chemical instrumentation due to their heat resistance, solvent resistance and flame resistance. Ultem 1000 (standard, unfilled polyetherimide) has a high dielectric strength, natural flame resistance, and extremely low smoke generation. Ultem has high mechanical properties and performs in continuous use to 340°F (170°C).
Zeonex Cyclic Olefin Polymer (COP) with good optical properties. Excellent chemical resistance and thermal stability. Several grades available.
"Zeonex is an ultra high purity optical grade polymer widely used in optical applications where Refractive Index stability over high heat and humidity is crucial. It is also used in medical and laser devices due to its exceptional chemical resistance, low fluorescence and optical stability. "
Zeonor Another COP similar to Zeonex. Also exhibits excellent chemical resistance. Several grades available.
"Zeonor is a new family of products that offers an alternative the the Zeonex product line. Zeonor 1020R has practical impact equivalent to polycarbonate with great optical stability. The structure of the Zeonor family allows the Tg range to go as low as 100 deg C up to 160 deg C, while still offering exceptional purity! Zeonor also has exceptionally low fluorescence and is widely used in various medical applications."
Topas An exceptional family of plastic materials, Ticonas Topas COC resins combine excellent transparency, high moisture barrier, high strength and stiffness, and very low shrinkage and warpage.
Udel High temperature, high index thermoplastic.
"excels in many fluid-handling applications. This tough, rigid, high-strength thermoplastic has a heat deflection temperature of 343F (174C), and maintains its properties over a wide temperature range." Several grades are available.
Udel P-3703 NT 05 Recent variation on Udel 3xxx for better optics characteristics.
"UDEL P-3703 NT 05 is a special low color grade of polysulfone designed specifically to serve the needs of the fiber optic/optoelectronic industry. This grade offers light transmittance of 85-87% at 650, 850, 1300, and 1550 nm. This resin also has a high refractive index, nD, of 1.635. In addition to the desirable optical properties, this grade offers the high-performance engineering properties of polysulfone. These include high heat deflection temperature, good toughness, excellent resistance to oxidation and hydrolysis, and stable electrical properties."
Radel R High performance polysulfone thermoplastic.
"For severe applications requiring repeated sterilization or uncompromising toughness, RADEL R polyphenylsulfone stands out. With its high heat deflection temperature of 405F (207C), it can withstand continuous exposure to heat and still absorb tremendous impact without deflecting or breaking. Plus its chemical resistance surpasses that of most amorphous polymers."
THV 220G Optical-grade fluoropolymer.
"THV 220 is a fluorinated terpolymer featuring outstanding flexibility, remarkable optical clarity, good chemical resistance, and high LOI. The THV family can be bonded to elastomers and hydrocarbon based plastics. THV 220 is the most optically clear of the THV family."
THV 500G
"THV 500G has excellent permeation resistance and the ability to be bonded to elastomers and hydrocarbon based plastics. It can be used in automotive fuel hoses as a barrier layer. THV 500 can also be extruded or compression molded into optically clear sheet with oustanding flame resistance. THV 500 can also be used in various film and tubing applications. THV 500 is weldable to itself."
*comments in quotation marks are from each materials' respective manufacturer's website and do not constitute any guarantees, express or implied.

Material Comparison Chart

Material Name
Material Type
Index of Refraction n(d)
Glass transition temperature T(g),°C
Color Notes†
ULTEM 1000
polyetherimide
1.67
217
(translucent) light brown
(poly) carbonate
(poly) carbonate
1.585
140
clear with bluish tint
(poly) methyl methacrylate (PMMA)
(acrylic)
1.49
105
clear
Radel R (R-5XXX)
polysulfone
1.672
220
(translucent) light brown
Polypropylene
Polypropylene
 
160‡
crystalline (white or black)
PVDF
PVDF
 
177‡
crystalline (white)
TPX or PMP
Polymethylpentene
1.463
240‡
(translucent) light brown
FEP
Fluorinated ethylene propylene
1.344
260‡
crystalline (white)
PETG
PETG
1.57
81
clear
(poly) styrene
(poly) styrene
1.59
90
clear
THV 2030G
fluoropolymer blend
1.35
130‡
clear with light haze, best optics of THVs
THV 220G
fluoropolymer blend
1.36
124‡
clear with some haze
THV 500G
fluoropolymer blend
1.35
165‡
clear with some haze
Udel P3700 HC (High Clarity)
polysulfone
1.635*
185*
clear with bluish tint
Udel P3703 NT 05
polysulfone
1.635
174**
light yellow tint
Udel P3500
polysulfone
1.63
185
yellow tint
Zeonex 330R
COP
1.509
123
clear
Zeonex 480
COP
1.525
138
clear
Zeonex 480R
COP
1.525
138
clear
Zeonex 690R
COP
1.530
136
clear
Zeonex E48R
COP
1.530
139
clear
Zeonor 1020R
COP
1.53
105
clear
Zeonor 1420R
COP
1.53
136
clear
Zeonor 1600
COP
1.53
163
clear

*preliminary
**Heat deflection temperature at 264 psi (1.8 MPa)
All data shown above (with the exception of 'color notes') was collected from manufacturers' published data sheets. For more detailed specifications, please contact the appropriate manufacturer.

‡ Melting Point

     

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