Chemically, fluorinated solvents are fluorocarbons also commonly known as perfluorocarbons or PFCs. They are organofluorine hydrocarbon compounds. They could be of the perfluoroalkanes, fluoroalkenes, fluoroalkynes or perfluoroaromatic compound type. In the past few years, various industries have been focusing on the preferential use of environmentally safe solvent usage, which has led to the increasing importance of fluorinated solvents which satisfy this criterion. Besides, fluorinated solvents find applications in a diverse range of industries such as automotive, plastics, electronics & semiconductors, for different end uses. Fluorinated solvents have proven to be high quality solvents in terms of their performance as well as in being brilliant drop-in substitutes for chemicals which have been found to be ozone-depleting, such as CFCs, HFCs and PFCs. Fluorinated solvents are being increasingly perceived as a highly preferred choice by end use industries who have been focusing to protect the health and safety of their employees without affecting either performance or profitability.
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Fluorinated solvents are also known to have multiple desirable characteristics such as being a non-explosive type of cleaning solvent, demonstrating high solvency strength, rapid evaporation ability, and lower surface tension. Fluorinated solvents also have a low boiling point, low surface tension, non-requirement for tests for acid acceptance and no requirement need for stabilizer additives. Use of fluorinated solvents also translates into minimal non-volatile residue. Fluorinated solvents do not contribute to harmful air pollutants and are not hazardous for transportation. Fluorinated solvents also display high levels of compatibility for a wide range of substrate materials, and are adaptable to use in currently used cleaning equipment.
Considering these important aspects of applications of fluorinated solvents, the study of the fluorinated solvents market becomes an important read.
On the basis of product type, the fluorinated solvents market is segmented as follows:
- Nonafluorobutyl methyl ether
On the basis of application, the fluorinated solvents market is segmented as follows:
- Electronics & plastic components’ cleaning
- Solvent carrier for silicone oils, hard disk lubricants, fluorinated greases and anti-rust agents
- Defluxing of printed circuit boards (PCBs)
- Drying element in aqueous system or as part of hydrocarbon cleaning process
- Refrigeration coolant and carrier solvent
- Precision cleaning of molded resin
- Dewatering of optical components
- Precision cleaning of delicate substrates
On the basis of end use industry, the fluorinated solvents market is segmented as follows:
- Electronics & semiconductors
- Plastics & polymers
Key Trends, Drivers
In the last few years, regulatory bodies across the globe have been resorting to either phasing out environmentally harmful solvents in a specific time period or at least having been scrutinizing their harmful effects for a phase out consideration, or have been totally banning their use. Besides, health and safety issues regarding the use of industrial solvents are also being considered while assessing the permits for continuation of their use. For instance, conventional solvents such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have been targeted for a regulatory phasedown by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Also, HFCs are recently on a phase-down schedule under the Montreal Protocol as well.
Fluorinated solvents have been displaying advantages such as proving to be a direct alternative for chlorinated and brominated degreasing solvents, with regard to meeting regulatory compliance from most of the regulatory bodies worldwide. Besides, fluorinated solvents have been advantageous in contributing substantially in terms of mitigating ozone depletion & global warming. They are low odor products, and are non-flammable, low toxicity chemicals. Hence, they contribute to a safer workplace environment, which translates into reduced government regulations and compliance costs. Besides, a very high chemical stability of fluorinated solvents makes them an excellent option for solvent recovery and recycling programs.
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Examples of the market participants in the fluorinated solvents market are as follows:
- The Chemours Company
- AGC Chemicals
- Honeywell International, Inc.
- The Dow Chemical Company
- Solvay sa
- Arkema SA
- H K Wentworth Ltd
- Vantage Specialty Chemicals Ltd.
- MG Chemicals