Low Fluorine Testing for ETFE and XL-ETFE Wires
During the degradation process of ETFE and XL-ETFE, fluorine gas is released from the insulation into the environment. While the outgassing is not a problem in open or well ventilated areas, when stored or used in enclosed areas, the fluorine outgas may react with moisture to form a highly corrosive acid (hydrofluoric acid). Numerous system components such as connectors, contacts, and sensors, could be affected by the acid.
Furthermore, the outgassing may also affect the sensors on fiber optic installations. These sensors may become fogged over with the fluorine outgas and reduce or inhibit system performance. Those maintaining or servicing existing systems with ETFE and XL-ETFE installations should consider assessing installed wire insulation and their susceptibility to problems resulting from fluorine outgassing.
Among the systems and components that could be affected by high fluorine gas are:
- Missile systems
- Stored equipment in sealed compartments
- Fiber optic sensors
- Enclosed systems