Throughout the last year, the industry has experienced more difficulties than I’ve come across in my 30 years experience. In the past I have seen sharp price increases, and I have observed several shortages, and delivery issues because of material allocations through resin suppliers. This is definitely the first occasion I have seen all these issues at the same time.
Polytetraflouroethylene (TFE) and Kynar are both on allocation.
This pair of resins are in short supply. The PTFE Sheet product PTFE (TFE) along with Kynar manufacturing requires a mineral called Fluorspar that is mined in Mongolia and China. The worldwide need for this mineral has grown significantly, additionally, the supply has tightened. PTFE materials have high heat resistance, excellent chemical resistance and very low co-efficient of friction (slick) and is utilised in a lot of applications from non-stick fry griddles to ptfe tape for home use. This particular mineral is actually a crucial raw materials in the manufacturing of fluoropolymers, fluorolubricants and many refrigerants.This increase in demand bundled with shortage of raw materials has caused a dramatic price increase (almost double within the last year), shortages, and we expect these two factors to continue in the near future.