Fluorination is the interaction/chemical reaction of fluorine gas with a plastic surface. Fluorine is the most reactive element in the periodic table
and reacts with plastic surfaces at room temperature. Hydrogen atoms of the upper polymer chains are replaced by fluorine atoms. New chemical bonds are formed, which are very stable, so that fluorination is a long-term stable effect.
The exchange of hydrogen atoms for fluorine atoms results in dipole moments within the molecular chains. Non-polar, non-wettable plastics become polar and thus wettable. Wetting a surface is the basic prerequisite for achieving bonding strength for adhesives, lacquers, inks or casting compounds on plastic surfaces.
Fluorination can also change the permeability of plastic containers. If the container wall is exposed to fluorine on both sides, a kind of network is formed. This prevents short-chain molecular chains, such as those contained in detergents, coolants, etc., from seeping through the container wall, which in turn prevents the containers from feeling “slippery.”