PTFE | Uses in Industries and Products
PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), also known as Teflon®, is a fluorocarbon-based synthetic polymer extensively utilized in various industries and products. For example, PTFE is a preferred material for electrical and thermal applications like coil separators and terminals, as well as high-temperature seals, insulators, and bearings due to its low coefficient of friction, excellent electrical properties, high chemical resistance, and stability over a wide range of temperatures.
PTFE comes in two primary grades—virgin and mechanical.
Virgin PTFE is made from unadulterated PTFE resin with no added materials. It retains flexibility at low temperatures, is an excellent electrical insulator, and is very resistant to chemicals. Virgin PTFE is widely utilized in food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic applications and is FDA approved.
Mechanical PTFE is made with reprocessed PTFE resin. Despite having fewer physical properties than virgin PTFE, mechanical grade PTFE is suitable for high-performance parts and non-critical chemical, mechanical, and electrical components and can function at extremely high temperatures. To improve its qualities, mechanical PTFE can be enhanced with various substances. As a result, mechanical PTFE may display more advanced deformation, wear, compressive, thermal, and electrical properties depending on the additive used.
Typical Uses for PTFE
When thinking about PTFE—particularly when it’s referred to as Teflon® —most people think of cookware. But due to its excellent light and UV resistance, weather resilience, high chemical resistance, and effectiveness as an anti-adhesion material, PTFE is useful for a whole lot more.
Because it can withstand corrosive chemicals and materials, PTFE is essential to the chemical manufacturing and processing sectors. PTFE does not melt or degrade when used repeatedly with chemicals and at high temperatures. It can also endure the harsh conditions required for producing and processing chemicals while providing additional safety.
Due to its medical-grade components, PTFE is for cardiovascular grafts, heart patches, and ligament replacements. Additionally, PTFE is a component of products frequently utilized in the medical sector, including sutures, catheters, forceps, and testing tools. The excellent chemical and friction resistance of PTFE, which also complies with FDA rules and safety standards, is essential for many medical equipment and instruments.
Food and Beverage
PTFE is used in pots, pans, and other kitchen and cooking appliances, including microwaves, coffee makers, and waffle irons with non-stick and heat-resistant coatings. PTFE is also ideal for pipe liners, seals, and coatings because it provides effective electrical insulation. It is resistant to wear and can sustain repeated use at higher temperatures than other synthetic resins. PTFE’s well-documented non-stick qualities and food-safe grades make it indispensable to the food and beverage industry.
Due to its high-temperature resistance, thermal stability, leak-proof solutions, longevity, and dependability at high speeds, the automotive industry finds PTFE ideal for engine parts and vehicle exteriors. The automotive sector also finds PTFE’s resistance to the corrosive chemicals appearing in lubricants and fuels highly useful. In addition, PTFE is flame-resistant, durable, and can withstand harsh environments. Some specific uses include shaft seals, valve stem seals, gaskets, and fuel hose lining. PTFE’s water-resistant qualities also make it perfect for wiper blades and windshields.
PTFE is used in producing circuit boards, semiconductor parts, and insulation in the electrical sector. Due to its superior insulation qualities under the most demanding circumstances, PTFE is increasingly used in electronics. The electronics industry particularly likes PTFE’s design flexibility and ability to withstand corrosive chemicals and high temperatures. To make PTFE more conductive for electrical and thermal uses, fillers like copper can be added.
Due to electrical insulation characteristics, PTFE also has uses in the building sector. Because of its resistance to high temperatures, water, and chemicals, PTFE is often used to encapsulate and protect electrical wires. In addition, PTFE coating strengthens and improves construction tools and can be used to create hoses and pipes for gas lines. On top of all this, PTFE’s resistance to abrasion and corrosion makes it sturdy for most construction industry demands.
Because PTFE can withstand temperatures up to 500° F (260° C), it is frequently used in solar panel manufacturing. PTFE possesses incredible heat and cold resistance and UV and weather resistance. Its high durability means it can withstand harsh weather conditions, temperature changes, chemicals, and corrosion.
PTFE enhances the manufacturing process for semiconductors by preventing corrosive substances from contaminating immaculate conditions during chip manufacture. PTFE can be found in various products used to make semiconductor materials, such as resin, coating, and film.
Purchasing PTFE at Piedmont Plastics
Piedmont Plastics carries a full range of PTFE materials, including Teflon®. In addition, we offer virgin and filled mechanical PTFE sheets, rods, and tubes in various sizes and thicknesses.
Contact us, and we’ll put you in touch with our experts, who can help you find the best materials for your project from our nationwide network of over 50 locations.