Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is an opaque, white fluoropolymer that is chemically created by free radical polymerization or multiple tetrafluoroethene molecules. PTFE is suitable for a wide range of applications in industries like automotive, aerospace as well as telecom.
PTFE is typically produced in the form of tubes or rods and comprises additives like stainless steel or carbon to boost strength and wear resistance.
If you were looking for a material that displays exceptional resistance to heat, chemicals, electricity while being highly flexible, you are actually looking for PTFE.
The material has a melting point of around 327 degree Celsius and is chemically inert. PTFE is also chemically stable between temperatures as low as -200 degree Celsius and as high as 260 degree Celsius without showing any signs of degradation.
Other highlighting properties of PTFE include:
Exceptional flexural strength, even in low temperatures
- High electrical strength
- High dielectric strength
- High resistance to water
- Lower coefficient of friction
- High density (2200kg/m3)
In fact, PTFE is so chemically inert that, beyond being reactive to only a few chemicals—that too at high pressure and temperatures—the only thing you need to consider is that high energy radiation.
PTFE molecules tend to start breaking down under high energy radiation.
Properties Of Filled PTFE
While pure PTFE is subject to deformation under pressure, there are additives that can help. However, not all types of filled PTFE (modified) can be used in food and beverage applications.
Adding a filler to virgin PTFE can enhance its strength, add in electrical conductivity and enhance resistance to abrasion. On the other hand, fillers can also affect some of PTFE’s beneficial properties like chemical resistance.
From graphite to steel, fillers are usually dependant on the types of properties that need to be improved.
Benefits Of PTFE
The most important benefit of PTFE is the wide range of applications. From the outstanding benefits in engineering and manufacturing PTFE coatings can also be used to make parts like screws and bearings resistant to corrosion.
Some of the most important concerns regarding bearings and screws are wear and friction, both of which can be minimized using PTFE coatings. It also makes components exceptionally resistant to heat.
PTFE is also non-toxic and is food safe. It is also FDA approved, making it beneficial in a number of ways.
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