PTFE stands for polytetrafluoroethylene and has myriads of uses in the industrial and commercial world. This polymer is perfect for its durability and makes for effective seals, which makes its applications even more diverse than other polymers with similar properties. 

In this article, we will be talking about the general properties of PTFE and its chemical benefits. This way, we will help outline the applications of this polymer and its effectiveness. 

What Is PTFE?

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is known for its durability and chemical resistance which is why it has high industrial usage. The tensile strength of this polymer is somewhat limited. Still, otherwise, it is very sensitive to contaminants in the environment and helps in the manufacturing process of multiple ptfe products

Other chemical properties include thermal insulation, which does not allow this polymer to conduct electricity and does not allow for temperature variations to affect it in any way. The chemical composition of this molecule is with carbon atoms that are bonded in a chain. Each carbon atom has two fluorine atoms bonded to them. Fluorine atoms lend strength to the molecule, which adds to the strength and inertness of the polymer. 

What Are The Benefits Of PTFE?

There are many benefits of PTFE that are born out of its non-reactive nature. In general chemistry, carbon and fluorine bonds form some of the strongest bonds, so one can expect decent tensile strength from this particular compound. Its resistance properties are various, and all of them are impressive. 

It is resistant to changes in temperature, water, moisture, as well as electricity. It has complete electric and dielectric insulation properties. The tolerable temperature range of this compound falls in the range of -30°C to +200°C. It is easy to clean and is also non-adhesive. All of these benefits make it a polymer that is in high demand across different industries. 

It is also very cheap as compared to other polymers on the market. The primary application is for sealing different types and O rings. The hardness parameter of PTFE falls somewhere in the range of 70 to 85 IRHD. The only notable disadvantage is that it might lose shape under high compression. It can happen in a manufacturing facility, so the right manufacturers will have to tackle this issue by using rubber to some extent. 

Uses Of PTFE

There is no shortage of uses for PTFE which we will be listing one by one. 

  • It can be mixed with other compounds as a seal and for ‘O’ rings to lend it tensile strength. It is widely used in gaskets for valves and other parts that require heat resistance. It is good for sealing and hence can find some use in manufacturing secure bank safes.
  • It can be made for pipes and containers, especially in chemical factories. It is used for handling corrosive materials which would not be held properly by any other chemical compound. 
  • PTFE can be a source of the compound Teflon, which owes non-stick pots and pans to the culinary industry. It is a significant advantage and allows for a lot of conveniences while cooking sticky foods and reduces cleanup time. 
  • The non-adhesive properties are used in medicine, specifically in the dental procedures of making fillings for cavities in teeth. The cavities can be properly filled and would not stick to the teeth near or above/below them. 
  • It can be used as a lubricant for reducing friction and increasing efficiency. The biggest benefit is on a bicycle chain which reduces the issue of operating the cycle and makes it less prone to breakdown and repairs. The lubrication can also be used for any mobility-related contraption, so it works well for infant car seats as well. 
  • It has electric insulation, so it is used as a covering for electrical wires. It can be easily molded and does not stick to any surface even when the temperature increases, so it makes for the perfect material to cover wires and prevent fires. 

The Takeaway

PTFE is the perfect compound for a variety of applications across different industries. From cookware to mobility, one can expect PTFE to be used in one way or the other. The right compound is not hard to find, and PTFE is also cheaper than other alternatives. 

It has heat-resistant dielectric insulation as a key property, which makes it a good choice for residential, commercial, and industrial uses. PTFE compound is also perfect for being used as a powder (which can be mixed with other compounds), a liquid, or solid acting as a seal.