Everything you should know about PTFE (Teflon)

What is PTFE?

PTFE is a material in the family of fluoropolymer plastics. PTFE was the "miracle" fluoropolymer invented in the 1940's by DuPont, although at the time it lacked a market or problem to solve, and was hard to make and process. Since then, it's found numerous uses from kitchen pans to medical uses and even 3D printing. It remains as the classic, original, and gold standard of fluoropolymer tubing. Most other materials continue to use PTFE as a reference for chemical resistance.

What are the advantages of PTFE?

Here is a quick list of PTFE's superior characteristics:

  • Chemical inertness to the largest range of materials
  • Lowest coefficient of friction of any polymer
  • Great in a wide range of applications from electrical wire insulators, fluid flow tubing, medical devices, automotive, and hot and cryogenic (-320 F) uses.
  • Excellent electrical properties - breakdown voltage and dielectric constant
  • High use temperature range of 500 degrees F (260 degrees C)
  • Excellent UV resistance and weatherability

What are some common PTFE products?

One of the most common products is PTFE tubing. PTFE tubing's high viscosity in the gel state (it does not truly melt) prevents it from being processed conventionally in extruders or injection molding. PTFE tubing is therefore dry molded or extruded in hydraulic extruders with (paste extrusion) or without (ram extrusion) lubricants. Paste extrusion of PTFE yields flexible tubing. However, it occurs in a batch process and thus long continuous lengths are limited to the batch size, unlike the melt-processible fluoropolymers FEP, PFA and ETFE.

Where can you purchase PTFE tubing?

You can purchase PTFE tubing right here on Fluorostore, where we have the most available sizes and lowest pricing anywhere online. All tubing is made in the USA.

     

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