Polytetrafluoroethylene, better known as PTFE or by its brand name Teflon, is one of the most-used artificial substances in the world and can be found in a wide array of products – including custom gaskets. A custom gasket manufacturer would be remiss if they didn’t include PTFE products in their selection.
PTFE is so popular due to its versatility and some extremely positive chemical properties. However, it’s not a perfect product. Let’s look at both the advantages and disadvantages of PTFE, particularly in regards to its use by a custom gasket manufacturer.
The Advantages of Teflon (PTFE) In Custom Gasket Work
1. Low friction
The best-known property of PTFE, of course, is that it is extremely slippery. This makes it an excellent choice for seals which utilize rotary or reciprocating motion.
Another valuable property of PTFE is its near-total resistance to water and other liquids. This is true of PTFE itself, as well as the seals it creates. Therefore, PTFE gaskets are often a go-to option for applications where the seal must keep liquids contained.
3. Chemical Resistance
PTFE is chemically inert. While not entirely impervious, there are very few chemicals which can successfully attack PTFE. It is generally stable in environments involving strong acids or bases.
4. Heat Tolerance
The melting point of PTFE is approximately 327°C or 620°F. While not the most heat-resistant material available, this is more than adequate for a wide range of applications.
5. Electrical Conductivity
PTFE is an excellent insulator, with extremely low conductivity properties. It’s very commonly used to insulate wires, and can be used in gasket work where currents need to be contained as well.
6. FDA Compliance
Nearly all forms of PTFE are FDA approved as safe for use in food and drug preparation, and it is a constant go-to for that industry.
The Drawbacks of Teflon (PTFE)
There are some issues to be aware of:
- Creep. Because PTFE has very little elasticity, it does have a tendency to slowly deform over time. Belleville washers are sometimes used to counteract this.
- High-temperature fumes. Above temperatures of approximately 260°C (500°F), PTFE will begin outgassing materials which are harmful -if generally nonlethal- to humans. Care must be used with PTFE in high-temperature environments.
Expert Gasket & Seal – Your Top Custom Gasket Manufacturer
We carry a wide variety of materials – including PTFE – to provide the perfect gaskets for any application. Contact us for a consultation on your next project!