Like many of the great inventions, Teflon® (PTFE) was invented by accident. It was accidentally invented by Dr. Roy Plunkett. He and his associate were trying to find an alternative refrigerant and subsequently discovered Chemour’s Teflon®. He found that this substance had quite a plethora of useful properties, including high temperature (Teflon’s temperature range is -100°F to 400°F), very slippery, great stability in the face of chemicals, and was not corrosive. This fluoropolymer introduced new potential for change in the world.
Properties of PTFE/Teflon®
In the decades after this discovery, PTFE (the generic version polytetrafluoroethylene) has become a widely used material that is used in countless applications. These applications include: cooking, hair products, automotive lubricants, electrical insulation, and semiconductor manufacturing. Mainly because of Teflon’s® use in non-stick cooking, it has also become a household name. Teflon® has been used in many applications that have contact with food. Oftentimes our customers may become confused when they are discussing PTFE because they think the generic name for this material is Teflon®. However this is untrue; Teflon® is the resin trademarked by Chemour, while PTFE is the generic, scientific acronym for the material. PTFE stands for polytetrafluoroethylene. PTFE has become known for its incredible plethora of properties, including: high and low temperature stability, high chemical resistance, resistance to weathering, electrical and thermal insulating properties, a low coefficient of friction, and low surface energy. This low surface energy contributes to the difficulty when trying to adhere other materials to PTFE. However, with the correct training, adhesives can be applied to PTFE. As a result of PTFEs low surface energy, sometimes O-rings are coated with PTFE to reduce friction. While PTFE admittedly has lower physical properties than most other plastics, it can be enhanced by the addition of fillers. One of the amazing things about PTFE is how flexible its form is. PTFE is available in thicknesses ranging from 1mil to thick plates. PTFE is available in an incredible variety of forms, including tapes, rods, sheets, and tubing. The color of natural PTFE is a pure white.
As a leading manufacturer of gaskets, NEDC has the ability to convert (die cutting, and waterjet cutting) PTFE or Teflon® products with ease. For more information on PTFE or if you have an application you think may need a part made from PTFE, feel free to contact email@example.com.