Polyetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

Polyetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

Qseals manufactures numerous products with PTFE. Qseals has extensive machining capabilities, including turning, milling and CNC machining of PTFE bar stock. Polyetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is better known to the general public under the brand name Teflon and has the lowest coefficient of friction of all plastics.

PTFE is a chemical compound discovered in 1938 by Roy Plunkett in the Jackson Laboratory of the DuPont company in the USA. Plunkett applied for a patent on the fabric, which was granted on February 4, 1941. Teflon was introduced as a commercial product in 1949. The material has been used in manned space travel as a heat shield, as a coating for space suits and as an insulation material for cables. The first lunar lander contained more than a hundred kilos of Teflon. The spaceflight experience allowed production to become cheaper, while the myth of miracle material fueled sales.

Pure PTFE has optimal properties when it comes to chemical and temperature resistance. However, by itself the material is often too hard to be used as a seal or O-ring. In its pure form it can really only be used as a static seal. The perfect properties of the material therefore come into its own better in a compound, such as Kalrez O-rings. These perfluoroelastomers are the most evolved compounds for corrosive applications.

Teflon is very little reactive and is therefore used in all kinds of applications for storage and transport of reactive chemicals. The melting point is 327°C.

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