PTFE sounds like a lot of scientific, technical mumbo jumbo. However, you might be surprised to learn that PTFE is a lot less complicated than you thought. In fact, you probably have some PTFE in your kitchen right now.
PTFE is better known by its brand name: Teflon™. You likely have a collection of non-stick pots and pans that are coated with PTFE. PTFE stands for polytetrafluoroethylene. It was actually discovered by accident in 1938 by scientist Roy Plunkett. Within 10 years, PTFE had hit the commercial market under the brand name Teflon™. Of course, Teflon™ is best known for its non-stick properties.
It is not just for cooking, though. PTFE is also used in industrial coating applications for products such as aerospace, automobiles and electronics. In one of its most high tech applications, PTFE is used in the construction of igniters for rocket propellants. PTFE is also used to coat certain types of bullets. The low friction properties of the PTFE prevent wear on the gun from the bullets passing through the barrel.
PTFE is so strong and durable that it was used during World War II to protect the building where the first atomic bomb was developed. The building measured more than 2,000,000 square feet, and contained a large amount of uranium hexafluoride. Uranium hexafluoride is highly corrosive, but a coating of PTFE prevented these radioactive materials from leaking out of the building.
PTFE has more ordinary applications, as well. In fact, you probably have some application of PTFE in almost every room in your house.
- PTFE is often used in shoes, insoles, and orthotics to reduce friction and prevent blisters and callouses.
- It is also used as sealing tape for plumbing — the tape that joins your pipes under the kitchen sink may very well contain PTFE.
- It can also be used for insect control. When a surface is painted with PTFE, it becomes so slippery that bugs can’t climb it.
- PTFE can be found in your garage, as well. It is often used in coating car parts. PTFE is particularly well suited for use in coating parts like ball bearings and gears, because it resists friction so well, which keeps your car running smoothly.
- You may even be using PTFE right now; the bottom of your computer mouse is sometimes coated with PTFE to reduce friction and improve tracking. PTFE is ideal for use in electronics, because it is an insulator and non-conductive.
- In the medical field, PTFE is sometimes used in bypass operations to replace a vein graft when a vein graft isn’t available.
- Perhaps the largest application of PTFE is on the roof of the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. That roof is coated in 20 acres of PTFE.
- In an industrial coating application, PTFE is used in a two coat system, including primer and topcoat. In addition to offering very low friction and abrasion, PTFE coatings have the highest operating temperature of any fluoropolymer; in fact, it can withstand temperatures up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. PTFE coatings also have good chemical resistance.
When you need a PTFE coating for your product, contact Toefco Engineered Coating Systems. They offercustom coating services for your products. Toefco is extremely flexible in the options that they present, because they want to make sure that you get the best quality product at the most reasonable price.