The F! Word… Fluoropolymers

25 Jul

(please read comments, too!)

Thanks to a Dupont researcher back in 1938, most of the high temperature cooking vessels found in our kitchens and now many of our windshield wiper blades have a thin coating of poly-tetra-fluoro-ethylene (PTFE) sprayed on to them. Branded as TEFLON, PTFE has become a household word.

Teflon, in the business of plastic sheet, rod, & tube isn’t applied as a liquid but, rather as a solid – a very bright, white flexible plastic capable of withstanding constant heat upwards of 450-500F and resilient to most, if not all, nasty chemicals found in your average industrial workplace. It is also offers the least resistance to friction of the common plastics found on our shelves. Fluoropolymers also make for excellent electrical insulators and are FDA approved.

Extruded Teflon Tubing

Teflon is a very, very flexible material so where you need some rigidity then fillers such as glass fiber, carbon, graphite, molybdenum disulfide, and bronze can be added. Remember, though, that every additive affects its overall chemical, heat, conductivity, and slipperiness factors.Teflon makes excellent gaskets and it can be welded to form liners but it can’t be glued.

Teflon Tubing

Teflon tubing is very flexible and will crimp if bent to the point where it may cut off circulation. Teflon is blended with polyethylene into “duality tubing” which increase its rigidity but you lose a bit of the higher chemical properties.

Teflon Heat Shrink Tubing

Teflon tape is usually used to seal the joint of air tools and Teflon heat shrink tubing is used to cover an electrical joint, and when heated, it shrinks tight as an insulator.

Teflon is very dense and heavy and is at the higher end of the cost scale because of the process involved in making it. Sheets are usually compression molded and rod and tube are often extruded.

Teflon Sheet Is Usually
Manufactured In 2′ x 4′ Pieces

It cuts like butter and machines to a near perfect finish.

Machined Teflon Parts

We, here at Warehoused Plastic Sales, are pretty proud of the fact that we carry one of, if not, THE LARGEST inventory of ready-to-ship Teflon sheet, rod, and tube in Canada. So, if you’ve got a high heat, chemical, or friction problem then consider Teflon as your solution as well as letting us help you with acquiring your material.


Posted by on July 25, 2007 in Mechanical Plastics


2 responses to “The F! Word… Fluoropolymers

  1. mark

    July 26, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Just to let everyone know that PTFE (Teflon) can be glued but this can only be done by modifying the surface using Acton Technologies “FluoroEtch Safety Solvent” which can be purchased on the web-site
    It is a surface treatment that turns the surface to a Brownish color.

  2. plasticguy

    July 26, 2007 at 9:15 am

    Mark is absolutely right… I never even discussed etching technologies such as his… perhaps he might offer me an article exploring the topic in more detail


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