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Applications of PTFE
PTFE is used extensively in many different industries:
Petrochemical and chemical processing: PTFE is the material of choice for gaskets, vessel linings, pump interiors, washers, rings, seals, spacers, dip tubes and well-drilling components because it is corrosion resistant and chemically inert; it is unaffected by virtually all acids and caustics and functions in environments to 500 degrees F..
Electrical applications: PTFE is one of the best insulators known. In thin sections, it will insulate to 500 volts per mil. There are grades of PTFE which have even greater dielectric strength. It is frequently used in wire and cable wrap, and to separate conductive surfaces in capacitors. Thick walled close-tolerance extruded tubing is the PTFE shape of choice where machining or drilling long lengths to close tolerances is impossible. Multi-hole tubing can be extruded. PTFE can be machined into standoff insulators, and many different types of high voltage encapsulation devices for electrical components.
Semi-Conductor Industry: PTFE is inert, and its operating temperature range is from minus 350 degrees Fahrenheit to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. When made to ultra pure standards it is the material of choice for various items used in chip manufacturing, including encapsulation devices for quartz heaters, and the like.
Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical industries: Virgin PTFE is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the food, beverage, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Thin Film and sheets make an inert, no-toxic slide surface without microscopic depressions where microbes can grow. Conveyancing components – profiles, guide rails and slides – can withstand high temperatures inside baking and drying ovens and other heated segments of the food, cosmetics or pharmaceuticals manufacturing processes.
Laboratory applications: PTFE piping, tubing and vessels are used in various laboratory ware because of their chemical resistance, and inertness. No contaminants adhere to the surface.
Bearing pads: Glass filled PTFE can be cut or stamped into bearing pads, and will resist all weather-related degradation while remaining an inert interface between disparate construction materials, like steel and concrete.
PTFE Compounds: Various fillers can be blended with the PTFE base resin to enhance certain properties, e.g. glass fiber, glass bead, carbon, graphite, molybdenum disulfide, bronze, etc.
PTFE does not melt; it cannot be molded into complex shapes, but must be machined. PTFE is easily machined using standard mechanical woodworking and stamping equipment and tooling. Most shapes are sold slightly oversized for easy trimming and machining to exact sizes.