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Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a fluorocarbon polymer which is a product of tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) polymerization. Strong bonds between fluorine and carbon atoms and specific molecular structure give PTFE a good combination of chemical, physical, electric, antifriction and other properties which can not be found in any other material.

Polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) is a hypocrystalline perfluorochemical ethylene polymer with the melting temperature of about 327. Above this temperature, the crystalline structure degrades, and PTFE turns into a noncrystalline transparent material which does not transfer from the high-elasticity state to the plastic state even at the decomposition temperature (above 415).

Therefore, PTFE is processed into finished parts by cold preforming of PTFE blanks with subsequent sintering.

PTFE has:

  • extraordinary dielectric properties;
  • low dissipation factor and dielectric constant values which very little depend on frequency and temperature;
  • exceptional electric arc resistance;
  • high electric strength (measurements carried out with a thin film (5-20 μm) show that electric strength may exceed 300 MV/m);
  • extremely high chemical resistance due to the shielding effect of electronegative fluorine atoms;
  • resistance to all mineral and organic acids, alkalis, organic solvents, gases and other aggressive media. PTFE can only be degraded by the effect of molten alkali metals;
  • water nonwettabillity;
  • high antifriction properties and very low coefficient of friction.

Due to its high thermal, frost and chemical resistance and antifriction, antiadhesive and dielectric properties, fluoroplastic has a reputation of a high-technological plastic and is widely used:

  • as an anticorrosion material- in chemical industry for manufacturing apparatus, heat exchangers, pumps, pipes, valves, finish tiles, sealing glands, etc. PTFE pipes, seals and gaskets are used in chemical processing equipment which helps produce high-purity products;
  • as a dielectric material - in electric engineering and electronic industries;
  • as material for fabrication of seals and friction bearings (both virgin and filled PTFE) - in heavy engineering for manufacturing parts of machinery and equipment, dry-friction bearings for corrosive media, seals for air compressors, valves, etc.;
  • for production of adhesives and colorants to protect equipment against fouling;
  • in food-processing industry (shaft linings, form coatings, seals for equipment);
  • in medicine (prosthetic devices, transplants, containers, prosthesis holders, etc.).

 

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