PTFE, short for polytetrafluoroethylene, is a polymer that has made significant improvements in many fields since its discovery. Being highly non-reactive to corrosive chemicals and extreme temperatures, UV ray resistant, and giving rise to low friction, PTFE has many roles to fill in making the modern man’s life easier. What makes the material resistant to reaction is the strength of the highly stable bonds between the carbon and fluorine molecules. This property allows PTFE to continuously work at extreme temperatures without losing its properties.
PTFE is also a wonderful insulator of electricity and does not absorb water when exposed to it. It also prevents the growth of mold and other microorganisms on the surface. All these properties of PTFE make it a vital component in the automotive industry, medical field, optical devices, and even in the shoemaking business. Perhaps, most people recognize PTFE as the Teflon coating found on the surfaces of their cookware.
Benefits of PTFE
PTFE as a coating on numerous materials protects the surface regardless of the condition it is exposed to. With proper preparation before application, a layer of PTFE coating can improve the performance of the protective coating. PTFE coatings have properties such as being non-stick and release. It is also non-wetting in nature and can stand any temperature from -270°C to +260°C.
The feature that makes PTFE in the automotive industry is its low friction and abrasion resistance. Just like an ideal layer of protective material, PTFE-coated surfaces are resistant to corrosion and chemicals. PTFE can help prevent galling in aluminum, steel alloys, brass, and many metals. The high dielectric strength and bulk resistivity are other characteristics of the material that helped it become of such importance.
Applications of PTFE
To prevent the corrosion of the inner walls of pipes due to exposure to strong chemicals, PTFE coatings are applied to industrial equipment. These coatings can also save a lot of expenses by protecting the pipes from heat damage as well. Reducing a significant amount of wear and tear, PTFE coatings also increase the endurance capacity of the equipment.
Since PTFE has a considerably high melting point and significant endurance capacity when it comes to pressure and heat, the material comes of great use in electrical wiring. Aerospace wiring is another area where PTFE coatings are used for the same purpose. They are good insulators that can be used for connectors and in microwaves.
PTFE is not only utilized as a surface protective coating. It can also come in handy as a lubricant. When Teflon is used as a lubricant in machinery, it decreases the friction created in the process of operation. It can also be effective in reducing the energy consumed by the machines. In construction and manufacturing settings, the damage to machinery is reduced when the friction is lowered, hence Teflon has a crucial role as a lubricant.
The importance of Teflon in the field of medicine and biotechnology cannot be overlooked. Its ability to withstand chemicals and high temperatures makes this material the best suited for types of lab equipment. Surfaces with Teflon coatings are easier to clean as well.
Application of PTFE is seen in tools like catheters and as graft materials. Since PTFE does not allow the growth and spread of microbes and infectious agents, it prevents the spread of many diseases.
It may sound absurd but PTFE can help you make a fashion statement in many situations. If you are planning to look put together and dry while participating in outdoor activities, apparels with Teflon coatings make you waterproof. If you want to keep your clothes free from stains, meshing PTFE into the fabric can be of great help. Since Teflon-coated surfaces allow easy cleanup and do not absorb any water, your job to maintain the clothes becomes easier.
Even if you have not heard of Teflon in any other industry, the influence of PTFE in the world of cooking is hard to miss. The most long-lasting and sturdiest pans and pots have a coating or two of Teflon. Since it is non-sticky, it prevents food from sticking to the pan. Also, the heat-resistant property of PTFE removes chances of cracking of cookware due to stress as well.
Common misconceptions about PTFE
PTFE Synonymous To Non-stick Coating
While PTFE simplifies many tasks for us today, some skeptics believe it is too good to be true. This is what gives rise to many misconceptions about using PTFE coatings in many settings. For instance, there is a misconception that non-stick coating means PTFE alone. All non-stick coatings are not the same but only a very few have the benefits that PTFE can offer. In fact, there are other materials that you can apply to create the non-stick property, such as PFOA is not ideal for the many roles PTFE plays.
Minute Damage To PTFE Coating Puts The Underlying Metal At Risk
Another myth about using PTFE coatings on metals like brass, carbon steel, and stainless steel is that even the most minute of scratches can bring down the entire coating. This is simply not true. Only large-scale damage to the protective layer of PTFE can result in serious damage to the metal it covers. This applies to heat damage as well, PTFE coatings only suffer damage if the temperature exceeds its upper limit by a wide margin.
PTFE Emanates Harmful Fumes On heating
When it comes to PTFE coated cookware, some people believe that upon heating, PTFE releases harmful fumes causing headaches and disorientation in many. Good quality PTFE coating as such cannot cause any serious damage to users in the long run. If your protective layer is correctly applied and not damaged, the chance of being sick due to it is almost none.
Are There Any Downsides?
While PTFE has its advantages, it has few cons as well. One of the primary selling points of PTFE is its ability to withstand abrasion. However, since its invention, materials with stronger anti-abrasive properties have been formed. The PTFE is a polymer that is manufactured, but it is highly expensive to do so and not easy to mass-produce.
As we considered its usefulness in the industries, something that holds back people from using PTFE even more widely is its inability to be welded. PTFE cannot be cemented either and these features make it a little less suitable for many purposes.
Now that you have gained so much information about the non-stick coating that is PTFE, go ahead and check out the services available at jaiambayetchingprocess.com. From PTFE coating to laser marking and etching, many coating services are available here. Being a big name in the coating industry, we adhere to professionalism and believe in giving out the best results with improvement each time. Having served more than 100 clients, customers can expect great service in return.
Before deciding to coat your equipment or material with PTFE, understand that this material is not suited for all the processes in the world. Be sure to research well before choosing to apply PTFE non-stick coating. If you have doubts regarding the kind of protective layer that your project needs, the experts at jaiambayetchingprocess.com can help you there as well.