Teflon® is a commercial brand that does not represent a single chemical element - PTFE - but an entire family of products based on Polytetrafluoroethylene.
It is a polymer similar to polyethylene, in which hydrogen atoms have been replaced by fluorine atoms.

It was discovered by accident – of course – in 1938 by chemists at the DuPont company, although today the trade name belongs to the The Chemours Company.

Teflon® and PTFE are not synonymous, since the company markets other polymers under the same name with similar properties and structures: PFA resin and FEP copolymer.
Both PFA and FEP share the characteristic properties of PTFE, while offering greater ease of handling in their industrial application.


Teflon® (download data sheet) is an engineering plastic with a high heat resistance, it is an insulator and does not corrode easily.
It contains fluorine atoms, a feature that minimises reactions with other substances.
Flexible, Teflon® acts as an electrical insulator.
It is resistant to acids, hydrocarbons, to various organic type solvents, to UVA, to moisture and even temperatures of up to 300°.
It is a hydrophobic (water repellent) plastic material.

Another property of Teflon® is that it can be easily stretched and does not recover its initial state when the stretching force is removed.
It is inert, has a low coefficient of friction and its average melting point is 342ºC.
All its characteristics reduce as the temperature increases.
It is very easy to clean and is waterproof.

The use of this plastic material covers sectors and applications such as:

• Aeronautics – coatings for aircraft, rockets and spacecraft due to the large temperature differences that it is capable of withstanding.

• Medicine – making use of the fact that it does not react with substances or tissue and is flexible and non-stick.

• Industry – it is used in articulated parts, as its anti-friction capacity eliminates the need for lubricants.

• Electronics – it is used as a cable coating or capacitor dielectric due to its high insulating capacity and heat resistance.

• Structures and elements subjected to corrosive environments.

• Hoses (if they are Teflon® coated they are easy to handle, offer better abrasion resistance and can be gripped securely and easily).

• Teflon® is also used in vehicle bearings, in the manufacture of friction bushes.

• Inert coating in transport systems for chemical products and laboratory receptacles.

• Used in the paper, chemical, petrol, nuclear, electrical, metallurgical, food and pharmaceutical industries.

• It is used to manufacture bars, sheets, plates and tubes.

• For packaging, sealants and anti-pollution bars.
 
At Induplast, as specialists in the machining of engineering parts, we take full advantage of all the characteristics of this polymer, which has advantages in machining processes compared with injection, although at Induplast we offer both services:

No tooling costs.
Possibility to manufacture prototypes, short and long production runs.
Optimal delivery times.
Very tight manufacturing tolerances.
Possibility to produce parts in materials that are difficult to mould.


Among the numerous parts machined in Teflon®, you can request the following from our workshops:
Filter housings
Valve seats
Tank coatings
Coatings in general
Slide bearings
Pump housings
Pump rotors
Seals
Runners
High-frequency insulators, etc.

We make washers in any size and thickness, bushings, O-rings in PTFE for the food industry, ball valve seats, diaphragms, bellows for the chemical industry, large nuts and bolts, balls, gears, cylinders, housings and guards for machinery.

Sometimes, to ensure effective machining and according to the application of the parts required by our customer, the properties of the Teflon® can be improved or simply modified with additives; which is commonly known as "PTFE with fillers".

For example:
- Machining of parts in PTFE with glass fibre: With this additive, an increase is achieved in resistance to load deformation and frictional wear.
- Machining of parts in PTFE with graphite: The graphite reduces the coefficient of friction thus improving wear and deformation resistance.
- Machining of parts in PTFE with carbon: This significantly increases resistance to load deformation and frictional wear. 
- Machining of parts in PTFE with stainless steel: It has low permeability and improves compressive strength considerably.
- Machining of parts in PTFE with bronze/molybdenum disulphide gives it greater resistance to wear and load deformation and good thermal conductivity, although it reduces its electrical properties and chemical resistance. 
- Machining of parts in PTFE with nickel: Improves wear resistance.

 
And to end the post, here's an interesting fact:

Teflon®, after its "accidental" discovery in 1938, was not used until years later in the Second World War, when it was used for the development and preparation of the atomic bomb.




 
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