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PTFE in Precision Mechanics

PTFE in Precision Mechanics

PTFE was discovered accidentally by Roy J. Plunkett at the DuPont Company's Jackson Laboratory in 1938, during an attempt to manufacture a chlorofluorocarbon for use as refrigerant for the compression cycles. Hugely used in precision mechanics, Teflon, the acronym of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is a polymer grouped in the class of Perfluorocarbons, is added with other stabilizing components and thinners so as to improve the application possibilities.

PTFE can be used in many products including sealing solutions such as gaskets, machined O-rings and spring energized seals and are used in critical applications where contamination must be avoided and a tight seal is needed. There are also PTFE shapes that come in the form of rods and cylinders as well as molded and skived sheets. Uses can range from machine parts, liners and cutouts for gaskets in a wide variety of industries. There are also PTFE tapes that are used in electrical insulation in wiring out aircraft which are typically found in power feeder cables and in-flight entertainment systems. The PTFE insulation around these wires helps to prevent flames for potential wiring issues and other catastrophes that could affect human lives.

Thread seal tape is a form of PTFE tape that is used in the installation of faucets and pipe connections across industries where non-contamination standards are high. Although white is the standard, other colors are available as well. Yellow is for gas lines and pink for high pressure plumbing and piping applications.

PTFE films are typically very thin skive sheets used as barriers to prevent moisture build-up. There can also be a thin, centered tape that can help protect historical artifacts. PTFE fibers are made from tape of many uses ranging from dental floss to compression packing for sealing applications to architectural membranes. The fibers are perfect because of UV resistance, stain resistance, ease of installation and ease of cleanup that characterizes PTFE.


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