What is PTFE and what is it used for?
PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene, is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene. It was accidentally discovered in 1938 by a chemist at DuPont who was trying to create a new refrigerant. After its discovery, it was found to be useful in cookware—as a non-stick coating. Currently, it continues to have applications across a wide range of industries and commercial appliances, including gasket material, caps and seals, tubing and membranes, and insulation material in the electrical and aerospace industries.
What are the benefits of PTFE?
The properties PTFE holds makes it uniquely suited to be a one-size-fits all solution to many industrial needs. These are a few of its most notable properties:
- PTFE is known for its extreme chemical resistance. It’s resistant to almost all organic and inorganic chemicals—including acids, bases, and solvents. This makes it an ideal choice for use in chemical processing equipment, as well as in the production of chemical-resistant coatings and linings.
- PTFE has a melting point of around 327°C (621°F), which makes it suitable for use in high-temperature applications. It also has good thermal stability, which means it can withstand repeated exposure to high temperatures without degrading or breaking down.
- PTFE has a very low coefficient of friction, which makes it an ideal material for use in applications where parts need to slide against each other without generating heat or wear. This property also makes it a top choice for use in bearings, seals, and other components that require a low-friction surface.
- PTFE is a non-stick material, which is why it’s frequently used to coat cookware and other applications where sticking or adhesion could be an issue.
- PTFE is an excellent electrical insulator, which makes it favorable for use in high-voltage electrical applications, including wiring, cables, and connectors.
What are PTFE silicone septa and what are they used for?
PTFE silicone septa are specialized seals made from a combination of PTFE and silicone, the versatility of which makes them a formidable material, and especially useful in laboratories and other demanding analytical environments. More specifically, PTFE silicone septa are used in different forms of chromatography—that is, liquid and gas chromatography. They provide a reliable, leak-free layer between a sample container and the injection port of an analytical instrument. Designed to withstand repeated use and exposure to harsh elements, PTFE silicone septa retain their sealing properties for quite a long time. The PTFE layer of the septa provides chemical resistance, low extractables, and low particle shedding; while the silicone layer adds strength and durability to the seal. PTFE silicone septa are an essential component of laboratory and analytical equipment, providing a critical seal that ensures the accuracy and reliability of experiment results.