lavorazione ptfe

PROCESSING PTFE: A COMPLETE GUIDE

PTFE is a polymer distinguished by its extraordinary mechanical properties, which make it highly resistant to both high temperatures and aggression from external chemical agents. These qualities identify it with the ideal material for multiple applications in a wide variety of work and industrial sectors, which especially see it play a leading role in circumstances where other compounds would not withstand the conditions to which they would be exposed.

Below we will look in detail at the characteristics of PTFE, some examples of its uses and the advantages it can offer.

What is PTFE

PTFE (acronym for polytetrafluoroethylene) is nothing more than the technical name of the material more commonly known by its commercial name of Teflon. It is a compound that originates from the chemical bonds that take place between carbon and fluorine and that are mainly responsible for its extraordinary stability: thanks to these bonds, PTFE is able to withstand thermal and chemical conditions that would be intolerable for many other technopolymers. It is precisely in these cases that Teflon finds its main use.

Its discovery came about almost by chance in 1938, during experiments involving fluorinated refrigerants. What emerged made it clear that we were dealing with a compound with unique qualities, since it proved to be able to withstand extreme conditions, practically impervious to any chemical agent, and with pronounced hydrophobic properties: it was so slippery that it was impossible to adhere to any other substance. Moreover, the melting point was found to be extremely high. From this it was clear that PTFE had almost unlimited potential and versatility for many applications and, at the same time, the registered trademark DuPont Teflon was born.

How PTFE is processed

It was not long after the discovery of this polymer before its extreme malleability was realised. PTFE is in fact processed in a manner quite similar to that used for metallurgical powders, i.e. by sintering. This operation results in blocks of raw material that can then be easily processed by machinery. Mostly, laser engraving or the turning technique is used, i.e. shaping by rotation near metal blades that must always be sharp and sharp. This is because, although PTFE is very easy to work with in this way, it is also very susceptible to chipping and breaking. This procedure makes it possible to make many different types of objects that can find many applications, from semi-finished products to classic pan linings that we use daily in the kitchen at home, to gaskets according to design, to elements used in machines (pistons, gaskets, pipes, gears) and valve components. Thanks to its resilience to chemical aggression, Teflon is used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries to make valves that will come into contact with semiconductor liquids.

The properties of PTFE

Let us now take a closer look at the qualities that make PTFE so suitable to take the place of materials that would otherwise not guarantee the same durability.

It is a high-tech fluoropolymer, capable of very high performance, first and foremost because of its physical characteristics: its smooth surface makes it an anti-friction and anti-adhesive material, impermeable to foreign substances. In addition, Teflon is very resistant to different types of environmental conditions: from oxidation, to UV rays, to extreme temperatures. Whether it is hot or cold, PTFE does not lose its mechanical qualities. On the contrary, it proves to be resistant even at 260 degrees centigrade, also acting as an excellent thermal insulator and maintaining its stability even over prolonged exposure.

The resistance of this polymer to chemicals and corrosion is another of its peculiarities. This occurs against practically all known substances: the only materials that are able to affect it are alkaline metals, which are in fact used in its processing. Also of note are chlorotrifluoride and elemental fluorine, provided that pressure and temperature are at high levels. Otherwise, PTFE is impervious even to solvents at temperatures up to 300 degrees.

Who to turn to for PTFE processing

As we have seen, therefore, PTFE, better known by its trade name Teflon, is a material that guarantees truly outstanding performance and can be used in a wide variety of sectors. For this reason, many work areas require semi-finished products or other products made from PTFE that are able to meet their needs and requirements and need a point of reference that can assure them of high quality services. In this regard, TAFER is a company that for over 30 years has specialised in the production of semi-finished PTFE products and in the use of other polymers such as PPEK, widely used in the industrial sector due to its characteristics similar to those of PTFE, which mainly concern resilience at particularly high temperatures and the ability to resist aggression from very acid or basic chemical agents. For this reason, the processing of PPEK is also a popular service that TAFER can offer its customers, regardless of their field of operation. TAFER stands out for the high quality standards it ensures in procedures such as the production of components to drawing, obtained from machining, or for the production of technopolymers thanks to the injection moulding technique, which now represents the latest frontier in the creation of components requiring extreme precision. Precisely because of the availability of state-of-the-art technologies that are used in full compliance with safety standards and with knowledge and skill by an expert, qualified and constantly updated staff, TAFER has been able to distinguish itself, especially in recent years, not only for the quality of its products, but also for its peculiar identity as a dynamic, flexible company, able to respond to a variety of consumer needs and, above all, in constant growth. For any information contact us or write to us on the site.