Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene that has numerous applications. PTFE is a fluorocarbon solid, as it is a high-molecular-weight compound consisting wholly of carbon and fluorine. PTFE is hydrophobic: neither water nor water-containing substances wet PTFE, as fluorocarbons demonstrate mitigated London dispersion forces due to the high electronegativity of fluorine.
PTFE is used as a non-stick coating for pans and other cookware. It is very non-reactive, partly because of the strength of carbon–fluorine bonds, and so it is often used in containers and pipework for reactive and corrosive chemicals. Where used as a lubricant, PTFE reduces friction, wear and energy consumption of machinery. It is commonly used as a graft material in surgical interventions. Also, it is frequently employed as coating on catheters; this interferes with the ability of bacteria and other infectious agents to adhere to catheters and cause hospital-acquired infections.
Petrochemical and chemical processing: PTFE is the material of choice for gaskets, vessel linings, pump interiors, washers, rings, seals, spacers, dip tubes and well-drilling components because it is corrosion resistant and chemically inert; it is unaffected by virtually all acids and caustics and functions in environments to 500 degrees F..
Electrical applications: PTFE is one of the best insulators known. In thin sections, it will insulate to 500 volts per mil. There are grades of PTFE which have even greater dielectric strength. It is frequently used in wire and cable wrap, and to separate conductive surfaces in capacitors. Thick walled close-tolerance extruded tubing is the PTFE shape of choice where machining or drilling long lengths to close tolerances is impossible. Multi-hole tubing can be extruded. PTFE can be machined into standoff insulators, and many different types of high voltage encapsulation devices for electrical components.
Semi-Conductor Industry: PTFE is inert, and its operating temperature range is from minus 350 degrees Fahrenheit to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. When made to ultra pure standards it is the material of choice for various items used in chip manufacturing, including encapsulation devices for quartz heaters, and the like.
Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical industries: Virgin PTFE is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the food, beverage, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Thin Film and sheets make an inert, no-toxic slide surface without microscopic depressions where microbes can grow. Conveyancing components - profiles, guide rails and slides - can withstand high temperatures inside baking and drying ovens and other heated segments of the food, cosmetics or pharmaceuticals manufacturing processes.