PTFE Fibers

Properties

PTFE fibers (also known as Teflon1 fibers) are synthetic fibers in which the fiber forming substance is polytetrafluoroethylene. This fiber has excellent chemical, UV, and heat resistance. In fact, PTFE can withstand attack from even the most corrosive chemicals such as concentrated acids and bases and can be used at temperatures in excess of 250°C (530 K) without noticeable degradation. PTFE's coefficient of friction is among the lowest of all polymers (self-lubricating and non-stick) and its dielectric strength is one of the highest and flex fatigue and abrasion resistance are outstanding. The fiber is also fully biocompatible because it is virtually chemically inert in biological environments.

PTFE fibers can be sewn, woven, and knitted into virtually any pattern. Unlike PTFE films, PTFE fabrics can be bonded to many materials using common resins because the adhesives interlock with the porous micro-structure of the fabric. Yet the fabric retains it non-stick and non-slip properties. PTFE fabrics are also more stable at high pressure and temperature than PTFE films because they have superior creep and flow resistance and higher strength.

 

PTFE Fiber Properties (Teflon)

Tensile Strength (Tenacity) Fair - Good*
Abrasion Resistance  Excellent
Absorbency Poor
Hydrolysis Resistance Excellent
Heat Resistance Excellent
Resistance to Sunlight Excellent
Flame Resistance Excellent
Resilience Good

*Over the past decades, novel PTFE fibers have been developed that have much improved tensile strength and flexibility.  

COMMERCIAL PTFE Fibers

Major manufacturers of PTFE fibers include Gore, Toray, and Fluoron Chemicals.

 

Applications

PTFE fabrics are ideal for applications where broad chemical resistance, superior durability over a wide service temperature range, excellent dielectric properties, low friction and non-stick are required or prefered. Important applications include apparels (breathable windproof rainwear), industrial filters, self-lubricating bearings, gaskets, dental floss, high performance ropes, and electrical insulation.

1Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) was discovered by Dr. Roy Plunkett in 1938 at DuPont. The first products were sold commercially under DuPonts registered trademark Teflon®.

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