You might not be aware of it, but PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) is present practically everywhere in our daily lives. Discovered in 1938 by DuPont, the fluorocarbon was immediately recognized for several extraordinary properties. Most famously, PTFE is used as a non-stick coating for pots and pans and is known by its commercial name, Teflon. It’s also notable, however, for its use in clear heat shrink PTFE tubing. Here are a few of the reasons why.
1. Superior Lubricity
Just as it works as a coating for pots and pans, PTFE clear or white heat shrink PTFE tubing benefits from its non-stick nature. When used for tubing, things simply don’t stick to it. This makes it invaluable for conducting experiments in laboratories, or any place materials have to be moved from one place to the next. Restaurants and breweries, for example, rely on PTFE to ensure beverages aren’t tainted. Hospitals rely on PTFE tubing for all sorts of applications in order to prevent the spread of infection.
2. Benefits of Heat Shrinking
Heat shrink PTFE tubing is capable of providing secure encapsulation of vital industrial and electrical components. Due to its heat shrink capabilities, it can mold itself snugly over irregular shapes, creating an impervious seal. This is why it’s so commonly used to provide insulation for wires and cables in all sorts of industries and around the home.
3. Remarkable Temperature Tolerance
PTFE has a broad temperature tolerance, operating effectively under extreme heat (260° C) and extreme cold (-200° C). This makes it a rare and unique plastic that can be utilized in all sorts of industrial applications, whether hot or cold. Similarly, it’s water resistant and impervious to weather. This explains why electrical wires covered in PTFE tubing suffer no ill effects when used outside.
4. Low Friction
PTFE is famous for its low friction. If you require tubing for a moving part, or insulation for parts where constant friction is an impediment, PTFE is effective at reducing that friction, protecting your equipment. That’s why PTFE is commonly used for slide bearings, slide plates, and gears.
5. Chemical Resistant
PTFE doesn’t suffer the kind of damage that other materials will when exposed to hazardous chemicals and gases. This makes it useful and highly dependable as tubing for industrial pipes and hose assemblies. Especially because not only is it resistant to acids and harsh chemicals, but it can handle the extreme temperatures that might be present as well.
It’s for these reasons and more that clear heat shrink PTFE tubing has proven so reliable in industrial and residential applications.