PTFE Rod is a remarkable product. PTFE – Polytetrafluoroethylene was discovered on April 6, 1938 by Dr. Roy Plunkett at the DuPont research laboratories. And this original PTFE was further developed by Dupont, and was released as a product in 1945.
This product is extremely chemical resistant, and can handle temperatures above 500 degrees. One of the first household uses for PTFE is the ‘PTFE Coated Frying Pan’. While this pan works very well, it is a different process than the PTFE Rod and Sheet we supply. It is a sprayed on coating that is almost black in color, where the pure PTFE Rod and Sheet is bright white in color.
What are some of the uses for PTFE TFE Rod?
Because PTFE exhibits high temperature and chemical resistance, it is commonly used in valve applications. From simple steam / hot water valves to high heat, caustic chemical valves in the fluid handling industries. This material is a semi-rigid to rigid plastic, and can be machined very easily – one of the easiest plastics to work with. The PTFE rod can be machined to very close tolerance, and in most small diameter rod it is supplied with a +.002″/-.00″ on the diameter (check for tolerance on your requested size). The chemical resistance is one of the key properties associated with the material. In sheet or thin sheet (film) PTFE is used as gasket material for similar high heat and chemical resistant flange and seals.
Since 1945 Dupont has been the world leader in producing PTFE resins. Over the last couple of years, with the global shortage of Fluorspar (a key ingredient in producing all Fluoropolymer Plastics) Dupont has made some changes to their product offerings. Included in this change is a discontinuation of the production of one of most common granular molding powder (resin) used in the production of PTFE Rod and Sheet. This has the industry in a panic, the remaining global suppliers of PTFE resin are scrabbling to fill the void left by this decision. What does this mean to you? If you are used to purchasing PTFE rod or sheet, you may find the base materials may not be from Dupont. Our suppliers have small amounts of the Dupont resin, but mostly are replacing their raw materials with molding powder from other manufacturers. It may be, in the very near future, that all PTFE rod and PTFE sheet may not be made from Dupont brand resin.
UHMW rod is also a very slippery plastic material, but it does not take the high heat the PTFE rod does.
If you are one of the many clients that need this material, please contact us for clarification, information, supply chain news and possible changes in sources of supply. Call us at 866-832-9315 or email us here.