PTFE Tubing | Properties |

Materials Overview

PTFE Properties

The Steel Industry and Chemical Processing Industry have been using fluoropolymer tubing products from materials like PTFE and hoses for many years for transferring highly caustic or corrosive chemicals. More and more, PTFE tubing is replacing carbon and other metal piping that deteriorates rapidly. Now and for the future, PTFE will continue to serve the industry in critical applications.

Manufacturing Process of PTFE:
CHCL3 + 2 HFCHClF2 + 2 HCl
2 CHClF2CF2 = CF2 + 2 HCL
n CF2 = CF2(-CF2 – CF2 -) n
Tetra-Fluoro-Ethylene (TFE)(PTFE)


Chemical Qualities*: PTFE is inert to the following chemicals
Inorganic ChemicalsOrganic ChemicalsOther
Aqua RegiaAlcoholsBiological Fluids
Hydrofluoric AcidEstersFragrances
Fuming Sulfuric AcidKetonesFood
Chlorosulfuric AcidHighly Halogenated OrganicsPrinting Inks & Dyes
Boiling Sodium Hydroxide SolutionAromatic SolventsLow Level Radioactive Substances
Chlorine GasAminesOxidizers
Hydrogen PeroxideIndustrial Oils
Acid Chlorides
Hot, Fuming Nitric Acid

*Among the only chemicals known to attack PTFE are molten alkali metals and their solutions, chlorine trifluoride, and gaseous fluorine at elevated temperatures and pressures.

Thermal Qualities:

PTFE tubing can withstand temperatures up to 680 °F for limited periods of time.* Under cryogenic conditions, PTFE remains strong down to -320 °F.

*Above 500 °F, mechanical properties become a limiting factor

Electrical Qualities:

PTFE tubing has superb electrical properties, indicated by a low dielectric constant of 2.1 between -40 °F and 480 °F within a frequency range of 5 Hz to 10 GHz.

PTFE tubing is also an excellent insulator with surface resistivity of 3.6 X 1012 ohms (even at 100% relative humidity).

Short time dielectric strengths range from 500 volts/mil (1 mil = 10-3 in) for thicknesses greater than 100 mils to 4000 volts/mil for very thin films.

UV and Radiation Qualities*:

PTFE tubing has excellent UV resistance and weatherability, with a radiation dose threshold for PTFE at 2 – 7 X 104 rads. Absence of oxygen increases radiation resistance by a factor of at least 10.

*Resistance to electron and gamma radiation is relatively poor

Wear and Friction Qualities:

PTFE tubing has a relatively slippery and smooth surface, with a static coefficient of friction of 0.08 and 500 psi load.

The PTFE properties make it particularly suitable for use as bearing pads, under high pressure-low velocity load conditions. Examples are bridge bearing pads, pipe support pads, and mounting pads for heavy manufacturing.

Short List Applications:
  1. Non-Shrink & Heat Shrink Tubing
  2. Heat Exchangers
  3. Coatings
    1. Carburetor Shafts
    2. Medical Catheter Guide Wires
    3. Mold Release
    4. Cryogenic Applications
    5. Automotive Brake Parts
    6. Jet Fuel Filters
    7. Bearing Pads
Chemical Reasoning for PTFE Properties
High C-F Bond Strength & No UV Absorption SitesThermal Stability
Oxidative Stability
Chemical Resistance
Resistance to Weathering
Enormous Chain LengthHigh Melt Viscosity
Low Inter-chain ForcesExcellent ToughnessLow Coefficient of Friction
Low Forces Between F Atoms and MoleculesInsolubilityLow Solvent Absorption
High CrystallinityNon-Stick PropertiesLow Water Absorption
No Permanent DipoleLow Dielectric Constant
No Surface ChemistryHigh Static Charge