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Teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE)

Perhaps one of the most famous plastics in the world today, PTFE, known more commonly by Dupont's trade name Teflon, has made its way into just about every household and business in the United States in one form or another. Teflon's unique chemical inertness, extremely low coefficient of friction and excellent dielectric properties make it perfect for countless applications.

Mechanical Properties

Teflon is very dense, having a specific gravity of 2.13 to 2.19. Its impact strength is very high, but its low resistance to wear, tensile strength and creep resistance make it inappropriate for most structural applications. These properties are often improved by adding fillers such as glass or graphite.

Most famously, Teflon has an extremely low coefficient of friction - very few materials will stick to it.

Thermal Properties

Teflon retains its useful properties from cryogenic temperatures all the way up to 550° F.

Chemical Properties

Teflon is inert to almost all chemicals, cannot be dissolved, and exhibits no moisture absorption.

Electrical Properties

In addition, Teflon has good electrical properties, including high arc resistance. This makes it perfect for applications needing high frequency insulation, as well as in all kinds of electrical connectors, switches, transformers and capacitors.

PTFE is also produced under the names Halon by Allied Chemical Corporation, and Fluon by I.C.I.