Polytetrafluorethylen – PTFE – is a polymer of tetrafluorethylene. It is a partially crystalline fluorocarbon with a high level of fluorination. The strength of its carbon-fluorine bonds make it extremely resistant to almost all organic and inorganic chemicals. In addition to being suitable for use across a wide temperature range and having an extremely low friction coefficient, this is the main factor that makes PTFE the most frequently used fluorocarbon. It is now an integral part of every sector of our economy.

Polytetrafluorethylene was discovered by accident in 1938. When conducting research for Du Pont, Dr. Roy Plunkett noticed a waxy white powder in his pressure bottle while he was attempting to synthesize an odorless, non-combustible and non-poisonous coolant from tetrafluoroethylene (TFE). Analysis showed that this was polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE), which had been formed due to a polymerization reaction. Such were the humble beginnings of the worldwide success story which unfolded under the Teflon® trademark.

Our company prepares and processes pure (virginal) PTFE under the name NUE 1.

Its properties are:

  • capable of resisting temperatures between -200°C and +260°C
  • good electrical insulating properties
  • low friction coefficient, no stick-slip effect
  • marked anti-adhesive properties
  • physiologically safe (conforms with FDA and BfR requirements)
  • outstanding weather and aging resistance
  • no water absorption
  • low levels of thermal conductivity
  • excellent fire resistance (UL 94 (at 1.5 mm): VO, LOI index: 95 %)
  • PTFE can be used in a vacuum

The drawbacks of pure PTFE include:

  • relatively low wear resistance, PTFE compounds should be used if required
  • tendency towards cold flow
  • low resistance to high energy radiation, polymer properties change from doses of 10 kGy upwards
  • poor adhesive properties
  • cannot be used in injection molding