You have almost certainly encountered PTFE coatings. In the home they are used on things like non-stick pans and cookware, usually under a trade name like Teflon. But they are used in other areas too, notably fasteners and flooring and in electronics.
What is PTFE?
PTFE is short for Polytetrafluoroethylene – you can see why they wanted to shorten it! – and it’s applied in two stages using a primer followed by a top coat. Among its other properties PTFE is corrosion resistant, low friction and is able to withstand very high temperatures of up to 290 Celsius. It’s also of course non-stick, making it easy to use and easy to clean in food production.
PTFE coatings are food safe provide that they are used properly. This includes not allowing it to overheat and replacing your cookware when it becomes scratched or damaged.
Benefits of PTFE
So, let’s have a look at some of the benefits of PTFE coating from specialist firms like https://www.poeton.co.uk/standard-treatments/electroless-nickel-ptfe/ in a bit more detail. Mostly it is valued for its non-stick properties. Crucially these work for both hot and cold products which is why it is so widely used in food production, both commercially and in the home.
It’s also hydrophobic – which means it doesn’t easily get wet – this makes it easy to clean. The benefit of this is not just when you’re doing the washing up, however, it makes it useful in the electronics industry where it’s used in semiconductor manufacture.
We’ve already mentioned heat resistance – PTFE coatings are stable at temperatures up to 260 Celsius and for short periods up to 290 degrees. It’s resistant to chemicals as well making it a useful coating to use in harsh environments. You’ll find it used in pumps and other equipment that are used as part of industrial processes.
In machinery and industrial use PTFE’s properties of abrasion resistance and low friction are valuable too. This makes it good for coating fasteners, bearing surfaces and moving machinery parts.
What is perhaps less well known is PTFE’s use in electrical components. While it normally has good insulating properties, it can if needed be made conductive. This allows it to be used as an anti-static coating on things like portable electrical equipment, light fittings, connectors and cable guides.