PolyTetraFluoroEthylene, most commonly known as Teflon or just PTFE, has many unique properties and uses. It can be found in everything from household cooking to industrial and electrical applications. In many of these cases, PTFE coatings surpass any possible alternative as the best solution.
You have probably heard of Teflon coated pots and pans. This is the same as a PTFE coating that handles the pan’s non-stick properties. Not only does a PTFE coating make a pan or other cookware non-stick, but it also allows the pan to resist extreme temperatures without any damage such as stress cracks. Teflon is an extremely durable coating.
PTFE coatings are often used on the inside of pipes to avoid corrosion from the chemicals flowing through them. The strength of this coating allows it to take on high temperatures and corrosive chemicals without any significant wear and tear. PTFE coatings are commonly used in industrial piping applications for the best results.
When used as a lubricant, Teflon can reduce the amount of energy that equipment and machines require operating. It also reduces friction within the machines. You may find PTFE coatings on the machinery used in a manufacturing plant or on a construction site.
PTFE is almost always used in aerospace wiring. It has an extremely high melting point so it can take a lot of heat and pressure. It is a strong insulator making it perfect for wires and connectors. PTFE is even used in microwaves.
When not used as a coating, PTFE can be stretched out and used to create waterproof apparel for outdoor activities. It is also blended into the fabric of the stain-resistant clothing. Typically if the fabric can be wiped-down and water or other blemishes will come off then, it may have PTFE components.
Many containers and other surfaces in a lab are coated with PTFE. Because PTFE does not corrode from chemicals, and it can handle high temperatures, it is often the best choice for lab experiments. It is also easy to clean compared to some of its potential substitutes.