PTFE, also known as Teflon, is a synthetic polymer that is known for its unique properties such as excellent chemical resistance, superior tensile strength, high and low temperature tolerance, and lowest coefficient of friction of any man-made material. We’ve been working with PTFE for more than four decades and during that time, we’ve used it to create a wide range of products (some more frequently than others) but for many products they start off as either tubes or rods.
There are some instance for which PTFE is moulded to the finished product, however for almost all that we produce within AFT, we start with a semi-finished piece of material which is either a tube or a rod depending on the component, and often only a tube or a rod for our semi-finished customers. We start by choosing the PTFE resin that best suits the project. These are available in a variety of grades, each suitable for different applications and dimensions. For example, some resins are regarded as more clean or pure, Some are more suited to large heavy sections of finished tubes whilst others suit smaller section of tubes. Some will blend better if the material is a filled compound of PTFE whilst others are particularly suited to rods and tubes of Virgin PTFE. The moulding process is also very significant with different resin being used for extrusion over compression moulding for example. Whatever the variable it is important to select the right resin for the specific application to ensure the very best mechanical properties for that application are achieved.
Most of the material we process within AFT is Compression Moulded. This process allows a size range from small-diameter rods to huge tubes over 1m in diameter and everything in between. The physical properties and flexibility of Compression Moulded PTFE make it the preferred method to produce high-quality material within any batch quantity or material grade which allows us to take the PTFE rods and tubes and customise them to each project.
For example, in the renewable sector, PTFE tubes are used to manufacture liners to prevent corrosion and bearings to reduce friction and increase the lifespan and efficiency of equipment. In the aerospace industry, components manufactured from our tubes are used as Electrical insulators and connectors. In the automotive industry, our tubes are used to manufacture seals used in automatic transmissions to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. In the medical sector, PTFE tubes and components are used extensively in a variety of applications such as catheters, stents, and implants, Anaesthesiology and oxygen equipment. Its biocompatibility and chemical resistance and inertness make it an ideal material for medical applications with specific grades being safe for use in the human body and permanent implantation.
The wide range and versatility of PTFE & PEEK rods and tubes means that we can manufacture plastic products and components to create a solution for almost any problem.