What is PTFE?

PTFE is a synthetic polymer compound (Polytetrafluoroethylene). It is a solid made of carbon and fluorine. Free radicals polymerize with tetrafluoroethylene to create the very amazing substance!

The high melting point of PTFE makes it difficult to produce. Even when melting occurs, the consistency of the polymer is closer to gel than it is to water. PTFE is usually white in appearance and very slippery. This is how it looked in 1938 when DuPont chemist Roy J. Plunkett discovered it by accident.

“Teflon” is the brand name given to PTFE. Kinetic Chemicals trademarked the term in 1945. Kinetic Chemicals is a partnership company between DuPont and General Motors. Today, the Chemours, a 2015 offshoot of DuPont, owns the trademark.

Since “Teflon” is a registered trademark name everyone is familiar with and knows  coats your cookware to keep food from sticking. The term cannot be used to market products which are made from P.T.F.E.

Therefore, we use PTFE to identify products such as thread seal tape, gaskets, valve seals / seals and O-Rings.