PTFE (Teflon) Plastic Machining
Your guide to PTFE Plastic Machining
Excellent chemical resistance
Semi-crystalline fluropolymer thermoplastic
Widely used fluropolymer in a range of applications
PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) is a semi-crystalline fluropolymer thermoplastic. It is commonly referred to as Teflon which is a brand name. There can be some challenges to machining PTFE due to its high coefficient of expansion, and its conductivity. A skilled and experienced CNC machining partner is imperative.
This guide will take you through the main attributes, common applications, notes for designers and suitable finishing and treatments, as well as UK stock sizes and property tables. Don't forget to bookmark the page so you can refer back later.
If you are interested in PTFE machined parts, please scroll to the bottom of the page for more information about our service and to request a quote.
PTFE Guide: Properties, Applications and Design Considerations
What is PTFE plastic?
PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) is a semi-crystalline fluropolymer thermoplastic. It is commonly referred to as Teflon which is a brand name.
PTFE is the most widely used fluropolymer in a range of applications. It is known for being highly resistant to chemicals and for its superior thermal stability.
Compared to other engineering grade thermoplastics it has poor mechanical properties, though glass and carbon filled grades with improved dimensional stability are available.
Because of its resistance to chemicals, PTFE plastic is commonly used in chemical, food and pharmaceutical engineering.
PTFE is favoured over PVDF for sliding applications with exposure to extreme chemical stress.
Machining of PTFE must take conductivity and expansion effects into account. When machining PTFE, we ensure we use very sharp tools and plenty of coolant to avoid any stability issues.
You may also see PTFE referred to as:
Industry Examples: Chemical & petrochemical | Food processing | Pharmaceutical | Medical | Scientific | Aerospace
Typical Components & Applications: Valves | Pump components | Fittings | Bearings | Seals | Insulators | Manifolds | Bushings | Semiconductor components | Gears | Capacitors | Gaskets | Assemblies
- Excellent chemical resistance
- Good electrical insulating properties
- Wide working temperature from -260°C to 260°C
- Poor mechanical properties – glass and carbon filled modifications available to improve dimensional stability
- Low flammability
- High UV and weather resistance
- Suitable for food contact
- Water resistant
- High impact strength
- Very low coefficient of friction
- No moisture absorption
Note For Designers:
Due to its high coefficient of expansion, PTFE is usually machined to tolerances of around 0.13mm.
Tighter tolerances are rarely required due to the natural resiliency of the material. Where tighter tolerances are required, it is advised to use stress-relieved PTFE.
PTFE Plastic Machined Parts
Penta Precision provides the following plastic PTFE / Teflon machining services:
- CNC turning
- Prototypes and batch runs
- Insert installation
- Part marking
- Manual milling
- Manual turning
- Machining design advice
- Design for manufacture service
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