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PTFE

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PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) is a synthetic plastic used commonly for industrial manufacturing & machining. PTFE is commonly known as Teflon, a brand of PTFE formed by DuPont in 1938. 

PTFE has a wide range of use applications due to its physical properties. It is creamy white in color, and, like most engineering plastics, it contains a high molecular weight (meaning that it is much more resilient to external forces and sturdy).  PTFE contains only fluorine and carbon in its chemical compound. PTFE does not absorb relatively any water and is quite lubricious. This means that the polymer has a low coefficient of friction, and in applications, PTFE allows liquids and chemicals to pass through or along it without much risk of absorption or corrosion. 

Teflon is widely used in engineering and harsh environment applications due to its properties and relatively low cost in comparison to other plastics exhibiting the same strengths. The primary industries that utilize PTFE for components are Food & Drug, Agriculture, Oil & Energy, Petrochemical, Semiconductor, and Fluid Control.

There are a variety of grades of PTFE available. Virgin PTFE is the most commonly used due to the natural properties and cost. A High Grade PTFE allows for restricted physical properties, meaning less variance in the properties that one machined part may exhibit compared to the next. This is commonly used in machining circumstances where little to no dimensional variation is allowed. Modified Grade PTFE (commonly referred to as TFM/ NXT 85) contains even more restricted properties, which allows for higher heat resistance, less porous surface finishes, and less relaxation due to external climate changes over time. 

PTFE is a great option for CNC machined components. Due to the variety of blends available it is a plastic that can produce very precise surface finish and tight tolerance dimensions for a part. In addition, Teflon's natural physical properties serve well for multiple environments. Modified and Filled Grade PTFE are solid options when a surface finish with no pitting or porosity is preferred. PFA is a great option for ultra smooth surfaces; however, growing and shrinking after CNC machining is exhibited in a range of +/- .001.