How PTFE/Teflon Is Prepared And Applied
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly known as Teflon®, is a fluoropolymer made of tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) molecules. PTFE has some exceptional properties which makes it a widely used compound for numerous applications. It’s hydrophobic (it is not wet by water or any substances containing water due to the high electronegativity of fluorine), highly non-reactive, and has one of the lowest friction rates found in solids. PTFE coatings are one of the world’s most sought-after non-stick products. It has outstanding release capabilities and can withstand a maximum use temperature of 500°F. This coating is typically applied to a thickness of 0.0003″–0.0008″.
How PTFE Coatings Are Made
Polytetrafluoroethylene is made with four ingredients: fluorspar, hydrofluoric acid, chloroform, and water, which are combined in a chemical reaction chamber heated to between 1094-1652°F. Creating PTFE involves two main phases and a series of reactions:
1. The TFE must be manufactured from chloroform (trichloromethane), hydrofluoric acid, and fluorspar. These ingredients are combined in a process known as pyrolysis. TFE is highly flammable, and its transportation is very risky. Therefore, this step must be performed on-site where the final product (PTFE) is created.
2. Next, the TFE is polymerized into PTFE by radical polymerization, with the help of small amounts of initiators like acid peroxide or ammonium persulfate. The other key ingredient of the polymerization process is water.
How PTFE Coatings Are Applied
There are some steps in the coating process that must be taken first to prep the substrate for application. The first is to prebake the substrate, whereby oils are removed so the coating may stick without discrepancies. The second step is grit blasting with aluminum oxide. This helps prepare the substrate for coating by removing scales, corrosion, rust, and previous coatings. Following this preparation, the desired fluoropolymer is sprayed on. The conventional, manual spray method is used to ensure a perfect coat every time. Lasty, the substrate is allowed to cure. Each coating type has its own specifications regarding curing. The substrate must be able to withstand the curing temperature for the specific coat. Curing temperatures can be as high as 800°F.
Professional Teflon® And Fluoropolymer Coaters
Coating Solutions has been coating parts with Teflon® and other fluoropolymer coatings since 1995. Our extensive experience enables us to professionally coat any item at a superior quality and deliver it back to you quickly due to our fast turnaround. We also have the lowest minimum lot charge in the industry. Request a quote online or call us at (651) 762-5700 to get your materials coated in as little as a day!