How PTFE coatings are made and the different types of industries that use it

PTFE coating, otherwise known as Teflon, is a substance that has been around for almost 70 years and is still in high demand in many industries around the world. Even if you don’t realise it, many of the things you use every day are coated with PTFE, such as cooking pans and baking trays.

What is PTFE coating?

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coating is a fluorocarbon solid and is resistant to corrosive chemicals and extreme temperatures on both sides of that spectrum. It is also resistant to UV rays and provides surfaces with a low friction coating solution.

This coating is also waterproof and provides good insulation against electricity. It has numerous applications in many industries such as, but not exclusively:

  • Engineering
  • Automotive industry
  • Pharmaceutical space
  • Optics industry
  • Piping and cabling specialisations
  • Food and cookware space

We offer a holistic PTFE coating service that includes pre-treatment and guarantees efficient service delivery. Learn more here.

How is PTFE coating made?

PTFE coating is made from four ingredients: fluorspar, hydrofluoric acid, chloroform, and water. These ingredients are combined in a chemical reaction chamber that is heated to temperatures between 590-900°C. The process is complicated but simple to understand. In a nutshell, there are four steps to creating PTFE coating:

  1. Production of chloroform (trichloromethane)
  2. Production of chlorodifluoromethane
  3. Production of tetrafluoroethylene (TFE)
  4. Polymerization of TFE (Creating PTFE out of TFE)

There are two main phases and a series of reactions when making PTFE coating:

  1. The TFE needs to be synthesized from chloroform, hydrofluoric acid, and fluorspar. The combining of these ingredients is known as pyrolysis. TFE is highly flammable and is risky to transport so this step must be performed on-site where the final product (PTFE) is created.
  1. Next, the TFE is polymerized into PTFE by radical polymerization with the assistance of small amounts of initiators. The other key ingredient of the polymerization process is water.

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