PTFE – Polytetrafluorethylene
Discovered in 1938 by research-chemists of the DuPont (USA) it was not introduced to the market until 1946. A partly crystalline fluoroplastic that belongs to the family of thermoplastics (but not suitable for injection moulding). The strong bond of the fluorine atom to the carbon atom as well as the almost complete shielding of the unbranched carbon chain by fluorine atoms result in a remarkably high chemical and thermal load. PTFE has a thermal resistance ranging from -260 °C up to +250 °C, at short term up to +300 °C (e. g. no brittleness in boiling helium at -269 °C). This temperature range is not reached by any other plastic material. The continuous operating temperature depends on the load. This means that PTFE can be used from -200 °C to +250 °C at moderate mechanical load. PTFE labware has a white appearance and a non-adhesive surface which is easy to clean. Furthermore, this material has excellent slip characteristics. A lubrication of turning steel or glass shafts is not necessary. Semi-finished PTFE rods are fabricated by isostatic pressing processes or extrusion. The final products are produced by machining the semi-finished materials.