TFE or PTFE, polytetrafluoroethylene, more commonly known as Teflon, is one of the three fluorocarbon resins in the fluorocarbon class composed wholly of fluorine and carbon. The other resins in this group, also referred to as Teflon, are PFA and FEP and is reviewed under that heading.
The forces binding the fluorine and carbon together provide one of the strongest known chemical linkages in a compact symmetrical arrangement of atoms. The result of this bond strength plus the chain configuration is a relatively dense, chemically inert, thermally stable polymer.
TFE resists attack by heat and virtually all chemicals. It is insoluble in all organics with the exception of a few exotics. Its electrical properties are excellent. Although it has high impact strength, its resistance to wear, tensile strength and creep resistance are low in comparison to other engineering type thermoplastics. Mechanical properties can be improved by adding fillers such as glass fibers, bronze, Delrin, carbon, and graphite.
TFE exhibits the lowest electric constant and lowest dissipation factors of all solid materials. Because of its strong chemical linkage, TFE shows very little attraction for dissimilar molecules. This results in a coefficient of friction as low as 0.05. Once again, because of this chemical bonding, TFE resins are virtually insoluble.