Effects of High and Low Temperatures on PTFE Performance

If you are involved in high purity fluid handling processes, it is important to know the impact of various environmental factors on your processing equipment. One of the most common materials used for high purity liquid transfer parts and components is Polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE – a common high-density plastic material that will not compromise or contaminate the liquid being handled. Industries like chemical processing, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage all rely on Polytetrafluoroethylene valves and components to ensure their mix is unaltered and pure throughout the entire process. In order to ensure your process is performing its best, it is also important to know how temperatures can affect the PTFE material. At iPolymer, we are proud to be a worldwide supplier of engineered high purity fluid handling products, committed to providing the highest quality PTFE valves, fittings, spray guns and more.

With an operational temperature range between -300 degrees Fahrenheit and +450 degrees Fahrenheit, PTFE may be able to maintain structural integrity and function at extreme temperatures, but performance can still be greatly affected. For example, the virgin PTFE material has a tensile strength of 4075 psi at room temperature (approximately 70 degrees), but will drop significantly if exposed to extreme temperatures, even dipping as low as 1000 psi at the max temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Small dips in performance can even happen at temperatures as low at 120 degrees. Not only temperature, but operating pressures must be considered in the design process. As the rated temperature rises designers must reduce the rated pressure.

For PTFE exposed to extremely low temperatures, there is less of an impact on performance. Unlike their polycarbonate counterparts, PTFE components can withstand temperatures down to -300 degrees Fahrenheit while maintaining it’s flexibility and not becoming brittle. The only thing to look out for is the possibility of shrinkage. If PTFE components are exposed to extremely cold temperatures, they can shrink beyond your dimensional tolerances. Thus, the temperature range, both low and high, for the application must be considered when defining the dimensional tolerance stack up of the design.

iPolymer has a dedicated team of professionals ready to listen to your unique liquid and gas transfer requirements. For more information about our extensive inventory of PTFE valves, pressure regulators and other fluid control products, give us a call today at 949.458.3731, use our contact form, or request a free quote.

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