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Teflon PTFE Washers

ptfe washers

Teflon™ PTFE products are commonly found in a number of different applications and are particularly popular

because of their unique set of properties, which includes resistance to both water and oil, and an extremely low

coefficient of friction. Moreover, the material’s heat and chemical resistance coupled with its fairly high strength makes it both durable and dependable.

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Founded in 1927, New Process Fibre (NPF) is an industry leader in non-metallic stamping solutions. Throughout our over 90-year history, we’ve dedicated ourselves to continuously improving the non-metallic stamping process to ensure maximum product quality and cost-effectiveness. Equipped with a manufacturing facility with over 10,000 washers dies and 75 punch presses, our team has the equipment necessary to complete customer requests accurately and quickly, even for large-scale or expedited orders.

One of our main product offerings is non-metallic washers—i.e., plastic or fiber disk-shaped hardware components featuring a center hole. When used alongside a compatible fastener—such as a nut or bolt—washers serve several functions including: 1) ensuring the even distribution of pressure across the fastened surface, 2) acting as a spacer or isolator, and 3) mitigating the risk of the assembly loosening due to vibration and other environmental factors.

Washers are available in a variety of different materials to suit varying environmental and operating conditions. Although many industry professionals employ metallic washers, non-metallic washers, such as those made from nylon or PTFE, are becoming increasingly popular. In particular, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)—also known by the brand name Teflon™—offers several advantages when used for the manufacture of washers, including:

  • High melting point (620° F)
  • Excellent insulating properties
  • FDA approval for use in food and beverage or pharmaceutical applications
  • Good chemical resistance
  • Low friction for easy installation and product assembly
  • Near-complete water resistance

These qualities, among others, make Teflon washers well-suited for applications across a diverse set of industries. The following page outlines some of the industrial applications of Teflon washers and how they compare to other types of washers.

Resilience

Teflon™ is an outstanding thermal insulator and the most chemically resistant plastic available today. In fact, it is one of the only known materials that is completely impervious to damage from almost all corrosive fluids.

Furthermore, it can handle up to 500 volts per mil and temperatures up to 600 degrees F while maintaining dimensional stability, resistance against creep, and the anti-frictional properties for which the product is so well known. This means that with these products, one can expect consistent, long lasting performance.

Compared to other nonmetallic materials, it is relatively expensive — this is partly because it has some of the most beneficial properties of any nonmetallic material and is as such in high demand.

It also has the lowest coefficient of friction of any solid material, even at high speeds, which means that it often does not require lubrication. In cases where higher levels of lubrication are desired, you only need to lubricate Teflon™ PTFE products once — products made from the material are virtually maintenance-free.

Applications

Teflon washers find application in virtually every industry, including in the following:

Automotive

When designing and assembling automobiles, manufacturers must balance competing needs. For example, they need to reduce car weight to minimize emissions and improve fuel efficiency but also incorporate non-critical parts to increase durability, longevity, and operator safety. Teflon washers enable them to fulfill both requirements; the lighter material allows them to satisfy all washer functions without adding significantly to the total weight of the car.

The characteristics of Teflon make it well-suited for use in the automotive industry:

  • Its rust resistance allows washers made from it to withstand moisture from car fluids and the environment.
  • Its chemical resistance enables washers made from it to remain stable even when exposed to compounds such as road salts and pollution.
  • When used for automobile coatings, it creates a high-gloss layer that protects cars from rust and minor wear.

HVAC

HVAC systems employed in industrial, commercial, and residential facilities experience significant amounts of vibrations due to moving systems parts and air currents. These vibrations can result in premature wear and fatigue in individual components, especially fasteners located at connection points. Using durable washers, such as those made of Teflon, can help mitigate the vibrations produced to protect critical joints.

Plumbing

Industry professionals in the plumbing industry generally turn to non-metallic washers for their operations due to the near-constant exposure of equipment and systems to water and other fluids. Non-metallic washers offer greater resistance to water-related issues such as corrosion. Additionally, Teflon’s near-complete resistance to water and oil and temperatures up to 600° F allow it to retain its form and integrity even when exposed to excessive moisture and high heat.

Some of the functions Teflon washers serve in the plumbing industry include:

  • Electrically isolating mounting screws. As Teflon doesn’t conduct electricity as easily as metal or plastics such as nylon, it is ideal for introducing electrical resistance.
  • Tightening nuts into place on bolts and other fasteners. Washers evenly distribute the pressure of a fastening point across a larger surface area to reduce strain and the risk of damage.
  • Limiting torque and force during installation. Teflon’s low friction coefficient allows plumbing professionals to fasten parts tightly without jeopardizing the integrity of fragile or breakable components.

Benefits of Teflon Over Metal

For a number of years, metal served as the default material for washers. However, the introduction of durable and reliable plastics, such as Teflon, has led to the acceptance of plastics as a suitable alternative.

Teflon offers several advantages over metals when used in the manufacture of washers. For example, it demonstrates:

  • Water resistance, making it less likely to corrode
  • Chemical resistance, making it suitable for equipment and systems that handle chemicals
  • A low coefficient of friction, making it easier to work with and achieve a tight seal

Teflon Versus Nylon Washers

Compared to metal, nylon and Teflon offer greater application versatility and durability when used in the manufacture of washers. While both are synthetic polymer materials with excellent mechanical strength and frictional resistance, they vary in regard to best use cases due to the differences in their manufacture and, consequently, their physical and chemical characteristics. For example:

  • Teflon is hydrophobic, meaning it resists mixing with water. Compared to nylon, it has a higher melting and better chemical resistance. These qualities make it suitable for equipment systems regularly exposed to moisture or requiring significant amounts of lubrication.
  • Nylon is hydrophilic, meaning it readily mixes with water. Compared to Teflon, it demonstrates better electrical conductivity.

Molded Versus Machined Teflon Washers

Manufacturers employ a few different methods to produce Teflon washers. Two of the most common manufacturing methods are compression molding and machining.

The compression molding process employs a compression mold and press to stamp washers from Teflon material. Compared to other manufacturing processes, such as injection molding, compression molding offers several advantages, including:

  • Greater precision and accuracy. The process is suitable for producing identical parts in high volumes from batch to batch.
  • Faster turnaround. Compression stamping equipment can achieve up to 400 strokes/minute, enabling the production of hundreds of thousands of washers each day.
  • Better cost-effectiveness. Compared to the injection molding process, which requires new molds for each part, the compression molding process only requires adjustments to the punch press to accommodate product changes. This quality helps lower overall tooling costs.

The machining process is often used in conjunction with the compression molding process. Industry professionals use compression molding to create stock and near-net shapes, which then proceed to the machining stage to achieve their final forms. Employing machining allows for the manufacture of more precise washers with tighter tolerances.

Teflon Washer Solutions From New Process Fibre

For over nine decades, New Process Fibre has provided customers with high-quality and innovative non-metallic solutions, including Teflon washers. Our Teflon washers find application in a wide range of industries—including automotive, HVAC, and plumbing—providing durable and reliable performance even when exposed to water, oil, chemicals, and high heat.

For general information on Teflon washers, view our FAQs section below or contact our team today. If you have specific questions about our washer products, access our Teflon washers catalog or request a quote.

FAQs About Teflon Washers

What are the melting points for Teflon washers?

Teflon washers retain their structural integrity in temperatures as high as 550–600° F.

In what sizes are Teflon washers available?

At New Process Fibre, we maintain over 10,000 dies ranging from .080–10 inches in our in-house manufacturing facility. Combined with our custom tooling capabilities, this quality allows us to produce Teflon washers in virtually any size to meet a customer’s needs.

Are there different quality standards for Teflon products?

In contrast to our competitors who use reprocessed material for their washers, at New Process Fibre we use the highest quality virgin Teflon resin available on the market to manufacture our Teflon washers.

How do Teflon washers perform in high-humidity environments?

As Teflon absorbs moisture to maintain an equilibrium with the relative humidity of the surrounding environment, Teflon washers perform excellently in high-humidity environments.

To learn more about our Teflon washers, contact us today.

 

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DID YOU KNOW...

THERMOPLASTIC FORMULAS, SUCH AS NYLON AND TEFLONTM PTFE, PROVIDE A HIGH-PERFORMANCE, LOW-COST ALTERNATIVE TO THE TRADITIONAL METAL WASHERS, GASKETS,AND SPACERS?

Download Material Selection Guide:Nylon and TeflonTM PTFE

Download Guide
Download Material Selection Guide

Additional Resources

Your Guide to Non-Metallics Download
Acetal Components Explained Download>