PTFE is an excellent material for a wide range of sealing applications, including PTFE washers. Being chemically inert, it resists attack by almost all acids and alkalis. It’s soft, so it deforms readily to fill uneven gaps between surfaces, and it remains flexible and useable over a wide temperature range, (in comparison to other gasket materials). It’s a good thermal and electrical insulator, but it has one other useful attribute: low friction.
Low friction means other surfaces experience almost no resistance as they slide over PTFE, (also known by its Chemours tradename, Teflon.) That’s advantageous when closing up a joint where one surface slides against the seal or gasket as it means all the applied force goes into the joint.
A product that exploits this behavior is the PTFE washer. Consider this a special type of gasket that benefits from low friction. Slippery surfaces help ensure the fastener fitted over the washer seals without moving or tearing the washer surface.
Applications for PTFE Washers
- Plumbing — use PTFE washers under bolts and when fastening fittings to delicate or easily marked surfaces
- Electronics — insulating properties and high-temperature resistance make PTFE washers a good choice for distributing screw loads in electrical assemblies
- Mechanical assemblies — PTFE washers let bolt heads tighten down without putting and stresses into the surface underneath
- Food industry – PTFE is available in food grades and withstands aggressive cleaning regimens
PTFE Washers: Shapes, Sizes, and Forms
PTFE comes in sheet form and both filled and pure PTFE grades. It’s readily die-cut, water jet cut, and flash cut.
While there’s an assumption that washers are circular, they don’t have to be. Hexagonal shapes will utilize the PTFE sheet better while squares and rectangles may be more useful in some applications. Tabs can help resist rotation during fastening, although the slipperiness of PTFE means this is rarely an issue.
We are happy to provide a quote for PTFE washers custom fabricated to your specs.