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Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

PTFE is a fluoroplastic (fluorine-based thermoplastic). It can have a fairly high density among thermoplastics. In addition, it can have a moderately high ductility and a fairly low tensile strength.

The properties of PTFE include three common variations. The property values on this page show ranges across all of them. For more specific values, follow the links immediately below. The graph bars on the material properties cards further below compare PTFE to: fluoroplastics (top), all thermoplastics (middle), and the entire database (bottom). The length of each bar shows the given value as a % of the largest value in the relevant set.

Mechanical Properties

Compressive (Crushing) Strength

6.9 to 24 MPa 1.0 to 3.5 x 103 psi

Elongation at Break

75 to 300 %

Flexural Modulus

0.4 to 1.3 GPa 0.058 to 0.19 x 106 psi

Flexural Strength

13 to 50 MPa 1.9 to 7.3 x 103 psi

Tensile Strength: Ultimate (UTS)

13 to 25 MPa 1.9 to 3.6 x 103 psi

Thermal Properties

Heat Deflection Temperature At 1.82 MPa (264 psi)

66 to 70 °C 150 to 160 °F

Melting Onset (Solidus)

330 to 340 °C 630 to 640 °F

Thermal Conductivity

0.24 to 0.65 W/m-K 0.14 to 0.38 BTU/h-ft-°F

Thermal Expansion

110 to 120 µm/m-K

Electrical Properties

Dielectric Constant (Relative Permittivity) At 1 MHz

2.1 to 2.4

Electrical Dissipation At 1 MHz

0.00017 to 0.050

Electrical Resistivity Order of Magnitude

2.0 to 18 10x Ω-m

Otherwise Unclassified Properties

Density

2.1 to 2.3 g/cm3 130 to 140 lb/ft3

Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI)

90 %

Water Absorption After 24 Hours

0.0093 to 0.050 %

Common Calculations

Strength to Weight: Axial

1.7 to 3.2 points

Strength to Weight: Bending

5.7 to 8.7 points

Followup Questions

Further Reading

Fluoroplastics: Volume 2 - Melt Processable Fluoropolymers, Sina Ebnesajjad, 2003

SPI Plastics Engineering Handbook of the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc., 5th ed., Michael L. Berins (editor), 2000

Modern Plastics Handbook, Charles A. Harper (editor), 1999

Plastics Materials, 7th ed., J. A. Brydson, 1999