April 11, 2015
PTFE Seals: What and Why?news
Seals are found in nearly every machine and vehicle in operation. Their primary purpose, of course, is to protect critical components like bearings from potentially damaging media and/or harsh environments. The seal retains or excludes potentially harmful media and is sometimes the only defense between a working machine and one that fails prematurely.
When Henry Ford realized that traditional rope packing wasn’t going to withstand the heat generated by his automobile, he sought out a new seal material: leather. Soon afterward, the rubber seal made its debut, followed by the synthetic rubber or elastomeric seal. As the demands of nearly every industry continued to become more severe, elastomeric seals were not offering the performance and life that the manufacturers and the consumers were expecting. PTFE (commonly known as Teflon) became the seal material of choice.
Why are PTFE seals the best option for such applications and industries? And why does Tritec use PTFE as the base material for our solutions?
PTFE seals, occasionally called oil seals, fluid seals, or dirt seals, offer a wider service range than elastomeric seals when it comes to temperature, pressure, shaft speed and the vast array of media that the seal encounters. PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) is an inert material which makes it resistant to nearly all chemicals and acids. It is also self-lubricating, making it great for applications which are either dry, or have an abrasive media. Finally, due to the reduced friction created from the PTFE lip while in contact with the shaft (the sealing surface), you will receive longer life and less power consumption vs. an elastomer lip.
PTFE seals are manufactured from the blending of virgin PTFE with various “fillers”. These fillers are custom blended to create the physical properties your application will need during service. They will reduce friction and lower operating temperature and, therefore, result in a much longer life. With the knowledge, expertise, and experience possessed by Tritec’s Engineering team, you can be assured that they will choose the best filler for your PTFE rotary lip seal and, hence, the best sealing solution for your application.