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Polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, was discovered by DuPont in 1938 and was later commercialized by DuPont in the mid 1940’s. Zeus began developing PTFE for manufacturing processes in 1966.
Since then, we have become the world’s largest extrusions manufacturer of PTFE. We have evolved a broad PTFE portfolio of standardized and custom products. This diverse polymer is made into heat shrink, convoluted tubing, and monofilament. PTFE’s inherent qualities mean that our PTFE heat shrink and convoluted tubing meet ASM-DTL-23053/12 and 81914 Mil Spec, respectively. PTFE has the lowest coefficient of friction of any polymer and has a broad temperature range allowing it to excel equally in extreme cold and hot environments.
The unique properties of PTFE have made it the polymer of choice for many advanced applications. Because of its unparalleled chemical resistance and extreme temperature tolerance, this fluoropolymer has gained a high presence in everything from lifesaving medical devices, chemical and analytic sciences, to industrial equipment operating in demanding environments.
Known as the gold standard, PTFE tubing possesses superior lubricity, is biocompatible, and is made to precision tolerances. We offer PTFE in Sub-Lite-Wall® tubing, special profiles, multi-lumen tubing, and in our Aeos® ePTFE special expanded PTFE version.
PTFE can be sourced with flares, flanges, draw downs, drilled holes, cuffs, or a combination of more than one Optimized Tubing Solution.
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Contact us or call toll-free in the US 1-800-526-3842 or +1-803-268-9500 internationally to learn more about this or any of our other performance resin extrusions.
Note: The information in the Zeus website, catalog, and other sources presents and discusses generally accepted properties for non-pigmented virgin polymer resins from which Zeus fabricates its line of extruded products. Actual properties may change due to processing method, resin grade, extruded dimensions, and other variables. It is the end user’s responsibility to fully evaluate and test the fitness of the product for their specific application.
Catheter Construction – PTFE Sub-Lite-Wall® is used for lining the inside diameter’s of catheters to allow easier access through a tortuous pathway in the body. In this application, PTFE is chemically etched to enable better bondability to its overlying jacketing material during construction. PTFE can be manufactured in a variety of multi-lumen configurations to allow additional passages within a medical device through which to pass wire guides, irrigation, steering cables, and more. Our PTFE Sub-Lite-Wall® Heat Shrink improves the lubricity of wire guides used in endoscopy. We can also supply this heat shrink over customer-supplied wires.
Critical Fluid Transfer – The chemical resistance, mechanical integrity, and high maximum temperature resistance of PTFE make it ideal for critical fluid transfer tubing. This material can handle a wide range of acids, bases, and solvents. PTFE is inherently pure making it an excellent material choice for pharmaceutical applications that require a high degree of purity.
Dry Lubrication – The highly lubricious nature of PTFE provides dry lubrication solutions for a variety of applications including fuel hoses and other fluid tubing lines. PTFE’s smooth surface facilitates feeding of wires and other components through PTFE convoluted or other tubing.
Furcation Tubing – Also known as jacketing, this application is most commonly used in fiber optics to protect these fragile communication devices. PTFE easily slides over fiber optics without damaging these delicate fibers. PTFE’s superior qualities on many fronts protect fiber optics from abrasion and physical trauma without affecting the fiber’s transmission.
Lubricious Wire Coating – Extruded over wire (usually as a spline), PTFE provides a super-smooth surface to ease feeding wires through confined spaces.
Wire Splicing – In heat shrinkable form, PTFE provides great electrical insulation and chemical resistance; these attributes serve it well as a splicing aid whether for designed purposes or repairs made in the field.
Wire Harness – PTFE’s excellent dielectric properties make this an ideal material for covering, protecting, and insulating wire harnesses and other bundled electrical cables. PTFE wire harness applications are particularly widespread in the automotive and aerospace industries not only for PTFE’s insulation and protection attributes but also for its temperature resistance.
3-D Printing – In this application, PTFE is utilized in a tube form because its lubricity guides filaments to the die head to make parts or to transport liquids. The finished material is chemically inert and can have color added for identification.
Convoluted Tubing – This tubing contains multiple convolutes in series resulting in a highly flexible and maneuverable tubing material. Also known as flexible conduit, this tubing is used as protective covering for wires and fiber optics in critical areas of aerospace and automotive applications where flexibility and performance are key.
Custom Profiles – At Zeus, we excel in the production of tight-tolerance custom profiles. From standard products such as guide rail covers to ultra-precise extruded profiles for minimally invasive surgical devices, we have developed the technology to bring unique extruded profiles from concept to reality. Our other custom profiles include engineered surface tubing, splines, and Snaptube® Cable Wrap.
Etching – PTFE’s highly unreactive nature, which is responsible for its highly lubricious character, works against it when needing to adhere PTFE to another material. We have the ability to chemically etch PTFE to create a highly bondable surface. Etching can be done over the length of the tube or for specific lengths on the end. PTFE extrusions can also be etched on the inside diameter, outside diameter, or on the tip of the tubing.
Extruded Tubing – PTFE’s broad working temperature, chemical resistance, and mechanical properties have led to this material having a high presence in diverse areas from automotive, aerospace, medical, chemical, and general industrial settings. PTFE maintains its mechanical properties across its operating temperature range. We are experts in extruding this thermoplastic and provide PTFE tubing in multiple forms to meet almost any industry niche.
Fillers – Our popular PTFE is available with a number of fillers to help your further tailor your product for your specific application. Bismuth and barium can be added to produce radio-opaque tubing that can be illuminated during medical procedures like fluoroscopy. Glass filler added to PTFE imparts additional abrasion resistance; carbon alters the resin’s electrical properties; and pigments are available for color specifications. Additional fillers are available by request.
Heat Shrink – PTFE heat shrink has broad applications ranging from covering and protecting critical components from harsh working environments to wire splicing and fiber optics coverings. PTFE’s superior properties such as chemical and temperature resistance make PTFE heat shrink a prime option for component and wire encapsulation.
Monofilament – The highly smooth and non-stick surface of PTFE monofilament makes this item a popular choice to support the inside diameter of catheters during the construction process. Additionally, our PTFE beading and monofilament meets ASTM D 3295 guidelines.
Multi-Lumen – Our Multi-Lumen tubing contains numerous lumens, or “passages” to create multiple working channels that run the length of the tubing. Multi-lumen tubing is widely used in medical devices such as catheters; it is also frequently used in electronic devices and fluid handling applications. We manufacture this specialized tubing with tight tolerances, unsurpassed capabilities, and high quality standards.
Sub-Lite-Wall® – This PTFE ultra-thin walled heat shrink has been specially developed to minimize thickness where thickness is of critical importance as in catheter design and fiber optics coatings. PTFE’s Sub-Lite-Wall® allows catheters made with this material to operate in temperature extremes from cryogenic up to 500 °F (260 °C) for autoclaving. PTFE’s Sub-Lite-Wall® used to splice fiber optics minimizes deformations to the fibers which can negatively affect transmission.
- KEY PROPERTIES
Biocompatable – PTFE’s highly unreactive character makes this material very well-suited as a biomaterial. PTFE is biocompatible and USP Class VI certified.
Broad Working Temperature Range – PTFE can easily operate in temperatures from -328 °F (‑200 °C) to 500 °F (260 °C) giving it extremely broad application potential.
Chemical Resistant – Our PTFE is nearly inert and is unreactive to almost all commonly encountered chemicals whether acids, bases, or hydrocarbons.
Excellent Dielectric Properties – The exceptional dielectric properties of PTFE means that this material provides insulating properties in addition to the other beneficial traits for which PTFE is known.
Easy to Clean – PTFE’s lubricious surface creates a highly non-stick exterior. This exposed area makes PTFE easy to wipe clean particularly in light of its ability to tolerate solvents and cleaning solutions.
Flame Resistant – PTFE is highly indisposed to burning and can be used in high heat applications. PTFE is UL 94 V-0 certified. Likewise, this material has a limiting oxygen index of >95.
Low Coefficient of Friction – PTFE has the lowest coefficient of friction of any polymer resin; this trait makes PTFE especially effective where lubricity and smoothness of surface are a necessity.
Low Extractables – PTFE has an extremely low level of extractables assuring that virtually no chemicals will leach out of the tubing.
Mechanical Resistance – This material’s strength and toughness enable it to stand up to high levels of mechanical stress in the most extreme environments.
Sterilizable – Zeus PTFE tolerates ETO sterilization, and its high temperature tolerance means that it is also autoclavable.
Ultra-tight Tolerances – At Zeus, our 50 years of experience in polymer extrusion have given us the expertise to produce a range of extruded products with ultra-fine tolerances and ultra-precise custom profiles and sizes.