What Is Teflon Tape

roll of teflon tape

What is Teflon Tape?

Here’s our Teflon® Tape guide in relation to PTFE Tape.

What is Teflon® Tape is a common, inexpensive and effective thin white tape used to seal pipe threads being joined together for plumbing jobs.

Whats Teflon tape used in, it is used to seal water, air, gas from leaking through threaded connections that don’t have a built in rubber seal.

Technically known as PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) it is silky in texture and breaks in a stringy manner.

PTFE Discovery

PTFE was discovered accidentally in 1938 by a young scientist looking for something else. Roy Plunkett was a chemist for E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (Du Pont). He had earned a PhD from Ohio State University in 1936, and in 1938 when he stumbled upon Teflon ®.

Polytetrafluoroethylene – PTFE known as Teflon® – a Dupont trade name is used as a non-stick coating for pans, cookware and even industrial food processing machinery. The pan must be made of aluminum or an aluminum alloy. The pan surface has to be specially prepared to receive the PTFE.


It is very non-reactive, partly because of the strength of carbon–fluorine bonds, and so it is often the choice of material used in containers and pipework for corrosive and reactive chemicals.

Where used as a lubricant, PTFE has low friction, wear and energy consumption of machinery, here are many uses for Teflon® tape.


The tape is waxy which is why it used primarily for plumbing and electronics. It can be used to fix coils, insulation, and threads.

Teflon® tape is designed to coat the threads of plumbing components and create a tighter seal. If you use Teflon® tape on any plumbing repairs that involve threaded pipes you will have good workmanship.

The whole purpose behind Teflon® tape is to make a better seal between plumbing parts.

When applying the tape, use plenty. Teflon® tape comes in a number of different widths. Though ½ inch tape is not the only tape used by professional plumbers, it is the most versatile.

It is small enough for little repairs, but wide enough to repair longer tubes.

Teflon® tape is so versatile it can be used at temperatures ranging from -270°C to 260°C. PTFE has an outstanding chemical resistance and is unaffected by all known chemicals except alkali metals and under certain conditions, fluorine.

PTFE has excellent weather resistance and has an extremely wide working temperature range.

It is the best of the solid dielectrics and an excellent insulator. It is worth noting that it cannot be used on drinking water pipes.

How Are Teflon Coatings Made/Created?

FOUR Ingredients are used

fluorspar, hydrofluoric acid, chloroform, and water

They are combined at a temperature of 1094-1652°F (590-900°C) inside a special chemical reaction chamber this process is called “pyrolysis”

This creates TFE which is volatile and flammable.

The second stage is polymerization TFE is polymerized into PTFE, using small amounts of ammonium persulfate or disuccinic acid peroxide and water.

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