Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

PTFE is a thermoplastic polymer that is compatible with a wide assortment of lubricants and features chemical resistance that is far superior to that of any other sealing lip material. PTFE has a smooth, dirt-resistant surface. Seals with PTFE lips can accommodate high surface speeds while offering extended service life. The seals can tolerate dry running and are particularly valuable in highly contaminated applications because of their excellent exclusion ability. PTFE is used for auxiliary seal elements or for primary sealing lips for special applications. For optimum performance, PTFE seal elements require a high-quality seal counterface and extra care during installation. The normal operating temperature range extends from –70 to +200 °C (–90 to +390 °F), but may go up to 250 °C (480 °F).


At temperatures above 300 °C (570 °F), all fluoro elastomers and PTFE compounds give off dangerous fumes. This can occur, for example, if a welding torch is used when removing a bearing. Although the fumes are only produced at such high temperatures, once heated, the seals will be dangerous to handle even when they have cooled down. If it is necessary to handle PTFE or fluoro elastomer seals that have been subjected to the high temperatures mentioned above, the following safety precautions should be observed:
  • Protective goggles and gloves should always be worn.
  • The remains of seals should be put in an airtight plastic container marked “Material will etch”.
  • Comply with the safety precautions included in the material safety data that can be provided upon request.

If there is contact with your skin, this should be washed with soap and plenty of water. Wash your eyes with plenty of water if these materials get into your eyes. A doctor should always be consulted. This also applies if the fumes have been inhaled.
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