Ptfe Tape Vs Teflon Tape

Well, if you are not new to plumbing jobs, then you would definitely agree that Teflon tapes are really essential sealants to seal any leaks on the threads of plumbing pipes, right?

On the other hand, anyone involved with repairing the gas lines or any pipelines must know about the goodness of PTFE tapes too. Modern-day plumbers use this tape every day. That’s handy!

But, there’s a bit of confusion among most of the people about Teflon and PTFE tapes. Are these two the same? What’s the distinction between PTFE and Teflon tape? 

If this question has popped up in your mind too, you just hit the right place. We have come up with the information to explain the differences or similarities between the two terms. After going through this article, we promise that you’ll have no more confusion in your mind.

Ptfe Tape Vs Teflon Tape

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Ptfe Tape Vs Teflon Tape

PTFE Tape: Formal And Practical Definition

The term PTFE is an acronym of the full name of the chemical Polytetrafluoroethylene. Not very pleasing to utter, right? We thought so. This is the main reason this tape is known by its acronym instead of the real full chemical name.

However, the chemical Polytetrafluoroethylene came into light in 1938 by a renowned chemist by the name Roy J. Plunkett. This chemical was the result of research that was actually conducted with the aim of creating a new kind of refrigerant for a company by the name DuPont.

Enough history study for today, let’s get to know what this chemical offers.

  • Properties of PTFE: Surprisingly enough, scientists were baffled to know that this chemical was highly water-resistant and the melting point was very high too. It is very difficult to damage or to get it decayed by any type of chemical reaction. 

On top of that, PTFE is very flexible and highly suitable to apply on surfaces of many sorts. These properties made this the perfect candidate to be used for making sealant tapes in plumbing.

  • Where it’s used: Within a few years of discovery, all the plumbers worldwide opted for this type of sealant tape. From 1945, it was common to see every plumber keeping a reel of PTFE tape in their pocket. Thus, it also went by the name ” plumber’s tape”.

Teflon Tape: Is It The Same As PTFE? 

The company DuPont marketed the newly discovered chemical with the name TEFLON in 1945. It was fully commercialized worldwide in 1960. In addition to being used as sealant tapes, the chemical Polytetrafluoroethylene was used in non-stick pans and cookware too.

So, we can say that the term Teflon is actually a commercial name of PTFE. Both of them are the same thing.

Essentially, Teflon and PTFE are synonymous names to use. Since the acronym PTFE is not very pleasing to utter, it has been given the commercial name TEFLON for the general public to use when the first PTFE tapes were manufactured.

But for a long time now, Teflon tapes are not only manufactured by the company that has given it the name. Many other companies manufacture tapes made of PTFE with many other brand names. 

But people have remembered this product with the first brand name that came with “TEFLON”. As a result, people don’t use the term “PTFE tape”. Instead, they simply call it Teflon tape.

PTFE And Teflon: Which Term Is Academically Used?

Although these two are the same thing, Polytetrafluoroethylene is the chemical compound name of Teflon. So, the name PTFE is usually used in chemical laboratories academically. For instance, in research reports and chemical diagnostic documents, the term PTFE is vastly typed.

As the commercial name of the chemical, the term Teflon is used only in the commercial market.

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Frequently Asked Questions

In which context should I not use PTFE taps?

It is beyond saying that, almost in all the fixing jobs that the plumbers do, PTFE or Teflon tapes are used. Except for when joining PVC fittings to a female valve thread. Why is that? There’s a probability of a wedging action to be created where it will cause a large amount of stress in the joint. 

Since PTFE does not ensure a connection fully free of leaks, it is better to not use it in PVC joints. Instead, it is recommended to use PTFE or Teflon tapes in metal or plastic pipes of water or gas lines that have the only male type of valve threads.

Can Teflon tapes or PTFE tapes completely seal a leak?

Teflon or PTFE tapes are used in the threadings of the pipe joints in order to make a tight fit between various parts. It works as a deformable filler and essentially assists to prevent leaks. But the thing to note is that Teflon itself does not seal the leaks.

Are there differences between many grades of Teflon tapes?

There are many grades of Teflon tapes that are used for various types of pipes. In essence, the yellow types are high-density Teflon tapes that are used on gas line pipes.

On the other hand, the white type of Teflon is used on water pipes because these are made of flow density PTFE.

What will happen if I use too much Teflon tape?

Mind you, using an excessive amount of Teflon on the threads can actually crack the female adapter. The trick is to use just the right amount without applying more than needed. 

You should use just as much Teflon so that you can thread the pipes with your bare hands. If you are having a hard time threading the pipes by your hand, then it indicates that you have applied too much Teflon tape on the threads.

What are the red PTFE tapes And how are they used?

The red Teflon or PTFE taps are specially manufactured to withstand a high limit of temperature. As a result, red Teflon is applied only on the pipe joints that will carry steam or other high-temperature liquids. The specialty of red Teflon is that they are of the highest density among all grades of Teflon.

Concluding Words

Well, there you have it, people. Now that you are aware of the history and technical terms of the two words Teflon and PTFE, you should have no confusion between the two. To put the whole discussion in one sentence, Teflon and PTFE are the same things with different names. 

So, did you find our article helpful? If you did, we are very flattered to be of help. Best of luck to you in using Teflon tapes. Have a great day, thanks!

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