Teflon Tape (PTFE tape): Reliable Protection of Threaded Connections

Teflon Tape (PTFE tape): Reliable Protection of Threaded Connections

Normal sealing of the gas pipeline connections is impossible without a sealant. 

What is Teflon Tape (PTFE tape): material features

Teflon Tape (PTFE tape) is a synthetic tape wound on a roll. It is made from polytetrafluoroethylene. Manufacturers also call this type of raw material Teflon or fluoroplastic-4.

The tape is used to seal pipe joints. Available in white or translucent colors. Teflon Tape stands for PTFE sealing material. Due to its advantages and special properties, it has found wide application not only in the industry (heavy, medical, chemical, food, gas) but also in everyday life.

Teflon Tape: what the sealing tape is made of

In production, the tape is made from fluoroplastic ropes, rolling them to the required size and thickness. The size of the products varies depending on the purpose. After that, they are transferred to the packaging department. The tape goes on sale in the form of spools, on top of which the material is wound in layers. Initially, Teflon Tape comes in the form of profiled products (bundles) with a square, round or rectangular cross-section.

There are three brands of this material:

  1. Teflon Tape-B is designed for aggressive media in general industrial pipelines.
  2. Teflon Tape-F – may come in contact with strong oxidants.
  3. Teflon Tape-O – designed for especially clean environments, withstands strong oxidants.

Note! In some sources there is information that the indicated brands refer to tapes. These data are unreliable. Teflon Tape-O, Teflon Tape-F and Teflon Tape-B are modifications of the sealing harness. They are very often confused with tapes, which have a completely different classification.

The composition of the finished tape is non-toxic, so it can be used in residential premises without the risk of harming human health. The products are resistant to external factors, have mechanical strength and elasticity, and withstand high temperatures perfectly. Such properties are provided by the fluorine contained in the material.

Can you use Teflon Tape (PTFE tape)?

ptfe tape

Most often, in domestic conditions, the tape is used when installing a pipeline under pressure. Such designs are found in gas and water supply systems, as well as centralized heating. The properties of this material are also useful in the repair of household appliances, cars.

Teflon Tape is considered a universal product, regardless of the scope and industry of application. It is used as a chemical-resistant cushioning or padding material. Designed for the following types of connections:

  • flanged;
  • threaded;
  • nipple.

The material of the pipeline does not really matter, so the tape can be used in almost any engineering system. The main thing is to choose the right size and type of product. How much Teflon Tape is to be wound on a thread will depend on the thread diameter.

In domestic conditions, this material is often used for plumbing work, the tape is ideal in situations where:

  • it is required to seal the joint area on a plastic pipeline;
  • you need to temporarily fix the parts (pipe tape eliminates leakage, making it possible to calmly carry out repairs);
  • installation of pipes with fine thread is in progress;
  • a water supply system with a short length is installed;
  • it is necessary to replace the gaskets and rings on the taps;
  • it is required to connect plumbing fixtures with a simple design to the general system.

In other cases, it is better to use plumbing thread. For gas networks, manufacturers produce a special tape that takes into account the peculiarities of the system and its environment.

Important! PTFE tape is suitable only for engineering systems where the pressure does not exceed 9.8 MPa. If this figure is higher, it is worth giving preference to other types of sealing materials.

Technical Parameters of Teflon Tape

The tape is made of fluorine-containing plastic polymers (PTFE). This type of material has certain properties. The surface of the products is smooth and slippery, which greatly simplifies the process of fitting the fittings. The material not only seals the connection itself but also improves the fit of the pipeline parts.

According to the standard, the working pressure for the normal operation of products is up to 10 MPa. However, there are sometimes swings in the system. The tape takes into account these features of the water supply system and can withstand surges up to 41 MPa. The average service life of the material is 13 years. The exact figure depends on the manufacturer.

Biological and chemical inertness is inherent in the material. The tape is not afraid of exposure to alkalis and acids. At the moment, there is no solvent that could damage PTFE during operation. The material owes these properties to its special structure. The polymer has a kind of skin, consisting of fluorine atoms. Therefore, the seal practically does not react in any way to contact with chemicals. In theory, complete decomposition of the material is possible, but this requires extreme conditions that can only be created in the laboratory. Plastic polymers are absolutely not subject to decay.

PTFE has a high thermal resistance. The melting point of the plastic is 327 ° C. The products themselves feel great at temperatures from -70 to 200 ° C. In conditions outside this range, PTFE performance is lost. The material also has dielectric properties. This gives the tape an additional advantage. It can function as an electrical insulator.

Important! There are temperature limits for the material: Teflon Tape (PTFE tape) becomes toxic if the mark exceeds 260 ° C. When the indicator reaches 560 ° C, the fluoroplastic ignites.

Teflon Tape (PTFE tape) for water: the advantages of a sealing material

Like any other material, sealing tape has strengths and weaknesses. Taking into account the technical features of fluoroplastic, the following advantages of these products can be distinguished:

  • the antifriction properties of the material reduce the frictional force. As a result, the service life of the system components is extended. The connections last much longer than when using pipe tow, so the tape is in great demand among craftsmen;
  • thermal resistance allows the use of tape for the installation of high-temperature systems;
  • long service life (13 years) – an impressive figure for most household systems. This feature of the material allows you to forget about repairing the pipeline and replacing worn-out gaskets for a long time;
  • due to its chemical resistance, the material is suitable for systems with non-standard media (liquid and gaseous). Professional tape can be used for both water and gas (yellow sealant);
  • the affordable price of Teflon Tape-tape allows you to purchase a sealing material even with a limited budget;
  • the material is ideal for mounting fittings with a small wall thickness, sealing fine threads. It goes well with plastic systems and polyethylene pipes;
  • in the process of work, the hands of the master remain clean.

Disadvantages of pipe sealing tape

tape

During operation, the water supply system is subjected to multidirectional loads. Thermal linear expansion of pipes occurs under the influence of high temperatures. When the water supply cools down, the elements of the system shrink. Teflon Tape (PTFE tape) does not respond well to this kind of stress.

It also has other disadvantages:

  • the seal area does not look aesthetically pleasing – after installing the fittings, the material may partially protrude beyond the parts, because of this, the pipeline looks sloppy from the outside;
  • Before starting work, you need to know exactly how to use Teflon Tape for water. Even with the observance of technology, accidents are possible. The tape slides off quite often during the tightening phase of the connections. As a result, the material may partially end up in the inner cavity of the pipe;
  • in the absence of skills in handling the tape, it is very difficult to achieve a tight connection, therefore the risk of leakage is very high.

Before winding Teflon Tape over the pipe, be sure to pay attention to the condition of the threads and the cleanliness of the installation area. Do not use the sealant on surfaces damaged by rust.

Important! If there are notches on the threads, the tape will rip up. In such conditions, it is impossible to obtain a sealed connection and it is better to give preference to another material, for example, tow.

Teflon tape classification: how to choose the right material for different jobs

When installing pipes, the tape performs several functions at once. It is used as a deformable filler, and also replaces the thread compound, due to which the joints are completely sealed.

Within the framework of the general classification, the following brands are distinguished:

  1. Teflon Tape-1 – designed for systems with aggressive media. The products are coated with lubricant. Manufacturers usually use liquid petroleum jelly (refined) to process Teflon Tape-1.
  2. Teflon Tape-2 is used in pipelines where contact with strong oxidizing agents such as oxygen is possible. Manufacturers do not impregnate with petroleum jelly.
  3. Teflon Tape-3 – Designed for clean media systems. There is no lubrication on the products.

When installing piping systems for domestic use, experts recommend using the Teflon Tape-1 brand. She has all the necessary indicators for operation in such conditions. Sometimes Teflon Tape-3 is used for these purposes. The thickness of this brand is 0.12 mm, the width is from 3 to 25 mm.

Teflon Tape Specifications:

Characteristic Grade 1 Grade 2
Grease quantity twenty% 0.3%
Material width 1 to 6 cm 5mm to 6cm
Material thickness From 0.1 to 1.4 mm From 0.035 to 0.2 mm
Stress limit (if the material is stretched) 40 kg / cm² 60 kg / cm²
Ultimate tensile strength (elongation before breaking) From 100 to 200% 100%

The size and features of the selection of sanitary Teflon Tape-tape

Depending on the manufacturer, the width of the products varies between 10-60 mm. On sale most often there are tapes with the following thickness: 0.075 and 0.12 mm, 0.1 and 0.2 mm. The minimum length of the coil is 2 m. For each type of work, the tape is selected individually. In this case, it is not only the diameter of the thread that matters, but also the degree of experience of the master himself.

The tape used in plumbing has the following characteristics:

  • capable of operating at temperatures of -70 ° С (cold water supply) and 200-250 ° С (pipes with hot water);
  • provides protection against corrosion, preventing damage to the thread;
  • can withstand a pressure of 100 atmospheres.

According to the characteristics declared by the manufacturers and the test results, the sanitary tape shows itself perfectly during operation. However, with a lack of experience, this type of seal is more likely than others to leak.

Important! When buying a product, be sure to pay attention to such an indicator as breaking load. The tape must stretch well. If the material is of poor quality, it will tear even with little force.

Despite the fact that the price of Teflon Tape-tape for water is democratic, this material itself has a large consumption. Especially if a person takes on this work for the first time. A beginner who does not know how to wind Teflon Tape tape correctly will have to practice several times on the thread and try different types of products before he can find the right option and achieve the desired result.

Specificity and Characteristics of Teflon Tape for Gas

Manufacturers produce a special fluoroplastic seal for gas systems. It also has the form of tape and is intended for pipelines of various materials. This type of seal performs well in corrosive environments and general industrial systems. It has a yellow color, so it cannot be confused with any other material.

The tape itself is made of the fluoroplastic film (not sintered). The width of the products is 1.2 cm. The thickness of the film is from 0.1 to 0.25 mm. It goes on sale in the form of skeins 10 m long. This type of material can be used to seal the joints of water pipes and heating systems. It retains its strength and performance over a wide temperature range. Quite inert and versatile.

The tape designed for gas systems is easy to use. It prevents “acidification” of the joints, which greatly facilitates the dismantling of elements in case of need for repair.

General characteristics of Gas Teflon Tape:

  • production material – polytetrafluoroethylene;
  • the density of the material is 1.2 g / cm³;
  • working temperature – from -200 ° С to 260 ° С;
  • designed for low-pressure systems only.

In practice, it turns out that the tape is not able to provide strong connections. Its capabilities are enough only to combine short pipes. In this case, at the joints, it is imperative to install additional fasteners that will protect the junction from bends and fractures.

Important! Household gas is very dangerous, so it is not recommended to repair the system yourself. For this, it is better to call a specialist.

Differences between Teflon Tape for Gas and Water

Both products are made of fluoroplastic-4, therefore, the tapes have the same thread structure, as well as similar dimensions of the skein (length and width), the thickness of the seal for gas and water is the same – within 0.1-0.2 mm.

The main differences are:

  1. Price – Gas pipe tape costs a little more.
  2. Color – plumbing products are white and translucent, and gas products are only yellow.
  3. Density – material for gas systems is much denser than conventional tape.
  4. Quality requirements – the gas tape must be certified.

Since the gas is explosive and can cause serious harm to human health, increased requirements are put forward for the sealing material. It is not enough just to purchase a tape with a corresponding mark on the packaging because many manufacturers are cunning. According to clause 10-221 of building regulations 42.101-2003, the quality of the tape, as well as its performance, must be confirmed by a certificate. Only then can you gain confidence in the safety and reliability of future connections.

Some sources and user reviews claim that regular Teflon Tape-2 brand sealant can be used in gas systems (provided that the material is of good quality). In fact, in such cases, you should not use plumbing tape. The gas has a low density. Even with a strong connection with high-quality sealing, it is able to seep out. That is why tape for gas is made of a denser material than tap, and the bright yellow color allows you to distinguish between them.

Analogs of Teflon Tape, which is better: flax, tape, or liquid sealants

Due to the complicated installation technology, many inexperienced craftsmen try to find an alternative option so as not to use Teflon Tape. The following materials are used as seals at pipe joints:

  • hell;
  • universal thread;
  • liquid Teflon Tape (anaerobic sealants).

Each type of material has its own characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages, as well as the recommended area of ​​application. Therefore, craftsmen are often worried about what is better to choose: tow or Teflon Tape-tape, liquid sealant, or another option.

Important! Under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, the service life of fluoroplastic products is significantly reduced. Therefore, it is advisable to store the ribbon spools out of sunlight, in a dry place. Air humidity should not exceed 80%. It is not allowed to store the tape near heating devices, the minimum distance is 1 m.

Is it worth replacing the tape with two: what is winding and why is it good

Tow is a natural material based on linen fibers. Designed for sealing steel pipes. It is considered a traditional winding for plumbing systems and, despite an extensive range of more modern materials, is still in high demand among craftsmen.

To determine which is better to take for work: Teflon Tape or tape, it is worth comparing the advantages and disadvantages of these materials. Advantages of plumbing tow:

  • the connection is easily adjustable, the fitting can be unscrewed by 45 °;
  • the material is resistant to mechanical stress;
  • the high degree of sealing;
  • Winding over wet or dirty threads is possible;
  • due to the ability to absorb moisture, the tow swells and blocks a slight leak;
  • if necessary, the material can be easily dismantled.

The disadvantages of tow can be attributed to its susceptibility to decay. This natural material slowly decomposes when exposed to moisture.

The scope of application largely depends on what the tow is made of. Sanitary combed flax is made up of long, thin fibers with high strength. They fit tightly and well into the thread. When connecting elements by screwing in, the material does not collapse, therefore combed flax is best used for gas and pipeline systems.

Scattered flax acts as a raw material for the production of combed flax. This material is coarser, its fibers are clogged. It is suitable for sealing threaded connections in plumbing systems. Tape is usually preferred by people who do not know how to use Teflon Tape.

In some cases, it is more advisable to use tape:

  • installation of small diameter pipes;
  • sealing thin-walled fittings;
  • work with plastic pipes.

Thus, the tape is more suitable for connecting a flexible hose to a kitchen faucet, and tow is better to create a sealed connection between the water pipe and the fitting.

Helpful advice! Tow is preferable to use when installing pipes with a large diameter. Manufacturers make notches on the threads especially for this material.

Characteristics and scope of application of liquid Teflon Tape

Liquid Teflon Tape is composed of an anaerobic methacrylic resin. This product hardens slowly to securely hold threaded metal connections. He is not afraid of vibrations, remains plastic, and shows resistance to temperature changes. Unlike tape, the sealant perfectly withstands multidirectional loads, fills voids and small gaps well.

Liquid Teflon Tape can fully replace tape and tow-in systems with different fillings:

  • cold and hot water;
  • diesel fuel;
  • various oils;
  • gas (except oxygen);
  • almost any chemical compound.

Externally, the anaerobic sealant looks like a blue liquid with a viscous consistency. The density of this product is 1.09 g / cm³. There is a slight odor. General characteristics:

  • working temperature – from -55 ° С to 180 ° С;
  • shelf-life – more than 12 months. (at a temperature not exceeding 28 ° С);
  • withstands pressure up to 50 bar;
  • afraid of solvents – trichloroethane, acetone.

The initial hardening of the material occurs after 2-3 hours, for complete hardening, it takes from 12 to 24 hours.

Note! When oxides or metal particles get into the sealant, an exothermic reaction is triggered – heat is released.

Mounting Teflon Tape: How to Wrap the Thread Correctly

The correct choice of material is the first condition for the high-quality performance of the joints. For work, you need to take only those tapes that stretch well. Poor quality material will crumble over time and cause a leak. To seal the pipes of the water supply system, experts recommend using products with the following parameters:

  1. For small joints – thickness no more than 0.1 mm, width 12 mm.
  2. For large joints – thickness up to 0.2 mm, width 19 mm.

The length of the spool depends on how much Teflon Tape has to be wrapped around the threads to completely cover the threads. In this matter, you need to focus on the diameter of the pipe. If the work is being done for the first time, it is better to take the material with a margin.

How to Wrap Teflon Tape Correctly: Surface Preparation and General Guidelines

If you familiarize yourself with all the subtleties and nuances of this procedure, then the installation of the tape will not cause any particular difficulties. Before starting work, the surface where the seal will be fixed must be carefully prepared:

  1. The thread must be cleaned of dirt, it is imperative to get rid of traces of rust.
  2. After that, the cleaned area must be degreased. For these purposes, gasoline or other types of solvents are suitable.
  3. You can start winding only after the treated surface is completely dry.

The main recommendations of specialists:

  • how much to wind Teflon Tape-tapes – exact data does not exist. You may need from 4-6 layers on thin pipes, and up to 20-25 layers – on thick ones. Their number depends on the width of the tape itself, as well as on the characteristics of the thread. Approximately 4 layers are required for a pipe with a diameter of 30-40 mm;
  • how to work with fittings from 1 inch in size – the whole width is wound so that the tape is pressed between the turns. After the nut is tightened, the material will break and separate into threads that fill the space, creating a tight connection;
  • which way to wind the Teflon Tape tape? This is done clockwise, or in the direction where the branch pipe will be twisted over the thread. If you lead the tape in the opposite direction, after connecting the parts, the winding will tighten and you will have to redo everything;
  • winding in pieces is not allowed – if the material is torn, it must be removed and the seal must be installed again, otherwise, the connection will not be airtight;
  • you cannot reuse the tape – if something does not work out, the material is completely removed and a new one is wound.

Teflon tape mounting technology: how to wind the material

To get a secure connection with tape, just follow the simple instructions.

The editing algorithm is as follows:

  1. The end of the tape must be applied to the squeegee and led in the direction of the thread, that is, clockwise. Thanks to this winding, the material will follow the screw, smoothly adhering to the base.
  2. The winding is done with force, but the material does not need to be stretched. It should be pressed firmly against the base. If the tape is stretched, it will not be able to perform its functions and everything will have to be redone.
  3. In the process of winding, it is necessary to ensure that the edge of the tape does not go over the inner diameter of the pipe.
  4. The layers are wound until the thread relief disappears under the seal.
  5. The end of the material should not obstruct the smooth screwing of the pipe. To do this, the tape must be taken aside and carefully cut off at the end of the procedure.

If during the process of screwing in the pipes, a strong stress is noticeable, the seal must be reapplied, otherwise, this will cause the system to break down in the future.

Teflon Tape tape is the ideal sealant for plumbing connections. Thanks to its many advantages, this material compares favorably with the alternatives that have been used in the past. Strong and reliable fixation is possible only if the type and size of the tape are correctly selected, and high-quality winding is performed. If you follow the technology requirements exactly, then even a beginner can cope with this task.

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