Understanding what PTFE tape is used for is important. There are several potential Teflon™ tape uses but ultimately, the requirements of a particular task will determine whether PTFE tape is suitable.
PTFE tape is commonly referred to as a thread sealant and many types can help to minimise leakage around certain types of joints. Specific thicknesses of tape can be selected to provide an additional barrier to leakage in ducting. These tapes often feature inherently expansive properties, helping to fill out any small gaps between threads and conduits once they have been wrapped around the inside of a threaded joint.
Common PTFE tape uses include:
PTFE Tape for Leaks
The use of plumber’s tape to stop leaks has long been a widespread practice. It is primarily used as a preventative measure when coupling joints together; wrapping the threads of a male component with PTFE tape before mating can help to seal and tighten the joint from the inside. This provides added protection against the risk of future leakage.
PTFE tape can also be used as a temporary short-term solution to help seal plumbing leaks until further work can be carried out. It is generally applied to a joint's exterior to minimise further leakage. However, it is not designed to be a long-term measure for fixing degraded, damaged, or incorrectly fitted joints.
PTFE Tape for Gas
Using PTFE tape for gas pipe sealer applications is common, but it is vital to select the right product for the job. Gas-rated PTFE thread seal tape is widely available, but it tends to be thicker and denser than standard PTFE tape for use in liquid plumbing environments. The latter can be prone to degradation and leaking if used inappropriately for gas pipelines, as it tends to be more porous. This is usually because of having been stretched thinner during the manufacturing process than the more heavy-duty PTFE tapes for natural gas ducting joints.
PTFE Tape for Petrol and Oil
Due to its chemical inertness, PTFE tape is resistant to both petrol and oil. Therefore, it is often used in automotive applications to seal and lubricate fuel line joints.
Plumber’s lubricating and sealing tape is designed to cope well under moderately high pressure and heat demands. This means that it is broadly suitable for use in environments where it may encounter oil, petrol, diesel and other fuels.
As with most PTFE tape applications, it is good practice to start wrapping slightly below the first line of threading, leaving one full thread circumference exposed at the insertion end of the mating joint. If any small pieces of tape are sheared off where the threads bite together, you can start your wrap a little further back from the endpoint to prevent these material scraps from entering and potentially contaminating connected tanks or fuel lines.