CNC Machining Materials

PTFE

At a glance

Processes

CNC Mill
CNC Lathe

Lead Time

As fast as 2 days

Colors

Black, white

Tolerance

With drawing: as low as +/- 0.005 mm
No drawing: ISO 2768 medium

Price

$

Applications

Sliding/rolling parts, bearings, gears

About the material

Commonly known as Teflon, PTFE resists high temperatures and chemicals/solvents excellently in and is also a great insulator. It is also a very slippery plastic, which makes it a good material for low-friction applications such as bearings.

Material Properties

Yield Strength (tensile)

4,500 psi

Elongation at Break

300%

Hardness

Rockwell R60

Density

0.046 lbs / cu. in.

Maximum Temp

400° F

McMaster Part Number

8545K1

Material Finish

PTFE comes in an opaque white or black color and has a slippery surface texture. In addition to its overall texture, many different surface finishes can be achieved during machining.

Design Recommendations

Min Wall Thickness

0.5 mm

Min End Mill Size

0.8 mm (0.03 in)

Min Drill Size

0.5 mm (0.02 in)

Max Part Size

1200 x 500 x 152 mm [x,y,z] (mill)
152 x 394 mm [d,h] (lathe)

Undercuts

Square profile, full radius, dovetail profiles

Radii : Depth

Depth must not exceed 12x drill bit diameter.
For end mills, depth must not exceed 10x tool diameter.

Cost Saving Tip

To reduce costs, limit the number of part setups, the number of inspection dimensions or tight tolerances, and deep pockets with small radii.

PTFE FAQs

Can PTFE be machined?

Yes, PTFE (commonly known as Teflon) is a very slippery plastic, which makes it a good material for machining low-friction parts such as bearings. PTFE resists high temperatures and chemicals/solvents making it an excellent insulator.

Is ptfe rubber or plastic?

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a thermoplastic.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of PTFE?

The advantages of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) include:

  • Low friction
  • Self-cleaning
  • Durability
  • Effective across a wide range of temperatures
  • Non-flammable
  • Corrosive resistant
  • High electrical resistance

The disadvantages of PTFE include:

  • Price
  • Difficult to mass produce
  • Can change shape under pressure
  • Unweldable
  • Cannot withstand extremely high temperatures and melts at 326C

What is PTFE used for?

PTFE applications range from non-stick coating in kitchen cookware to high-tech medical and hospital uses including implants, surgical instruments and test equipment.

PTFE is highly heat resistant and resists friction against solids, which enables PTFE to be used as a component of gears, gaskets, side plates and bearings. It’s also used to make containers and pipes because it is anti-corrosive, and non-reactive. PTFE also has good electric insulation properties and is used in insulating cables and connector assemblies. This makes it ideal for coaxial cable, printed circuit boards and hookup wire.

YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Finishing Options: How to Choose the Right One For Your Application

When talking about CNC machining finishing options, you might have heard about “as-machined”, “anodizing”, coatings, or blasting among others. But before going into detail for each option, we need to clarify two terms: “surface finish” and “surface finishing”. Sometimes they are misused, which can create confusion. Surface finish: Surfaces have characteristics produced by the manufacturing […]

Learn More

Cutting Tools Used in CNC Machining – Choose the Right Tool for the Job

As a mechanical engineer or designer, how much time do you spend thinking about how your parts are going to be machined? Even more specifically, do you know what kinds of tools will be used to make different features or geometries? This article will be your guide to the most common tools used in CNC […]

Learn More