The primary purpose of a typical expansion bellows is to isolate a fluid from neighboring components. Bellows are used in a variety of applications, including pulse dampeners, HVAC systems, pharmaceutical processing, pollution control, and piping systems. PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene, or Teflon) is an ideal material for bellows applications, and in this post we are going to explore seven things every engineer needs to know about PTFE bellows.
Here are some other blog posts here at Advnced EMC Technologies on PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene):
- Why We Love Spring-Energized PTFE Seals (And You Should, Too!)
- Teflon PTFE Seals for Static and Dynamic Sealing
- Using PTFE and UHMW to Solve Big Problems in Food And Dairy Industry
7 Things Every Engineer Needs to Know About PTFE Bellows
1. Long Service Life with PTFE Bellows.
The ability of material to have a long service life under dynamic flexing is a critical characteristic for a bellows material. PTFE is not only extremely flexible (comparable to rubber), but has an excellent flex life. These two characteristics alone makes it a first, especially when dealing with dangerous fluids or federal oversight.
2. PTFE Bellows Outperforms.
PTFE outperforms all other bellows materials when it comes to the harshest, most chemically corrosive environments. In fact, it is the most chemically inert of all polymers.
3. PTFE FDA’s Approval.
PTFEs FDA approval make it a perfect choice for food, dairy, and pharmaceutical industry applications requiring bellows.
4. PTFE Repellant Qualities.
Some bellows may tend to trap fluid or media in the helix. This can be difficult to avoid, but PTFE was designed to repel other materials from its surface.
5. Low Spring Rate of PTFE.
The naturally low spring rate of PTFE helps it to absorb vibration and sudden shocks. This should propel it to first choice when using a bellows to connect to stress sensitive components, such as those made of glass or graphite.
6. PTFE Bellows Do Not Suffer Degradation Due To Age or Sunlight.
Your design may be may account for all the standard engineering issues, but what about exposure to sunlight or the effects of aging? PTFE bellows will not suffer degradation due to age, or when exposed to ozone or sunlight.
7. PTFE Available in Anti-static Grade for Semiconductor Environments.
Some environments, such as semiconductor processing, can be highly static sensitive. PTFE is available in an anti-static grade, making it an excellent option for semiconductor environments.
PTFE has so many properties that make it ideally adapted as a first choice material in selecting an expansion bellows for any project, ranging from a petrochemical pipeline system to a semiconductor manufacturing plant. When you need chemical and environmental stability, reliability, and shock absorption, the recommendation is PTFE bellows.
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