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PTFE: A Sticky Situation for the Gecko



Geckos, it would seem, can just about stick to anything. 

Well, researchers at the University of Akron decided to see what kind of surfaces geckos can cling to, and Teflon, or Polytetrafluoroethylene PTFE as engineers prefer to call it, was one of their tests.  Their answer was surprising: geckos cannot cling to dry PTFE (wet PTFE is another matter altogether).  Some people say that PTFE is the only dry surface that a gecko cannot cling to … but why?


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Why We Love Spring-Energized PTFE Seals (And You Should, Too!)

Five Benefits of Spring-Energized PTFE Seals


Elastomeric seals have potential disadvantages:  chemical attack, swelling, degradation, heat aging, compression set, and high friction.  However, the addition of a spring and the careful selection of an elastomer can virtually eliminate many of these problems. 

Spring-energized seals have a U-shaped groove in which a corrosion-resistant metal spring (usually made of stainless steel) is placed. Once the seal is seated in the gland, the spring is compressed and applies a force on the gland that seals the surfaces.  This creates a tight barrier to prevent leakage of gas or fluids.  A common material used with spring-energized seals is Polytetrafluoroethylene, referred to as PTFE or Teflon.  This polymer further enhances the properties of spring-energized seals.  In fact, there are five specific benefits to energized PTFE seals!


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