- Thread seal tape
Thread seal tape — commonly known as "
Teflontape", "PTFE tape" or "plumber's tape" — is a polytetrafluoroethylene(PTFE) film cut to specified widths for use in sealing pipe threads. The tape is wrapped around the exposed threads of a pipe before it is screwed into place. Since the PTFE is malleable, deformable and impermeable, it acts a little like putty under compression, being forced into small gaps between threads in order to create an air- and watertight seal when threaded into a joint. The tape is commonly used commercially in pressurized water systems, such as central heating systems, as well as in air compression equipment and thread joints with coarse threads.
One of the defining characteristics of PTFE is how good it is at defeating friction. The use of PTFE tape in tapered pipe threads performs a lubricating function, which more easily allows the threads to be screwed together, to the point of deformation, which is what creates the majority, if not all, of the seal.
Thread seal tape is most commonly a white film (the natural color of PTFE) and is used in plumbing applications, but it is also available in various colors. While pigmented thread seal tape is not materially different from the natural white tape, it is often used to correspond to color coded pipelines (yellow for
natural gas, green for oxygen, etc.).
There are two standards for determining the quality of any PTFE tape. MIL-T-27730A (an obsolete military specification still commonly used in industry in the US) requires a minimum thickness of 3 mils. The second standard, A-A-58092, is a commercial grade which maintains the thickness requirement of MIL-T-27730A and adds a minimum density of 1.2 g/cc.Fact|date=March 2008 It has multiple uses including restorative dentistry.
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