Japanese Scientists Have Offered a New Method of Enhancing the Polytetrafluorethylene Adhesion

Nov 28th, 2017

Teflon coated kitchen utensils have gained popularity worldwide long since due to the slippery surface, which allows avoiding burning of food. The chemical composition of teflon includes polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) – the most slippery of the existing materials. PTFE is a chemically resistant material with a low coefficient of friction. In parallel to the production of kitchenware, PTFE is used to cover various surfaces that are further applied in multiple industrial sectors.

PTFE surfaces provide the comfort of use, but to ensure its adhesion to other materials, the surface of PTFE must be treated with chemicals, such as a solution of metallic sodium in naphthalene or ammonia. These solutions are very aggressive and have a sharp unpleasant smell.

Japanese scientists from Osaka University have developed a new method of processing PTFE which increases the adhesion of the surface providing a strong bonding of PTFE with other materials.

The specialists used a method of plasma treatment of PTFE surfaces after they had studied the correlation of plasma with the adhesion properties of polytetrafluorethylene. Plasma treatment improved the adhesion of PTFE but the scientists have discovered that additional heating during the plasma treatment significantly increased the teflon adhesion to the rubber surfaces.

The team of scientists added a heating element in the chamber for plasma treatment. As a result, when heated, PTFE changed its structure which became more complex, and therefore more adhesive. Thus, simultaneous plasma and heat treatment enabled PTFE to gain better adhesiveness to the rubber surface.

The main advantage of the novel method is that it is simple to implement and avoids the use of harmful chemicals. In addition, the heater simplifies the procedure of plasma processing, as it is quite difficult to control the temperature by changing the power of the plasma.

If earlier PTFE treatment was unviable and sometimes impossible, today the creators of the new method hope that the range of PTFE use for industrial purposes will expand considerably.