What Is PTFE Tape?

What Is PTFE Tape?

PTFE, known as polytetrafluoroethylene, is a synthetic fluoropolymer material that is widely used in various industries for different purposes. PTFE is often related to thread seal tape, Teflon tape, and plumber’s tape.

PTFE tape is a simple and highly flexible lubricating material applied as a sealant in the plumbing industry for pipes and ductwork. The lubricating benefit of this tape allows for the deep and long-lasting installation of the thread and also protects the cable from seizures after being unscrewed. It is a professional adhesive tape, which is why it comes in special cuts rolled on the spools that have a specific width and are pre-cut to a specific range. The thread seal tape is coated in a plastic case to prevent its adhesive material from any damage during storage.

This PTFE tape is a synthetic polymer applied as a lubricating material and deformable filler that allows sealing the joint without hardening it. Instead, this lubrication benefit makes the tape simpler to tighten. It helps the tread’s pieces come in contact with each other and prevents it from physical wear and tears. Lubrication also helps the seal lock and prevents the connection from leakage. The major benefit of the tape is that it is water-resistant and has extremely low friction. These benefits make it an excellent choice in piping and plumbing applications.

Generally, the PTFE tape is wrapped around the male thread in the direction of tightening about three times before it is screwed in place. The chemical inertness of the PTFE tape allows protection cross-linkages with other polymers that make it an ideal choice for industries where there are water, chemical, and other solvents present. This tape may be also produced from polyethylene (PE), a low-cost plastic that also provides chemical- and other solvents resistance.

This trade tape has several specifications such as:

  • Intensity;
  • Tensile force;
  • Stretch;
  • Thickness;
  • Substrate compatibility.

The PTFE tape is either a low-density or a high-density material. If the tape is low-density, its density is 0.37g/cm3, and if it is high-density, its density is 0.70g/cm3. Significant aspects to be considered in this tape are thickness, length, and width. Due to the flexibility, the PTFE tapes are designed for pipes or tubes produced from aluminum, brass, or iron. Certain PTFE tapes may be stuck to chrome, glass, or plastics.

Types Of PTFE Tapes

Firstly, the PTFE tapes were produced in one color - white. However, after their huge impact on the piping industry, manufacturers started producing them in various colors. Generally, there are 6 major types of PTFE tapes according to the color of the tape, function, and density. These aspects vary for each type of tape and here is their description:

White Colored PTFE

A white-colored PTFE tape is a single-density tape applied only on an NPT thread of ⅜ inches. However, this type of tape may also be used in low-pressure residential waters such as garden hoses, taps, and cooking gas connections.

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Yellow PTFE Tape

Yellow PTFE tapes have a double density and may be applied for natural gas fitting or propane/butane fittings. It is a gas-type tape as it can be screwed and unscrewed at any time without losing the seal.

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Pink PTFE tape

A pink PTFE tape is a triple-density tape that has a pale pink color. It is used for all joints of ½ diameter or greater than this. This tape is also useful for high-pressure residential water pipes with an optimum operating temperature of 190*F (87*C) and pressure of 150psi.

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Silver PTFE Tape

Silver-colored PTFE tape includes grains of nickel either grounded or impregnated. This type of tape is used as both a sealant and a lubricant. It is produced to prevent seizing when applied on stainless steel, brass, and aluminum threaded connections. The PTFE is approved only as a thread when it is used correctly.

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Green PTFE Tape

Green PTFE tape is an oil-free tape that is applied for pipes that are supposed to convey oxygen such as medical oxygen cylinder pipes or oxygen welding lines.

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Purple Maxx PTFE Tape

Purple Maxx PTFE tape is a perfect solution for sealing threaded pipe connections up to 2” in diameter. This is heavy-duty tape that needs only 2-3 wraps for the tight seal when providing natural lubrication to prevent the thread from being damaged. The purple Maxx PTFE tape is resistant to most chemicals and is rated for pressures to 10.00psi and temperatures from -450*F to +550*F (-267*C to +287*C). This type of tape is available in 3 various widths and may be used in a wide variety of applications, from general purposes like water and air to difficult acids and light glasses.

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Copper-Colored PTFE Tape

Copper-colored PTFE tape is used as a thread lubricant, not a thread sealant and it also includes granules of copper in it. It is used as a thread lubricant for pipes and bolts where mechanical application is required and no physical seal is needed.

It is used as a thread lubricant for pipes and bolts where mechanical application is required and no physical seal is needed.


The PTFE tape is a significant component of the plumbing application. This tape is a useful element that will protect the plumbing system from any leaks. The PTFE tape is generally applied as either a protective tool to secure joints and protection against future unwanted leaks or used as a short-term solution in the event of serious damages or leaks.

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