PTFE tape, also referred to as thread sealing tape, stands for polytetrafluoroethylene. This is a synthetic fluoropolymer that is used in a variety of industrial settings. But for the purposes of plumbing, this is a lubricant and thread sealing tape that is used in ductwork and pipes.
Also referred to as plumber’s seal tape, PTFE tape repels water and is also an extremely low-friction material, making it perfect for a variety of plumbing jobs.
If there is a joint in a duct or pipe that has frayed or has loose threads, the PTFE tape can create a seal around these threads. While it works as a sealant and plugs any leaks, the material of the tape also allows it to work as a lubricant for the threads, since it has low friction.
This tape allows the joint threads to be fused more securely. Also, in case the joint needs to be unscrewed or dismantled at some point, the tape ensures that the threads do not become brittle.
If you turn the tape around two or three times, depending on its thickness, any pipe threads will merge securely into place.
PTFE tape has been used to stop leaks of various kinds, including gas and oil. Depending on the usage, the specific thickness of the tape can be decided. I also appreciate the versatility of this thread sealant tape, as you can also find tapes that are gas rated to be used in gas pipelines. These tapes also work with petrol and oil pipelines as their chemical inertness allows them to remain unreactive to oil and petrol.
In other words, while it is referred to as a plumber’s lubricating tape, it is not reserved only for us with water and water-related pipelines. This material has been designed to withstand various degrees of heat and pressure in various environments. This makes it suitable to be used with substances like oil, petrol, gas, etc.
PTFEs can be used as temporary solutions if you anticipate more leaks and are attempting to resolve the source of the leak. More often, PTFEs are used as a preventive measure to ensure that the pipe joints stay in place securely.
PTFE tapes are available in a variety of colors and each color may be designated for a specific application. However, with different work cultures and geographical settings, these color codes may mean different things.
What I want to draw attention to, though, is the fact that the colors allow you to use the tape for different applications and on pipings and ducts meant for different purposes, without any confusion.
Any good plumber should always have PTFE tape at hand since you never know when the need for it may arise. These are one of the most effective ways of plugging a leak, whether in a water pipeline or for gas and oil.
One of the most versatile adhesive tapes there are, PTFE will never leave any remnants behind for you to clean when you peel it off. It truly has been designed to make life easier.