Nonstick Maintenance

Teflon® and Xylan® coatings during the past years have contributed in a positive manner when the questions have been asked by engineers for solutions to some very important questions. Product quality and performance are the key factors with PTFE coatings and the quality and performance of coatings is directly linked to the way in which the applied coatings are maintained. Of course we all recognise the importance of house-keeping, however, such maintenance should include the safeguarding of any applied surface coating. 

Although many PTFE coatings are designed to be resistant to abrasion and chemicals, there appears to be no defence against wilful misuse of tools and equipment when handling parts that have been PTFE coated. Therefore it is essential that engineers and fitters are aware of the dynamics of the PTFE coating. 

Teflon® and Xylan® coatings are by nature thin coatings, the average thickness for a single coat system will be between 25 and 35 microns, and although the formulations provide for the performance characteristics in terms of adhesion to the substrate, care must be exercised. Regular cleaning, perhaps with hot soapy water, can prolong the performance and longevity of the coating and will withstand intense use as it is designed for. The use of abrasive papers and “Scotchbrite” pads are to be avoided, whereas nylon scouring pads can be useful. 

In service temperatures permit most PTFE coatings to operate continuously at around 206°C, however, exposure to higher elevated temperatures can lead to premature coating failure. Avoiding the use of sharp edged tools or knives will greatly improve the performance of the PTFE coating, although some of the internal reinforced coatings can resist contact with such tools to prevent peeling, chipping and flaking. Where ever possible the PTFE coating should always be part of a routine maintenance plan, this will offer the maximum cost effective solution to modern engineering problems.