Using Polyurethane Coated Fabric to replace PTFE Coated Fabrics – a safer alternative

PTFE coated fabrics are commonly used in industrial applications due to their resistance to high temperatures and chemicals. They are used as insulation materials for applications such as heat sealing, thermal insulation jackets, gaskets for high-temperature sealing, and electrical insulation. And while PTFE coated fabrics perform very well in these applications, there can be a hidden danger that poses a risk to both people and the environment.

What makes PTFE hazardous?

PTFE is used in various applications (such as cookware), and is not considered hazardous in its solid form. But when PTFE is exposed to temperatures beyond 570°F /300°C  toxic gases are generated and released into the atmosphere. This results in exposure to a PFAS chemical known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).  PFOA and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid) are more commonly known as ‘Forever Chemicals’. Tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) is also released, and together with PFOA cause health issues such as respiratory irritation and polymer fume fever when inhaled.

Overheating PTFE may also cause the release of particulate matter in the form of fibers or airborne particles that are easily inhaled. This can also cause respiratory irritation or damage to the lungs.

As a persistent synthetic material, PTFE does not decompose in the environment and bioaccumulates in both living organisms and the environment. When disposed of in a landfill, PTFE can leak into soil or water.  If PTFE is incinerated for disposal, the toxic gases are released into the air which contribute to environmental pollution.

There is no safe way to dispose of PTFE coated fabric and using it in high temperature applications can lead to health risks for personnel.

What can replace PTFE Coated Fabrics?

As a company that manufactures products designed to protect people and the environment, Mid-Mountain has discontinued selling or using products with PTFE.

This led to the development of the ARMATEX® PUF Coated Fabric series. Comprised of a high-strength fiberglass fabric coated with polyurethane (PU), ARMATEX® PUF Coated Fabrics are resistant to oils, chemicals and solvents, have high-temperature resistance, and are highly flexural for ease of fabricating insulation jackets or blankets. ARMATEX® PUF also has excellent sealing properties, and can be used for indoor or outdoor applications.

If you are looking for an alternative to PTFE Coated Fabrics, please contact us for a sample!