- Thread Seal Tape
Thread seal tape (also known as PTFE tape, Teflon® tape, or plumber's tape) is made from a film of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) which is a synthetic fluoropolymer commonly used in plumbing for sealing pipe threads, and is an alternative the combination of soap & hemp used by fire sprinkler fitters.The tape is sold cut to specific widths and wound on a spool, making it easy to wind around pipe threads.1
PTFE tape is resistant to most chemicals and is stable in the temperature range of -268°C to +260°, while decomposition will occur with exposure to high temperature and open flames.
The tape also works as a deformable filler and thread lubricant, helping to seal the joint without hardening or making it more difficult to tighten, instead making it easier to tighten.
Thread seal tape used in plumbing applications is most commonly white, but it is also available in various colors (yellow and pink). The difference between these colours is related to the density of the PTFE tape as follows;
- White - Single density tape for small fittings up to 10mm (⅜")
- Yellow - Double density tape for gas piping up to 50mm (2")
- Pink - Triple density tape for NPT threads up to 50mm (2")
- Green for medical gasses
A convention exists for colour coded PTFE tape that corresponds to color coded pipelines (US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) as follows;
- White for plumbing fittings;
- Yellow for natural gas;
- Green for oxygen, etc.
Where pipework used in fire protection work requires the use of thread seal tape (such as sprinkler protection in kitchen hoods and ducts), the convention is to use "pink", triple density tape.