Steel Manufacturing Blog: Keeping it Steel

Teflon®, Slide Bearings, Thermal Breaks & Additional Uses in Steel Construction

Posted on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 @ 04:07 PM

Note: PTFE is the generic chemical name for what is commonly referred to as Teflon®.

The term Teflon® refers to a PTFE manufactured only by DuPont.

Fluorogold® is a glass fiber reinforced PTFE or Teflon® that provides added strength and durability to withstand higher loads and more demanding environments.

teflon slide bearings

Teflon® Slide Bearings

The most common Teflon® application in Structural Steel fabricating is the Slide Bearing. Shown to the right, it has an upper and lower element and allows for expansion and contraction of steel members due to changes in temperature, wind shear, seismic activity, etc. Slide Bearings can be manufactured to any dimensions. If necessary the Slide Bearing can be formed on a radius for use in Pipelines and Ducts.

Teflon® Thermal Breaks

A secondary benefit Teflon® provides is its ability to restrict energy transfer. In short, when heat (energy) attempts to transfer through any steel connection a Teflon® bearing pad will block the transfer. This creates an energy savings over the life of the building.        


 thermal break pad                   teflon thermal breaks

Washers, Separators and Bearings


Teflon® is also used as a Washer or Separator between rotating members. This can be something as small as 1” O.D. gate hinge or any larger size up to 24” O.D. as a single piece, or sectional for any size larger as shown below.

Washers, Separators and BearingsOne recent project required Teflon® Washers 5” O.D. x 4-1/16” I.D. x 1/8” thick. (left) The design was for large, heavy panels that would pivot on a 4” O.D. round tube. The panel flange would rest on a collar that was welded to the tube. (right)

teflon washers

 For sizes larger than 24” The Steel Supply Company would produce the desired item in sections.  The crescent shaped sections are then pieced together and bonded to a steel backing plate. This is done to accommodate the size of the PTFE sheets and also to limit the drop.

Teflon®, Slide Bearings, Thermal Breaks & Additional Uses in Steel Construction


Using evenly distributed pressure and prolonged, consistent heat a very strong bond can be achieved that will withstand significant pressure, torsion and harsh environments.



Learn More About  Slide Bearings

Tags: Teflon Slide Bearing, Bearings, Thermal Break