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Surfaces of Teflon® Fight Biofilm Buildup

Surfaces of Teflon® resist the onset of biological films because Teflon® is not easily wetted and is not subject to biological or chemical attack. Bacteria are too large to gain a hiding place on the smooth surface of Teflon®. Data reported by the BioProcess Technical Institute, University of Minnesota, shows that accumulated biofilm is far easier to remove from Teflon® than from stainless steel and glass. With easier cleaning, there's a smaller volume of solution to dispose of, an environmental benefit.

Biofilm Removal, Percent, in Virtually Quiescent Dilute Sodium Hypochlorite

[As reported by the BioProcess Technical Institute, University of Minnesota]

Commercial Substrate K.pneumonia, % S.Choleraisuis, % E.Coli, %
Stainless Steel (elec. polished) 67 25 56
Polypropylene 67 75 75
Borosilicate Glass 89 0 0
Silicone-Coated Glass 89 89 78
Polyvinylidene Fluoride 89 89 89
Teflon®PFA 99 99 98


Contact angles in degrees with water show Teflon® is far less wettable than stainless steel or glass.



E.coli and other bacteria are too large to lodge in tiny asperities on smooth, nonreactive surfaces of Teflon® PFA HP.

Source: Blackman, Tassi, Metcalfe

 

Profile of the inside surface of Teflon® PFA pipe



Electropolished (10RA) stainless steel can have pits that harbor biofilm and is much more wettable by aqueous media than Teflon®.