elspec Whitepaper

Facts about PTFE coaxial cables - Whitepaper #1

Coaxial cables with low losses and a broad temperature range usually use PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) as the isolating material. At elspec we also use PTFE: for the last 32 years it has been the most frequently-ordered basic material besides copper, silver and steel. It is indispensable as requirements have become in-creasingly high, and precise, stable measurements are a necessity.

Therefore, it is of particular concern for the RF-specialist elspec to give an overview of the latest re-search about, and applications of PTFE. We wish to share insights about the properties and the limita-tions of this material, and summarize the various publications on the topic.

The combination of a silver-plated copper wire with a mantle made of PTFE is a highly interesting mix. Both materials are very different. PTFE is the insulator in RF-technology and has, in addition to many advantages, also a few special basic characteristics which the user should definitely be aware of: e.g. the PTFE-knee or the pre-aging required to achieve phase-stability in measurement cables.

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