EPDM vs. PTFE Membranes

By: Tom Frankel
Post Date: March 3rd 2020

Post Tags: epdm, ptfe, ssi ptfe,

EPDM vs. PTFE Membranes

Table Of Contents

  1. What Are EPDM Membranes?
  2. What Are PTFE Membranes?
  3. Choosing the Right Membranes for Your Application
  4. Contact SSI Aeration for World-Class EPDM and PTFE Membranes

Many wastewater diffusers use perforated membranes to diffuse oxygen into the wastewater during aeration. EPDM is a common membrane material, as is PTFE. Both types of membranes offer superior performance and enhanced standard aeration efficiency (SAE) and oxygen transfer efficiency (OTE) for efficient, effective aeration over many years of operation.

Because the aeration system typically uses 50 to 65% of the power consumed at a standard activated sludge wastewater treatment plant, according to the EPA, it’s important to select diffuser membranes that work efficiently and last durably to keep both energy and monetary costs low.

But what is the difference between EPDM and PTFE membranes? Below is a discussion of some of the pros and cons of PTFE vs. EPDM membranes to help consumers choose the right membranes for specific applications.

What Are EPDM Membranes?

An EPDM membrane is a wastewater aeration diffuser membrane made from EPDM rubber, a synthetic rubber composed of ethylene, propylene and a diene monomer. It has a relatively low density and high heat capacity.

How Do EPDM Membranes Work?

EPDM membranes work by fitting over an aeration diffuser that emits tiny bubbles through small perforations on the membrane surface. Because EPDM is relatively soft and pliable, the minuscule orifices are flexible enough to expand to emit a bubble and then contract to prevent the backflow of water. The small bubbles transfer oxygen to the wastewater column and allow aeration to proceed.

Pros of EPDM Membranes

Below are some of the advantages of EPDM membranes:

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Cons of EPDM Membranes

Below are some of the disadvantages of using EPDM membranes:

What Are PTFE Membranes?

PTFE is a thermoplastic polymer. It is made from synthetic fluorine-containing polymers and is known for its toughness and self-lubricating qualities. One of the best-known PTFE materials is Teflon, famous for its nonstick properties. PTFE has a relatively high density and a relatively low tensile strength.

On its own, PTFE has a number of uses across different industries—its nonstick properties are even useful in hospital equipment to prevent the aggregation of bacteria and minimize the risk of hospital infections.

Because of their density, PTFE membranes are harder than EPDM membranes. They can resist breakdown and foiling because their surfaces are harder to penetrate.

How Do PTFE Membranes Work?

How do PTFE Membranes work?
Like EPDM membranes, PTFE membranes work by emitting tiny bubbles through tiny holes in the membrane surface. The bubbles help mix the water and transfer oxygen to facilitate aeration.

Often, PTFE membranes consist of a protective PTFM coating over an inner layer of EPDM. This multilayer construction can help preserve old EPDM membranes by giving them an extra coating instead of replacing them entirely at great expense in both money and time. It allows for greater cost-effectiveness than using PTFE alone.

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Pros of PTFE Membranes

Below are some of the advantages of PTFE membranes:

Cons of PTFE Membranes


Below are some of the disadvantages of PTFE membranes:

However, wastewater treatment facilities can diminish the latter cons through the use of specialized coatings. Using protective coatings helps PTFE membranes resist fouling and perform well in many types of wastewater.

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Choosing the Right Membranes for Your Application

Wastewater treatment plants should consider a few different factors when deciding between EPDM and PTFE membranes:

Contact SSI Aeration for World-Class EPDM and PTFE Membranes


For the best-quality EPDM and PTFE diffuser membranes on the market, partner with SSI Aeration. SSI offers easy-to-install PODS systems for plants that want to do their own installation and can also install new aeration diffuser systems or retrofit an existing system with modern membrane updates. SSI’s experienced professionals can also discuss the advantages of EPDM vs. PTFE gaskets to help prevent leakage in diffuser systems.

Contact us today to learn more.

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