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PTFE grease ant barrier

flour ptfe ant barrier lubricant

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2 replies to this topic

#1 Offline sirjordanncurtis - Posted February 10 2019 - 8:56 PM


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I found this lubricant/grease for pipe thread at Home Depot, a local hardware store. There was a huge area that was just full of them, and I picked out one made by RectorSeal, mostly because it said with PTFE. I was looking for a cheaper alternate to buying fluon, so I decided to buy it and test it out. I've never used fluon before, you guys have given pretty good reviews about it out there, and it seems to work well for most/all ants. This grease is able to stop my C. fragilis, which are the most agile and jumpy ants I keep from walking across without falling down.


It's probably not the most trustworthy product at the moment, and it leaves behind a cloudy white smear which looks kind of sketch, but it works well to contain ants. Anyone else have any experience using grease alternatives as anti-slip barriers?

#2 Offline drtrmiller - Posted February 10 2019 - 10:05 PM



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Simple answer:


Many antkeepers use mineral oil, vaseline, talc powder, and other alternatives to Fluon, with varying degrees of success.  The grease you purchased will generally be as effective as any other greasy material.  The failure point will occur when the ants place dry matter on the grease, and then proceed to walk over it.  Some ants may also walk over it, unimpeded.  The fact that it contains PTFE doesn't make it a substitute for Fluon, because Fluon is not a grease.


Technical answer:


The PTFE material is not what makes Fluon effective—lots of products contain PTFE that aren't effective at containing insects.  In a nutshell, Fluon is a micropowder aqueous dispersion of PTFE at a particular and uniform particle size, with a special surfactant that aids in dispersal of the coating (the surfactant is also key to its effectiveness as an insect escape prevention coating).  Both the material composition (PTFE, water, surfactant), and the form they take (micropowder aqueous dispersion), work in synergy to give Fluon its ability to impede ants and other insects from obtaining a foothold on the slippery PTFE coating.  If you change the Fluon's composition too much (other than dilution with water), it will no longer work to contain insects.


In conclusion, no alternative product that contains PTFE is an adequate substitute for a micropowder aqueous dispersion of PTFE, one such dispersion of which we commonly refer to as "Fluon."

Edited by drtrmiller, February 10 2019 - 11:03 PM.

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#3 Offline ANTndonesia - Posted February 14 2019 - 6:57 PM



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i use singer oil and it works great for my Lasius niger and Polyrhachis dives.

Polyrhachis dives. I 5 Queens, 83 Workers. << This colony keep biting and pulling 2 of their queens from the nest, so i decided to get them out. P. Dives III and P. Dives IV.

Polyrhachis dives. II 1 Queen, 16 Workers. First egg February 12th 2019.
Polyrhachis dives. III 1 Queen, First egg May 15th 2019.
Polyrhachis dives. IV 1 Unfertilized Queen.

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