Teflon® was discovered by Dupont in 1938. It became the premium product for nonstick coatings in cookware. But what is Teflon made of? Its generic name, PTFE, is almost as recognisable, and today is used in paints, fabrics, carpets, home furnishings, clothing and industry.
PTFE‘s unusual properties give it great versatility in industry. It has the slipperiness of ice, amazing electrical resistance, high temperature capability, and excellent resistance to chemical attack. It is used in bearing pads for building foundations, high voltage electrical insulators, plumber’s tape, seals and washers in high temperature vessels, under-bonnet automotive items, and many other high performance applications.
PTFE sheet and rod can be machined to specific shapes, and smaller finished items can be moulded via a sintering process. It has moderate hardness, and is often used as an alloy with other high performance materials, to optimise its unusual characteristics.