Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

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Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) 2016-12-06T05:35:21+00:00


In 1938, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) was discovered unexpectedly when a cylinder in which the monomer had been stored under pressure was cut open. Pilot scale production commenced in the USA in 1943 and the material was commercially introduced there and in the UK in 1948.

lthough PTFE is classed as a thermoplastic, it is not processed by conventional moulding or extrusion but by sintering PTFE powder compacted to the required shape under pressure. Applications generally exploit one or more of its unusual combination of properties; resistance to high temperatures, resistance to low temperatures, low loss dielectric properties over a wide frequency range, chemical inertness and antistick properties.

The most well-known examples of its use include non-stick cookware (non-stick Teflon coated frying pans were introduced for Christmas 1961) and plumbers’ thread tape.