The Many Uses of Teflon Plastic


Teflon may conjure images of non-stick cookware, but that is only one application of this versatile fluoropolymer material. Often, the Amazing fact about PFA Teflon tube.

Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene) was accidentally discovered at DuPont by Roy Plunkett chemist Roy Plunkett and has proven to be highly durable, resistant to heat, chemicals, and general wear-and-tear.


PTFE is a synthetic polymer with nonstick properties. The surface consists of carbon atoms linked together by chains of fluorine atoms, which attract and hold electrons, creating an almost nonstick surface.

Teflon(r) (formerly Teflon) was accidentally discovered by Roy Plunkett, an American chemist working for E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (now The Chemours Company). Due to its properties – smoothness, inactivity with other chemicals, stability at low temperatures, insulation properties, and durability – this fluoropolymer material has proven itself suitable for an array of uses over its nearly 80-year existence.

Today, most people can safely cook with Teflon-coated pots and pans without concern, provided the temperature does not surpass 500 degrees Fahrenheit. At temperatures over this threshold, Teflon and other nonstick coatings break down and release toxic fumes into the atmosphere; to lower risk and mitigate exposure when possible, use low to medium heat with ample ventilation; also try not to scratch its smooth surface with metal utensils, avoid scratching its smooth surface with metal tools, replace nonstick cookware when signs of wear such as scratches, flaking or cracking;

Corrosion Resistant

PTFE is one of the most corrosion-resistant materials on earth, earning its title of “steel of the plastic industry.” It stands up well to chemicals used for corrosion control while remaining odorless and non-toxic – characteristics that have cemented its reputation.

PTFE’s chemically inert structure prevents galvanic corrosion over time and allows it to withstand high temperatures without melting or losing strength, unlike metals, which may react with other materials and cause galvanic corrosion over time.

Due to its superior properties, PTFE is used in an array of applications. It is most often seen in insulation materials like insulators, vibration pickups, and filters; additionally, it’s frequently chosen as an electret material due to its ability to retain charge over long periods while having minimal dielectric losses.

Roy Plunkett, an American chemist at E.I. du Pont de Nemours &amp Company (now DuPont Company), discovered PTFE by chance in 1938 while working as an employee at E.I. du Pont de Nemours &amp Company (now DuPont). PTFE was later patented in 1945 and trademarked as Teflon when first released as nonstick cookware in 1960. Although corrosion-resistant plastics such as CPVC, HDPE, and UHMW may protect from corrosion in some applications, Xometry offers many other corrosion-resistant plastics; therefore, selecting the appropriate material is critical when choosing material Xometry products to meet your application needs.

Heat Resistant

Have you ever left your Rubbermaid food container in the microwave too long? You know plastic doesn’t take well to high temperatures, which engineers should remember when selecting materials with good heat resistance properties for parts that regularly operate under high temperatures.

PTFE (more commonly known by its tradename Teflon) is an excellent material choice for high-temperature applications, offering a low friction coefficient and the ability to withstand continuous operating temperatures up to 500oF without degradation. Furthermore, this thermoplastic has excellent chemical inertness, dielectric strength, and low permeability to gases, solvents, or fluids.

Polyimide (PAI) and polyetherimide (PEI) materials provide other alternatives for high-temperature environments, including injection- and machinable materials with excellent strength, abrasion resistance, and temperature tolerance – they’re often an ideal replacement for metals in many instances. Furthermore, these injection- and machinable options have good dimensional stability with both high flexural strength and tensile strength compared to metal alternatives such as titanium.

Chemical Resistant

Teflon (PTFE) boasts an exceptional set of properties that makes it highly useful across various industries. It is a nontoxic polymer with outstanding mechanical, thermal, optical, and electrical properties as well as chemical resistance properties – making it suitable for wire coatings, low friction coatings, and chemical tank lining applications.

PTFE is composed of carbon atoms that have been coated with fluorine atoms to create an inert material. This makes PTFE suitable for use in high-temperature environments like aerospace, where equipment often experiences extreme temperatures. Furthermore, Teflon coatings may be applied on surfaces to reduce friction and stop flame spread – making PTFE an invaluable material in this sector.

PTFE can also be applied as a coating on fiberglass membranes to increase rigidity and resist UV radiation, increasing rigidity while decreasing UV exposure. Since PTFE is such a soft material, reinforcement may be necessary in certain instances to provide enough tensile strength for specific applications. Incorporation of co-polymers such as PFA (Perfluoroethylene Propylene) and TFM (Tetrafluoropropylvinylether) may increase stiffness, creep resistance, and melting point.


PTFE is inert to nearly all chemicals and features one of the lowest friction coefficients of all materials, making it ideal for medical devices like catheters and stents that require high sterilization resistance.

PTFE differs from metals in that its composition consists of repeating carbon and fluorine molecules that combine to create a dense, nonporous material with excellent chemical compatibility, electrical reliability, temperature range stability, mechanical toughness, and weatherability properties.

Roy Plunkett made an unexpected discovery of this material while working on refrigerant gases in 1938: Tetrafluoroethylene would spontaneously polymerize into white wax upon exposure to air.

Teflon was later coined to refer to this material and is owned by The Chemours Company today. This trademarked plastic, known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), has become well-known for its versatile properties, such as chemical resistance, heat resistance, insulation properties, and smooth surfaces, making it one of the most valuable technologies ever devised.