Difference between Teflon™ and PTFE

In a world full of acronyms, trade names and technical jargon, it can sometimes be difficult to know what is what. If you're wondering what the difference is between PTFE and Teflon™, this article answers it.

What is PTFE?

PTFE is a synthetic polymer of carbon and fluorine - polytetrafluoroethylene. It is obtained from tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) and has some very distinctive properties that make it highly functional and practical for use in a wide range of applications. These include..

  • Water resistant - useful for cooking
  • Resistant to a wide range of chemicals - chemicals or solvents are no obstacle to PTFE
  • Low friction - nothing sticks to PTFE because its coefficient of friction is the lowest of all solids
  • Flexible and bendable - even at low temperatures it is easy to use on various surfaces without losing its durability
  • Very wide temperature range - the melting point of about +327°C makes it virtually unbreakable at extreme temperatures

Some applications for PTFE..

  • Containers
  • Wiper blades
  • Pipe systems
  • Hair styling tools
  • Non-stick cookware
  • Chemical and steel industry
  • Gaskets for flange and equipment connections

Examples of most demanding PTFE applications..

  • Lubricants
  • It was also used to seal gaskets of uranium in the atomic bomb
  • Coating the inside of pipelines carrying very hot substances or aggressive chemicals
  • Artificial body parts - PTFE is not repelled by the body because of its neutral properties

This shows that all the exceptional properties of PTFE make it very useful and widespread in both commercial and domestic applications.

What is Teflon?

Teflon™ was discovered in 1938 and was developed by DuPont Co and managed by the company Chemours. Chemours trademarked the name Teflon™ in 1945 and began selling products treated with this heat-resistant material in 1946.

Teflon™ was discovered by scientist Dr. Roy Plunkett while working on developing a new refrigerant. He then noticed that TFE gas was escaping from the bottle he was using; however, the bottle did not lose its weight or feel empty. To determine the cause of this phenomenon, he examined the inside of the bottle and noticed that it was covered with a smooth, strong and waxy material - it was Teflon™.

Teflon™ is a synthetic polymer containing carbon and fluorine called polytetrafluoroethylene. That's right, Teflon™ is PTFE but under a different name. Teflon™ is the brand name for PTFE and is owned by Chemours.

So what is the difference between Teflon™ and PTFE?
There is NO DIFFERENCE.. They are both exactly the same, the only difference is the name.

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