For nearly 80 years our everyday lives have been improved by a resin called polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE. Discovered completely by accident on 6th April 1938 by DuPont chemist, Dr. Roy Plunkett whilst trying to invent a better coolant gas. After leaving a batch of gas overnight he arrived in the morning to find the gas had polymerized spontaneously, leaving a slippery, waxy solid, with remarkable properties.
Impenetrable to corrosive acids, excellent performance in extreme high and low temperatures and did not dissolve in solvents. The rest is ‘non-stick history’.
With the exception of Teflon® - synonymous with the non-stick coating on the bakeware we all use every day - the extensive use of this amazing invention is possibly one of the world’s best kept secrets. From aiding in a moon landing to its use in performance clothing, the history of PTFE is rich and diverse with its use contributing to significant advancements in areas such as aerospace, communications, electronics, industrial processes and architecture.
Our infographic shows just how astounding the history of PTFE really is.