Teflon is the trading name for a commonly used polymer called Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE. DuPont Teflon industrial coatings have become an indispensable material, used by engineers in the chemical processing industry. PTFE has unique and valuable qualities such as being chemical resistant, temperature resistant, low permeation and high corrosion resistant.
Teflon coating solutions can be used in a number of ways to prevent erosion of expensive equipment, make materials water-proof and stain resistant and save business both time and money.
Here are some random but incredible facts you never knew about PTFE.
1. Armour Piercing Bullets
Teflon has been used to coat bullet cases to reduce the amount of wear on the barrel of the gun when fired. In 1982, this coating was thought to have enabled bullets to pierce through armour. However it was not the nonstick coating which could pierce through armour worn by police in the US, but the type of bullets which were used. Unlike other guns, the weapons using Teflon coated bullets fired brass rounds, rather than soft lead. Obviously brass is able to pierce through armour far easier than lead. Teflon was wrongly held accountable for ‘cop killer’ bullets. (1)
2. Gecko Free Surface
A gecko can climb almost any surface in the world. Geckos have tiny branching hairs growing from the pads of their feet, which is believed to enable them to climb walls vertically and even hang upside down from ceilings. (2) Despite it’s incredible ability to conquer almost any surface, geckos still have not mastered Teflon. In a number of scientific experiments, it has been found that Teflon is a no go for the small creatures, who fail to get a steady footing on the nonstick material.
3. Teflon, an Accident Waiting to Happen
In 1938, former New Carlisle, Ohio, resident Roy J. Plunkett took up a role within DuPont, New Jersey. Plunkett was assigned the task of finding a non-toxic, non-flammable coolant to be used in refrigerators. After a number of trials, he stumbled upon the slippery powder we now know as Teflon.
During World War 2, designers of the atomic bomb used Teflon to manufacture gaskets and linings which could resist the bomb’s corrosive nature.
In 1954, French engineers found, that by coating cookware in Teflon, they would become nonstick and be far easier to clean. This discovery led to the widespread use of Teflon for kitchenware today. (3)
For his discovery, Plunkett, who retired from DuPont in 1975, was enshrined in the National Inventors Hall of Fame. (4)
4. Teflon Coated Needles
PTFE is used in the pharmaceutical industry to coat syringes and other types of sharp equipment used to emit medicine and drugs. Using a non-stick coating helps make the process of injecting medicine into a patient less invasive and less painful. Without the coating, a needle may cause increased friction and pain or even break, whilst it is being used. Teflon has a very low coefficient of friction, this means that it will be much less abrasive to the patient’s body. If you coat a needle with the substance, it will be able to slide in and then out of the body relatively easily. (5)
To find out more read our article: www.product-release.com/product-release-news/why-are-needles-coated-in-teflon/
5. Key to NASA Martian Mission
In April 2015, a number of nonstick specialist coating solutions were tested on the wings of aeroplanes, to see their effectiveness of preventing insects getting stuck to the surface of the plane. Now NASA is looking into nonstick technology to aid their missions to Mars.
According to recent reports, the atmosphere in Mars is very dangerous, due to the amount of Martian dust. The dust can damage the spaceship by getting stuck to the surface and eroding the metal skeleton of the aircraft. If a durable nonstick solution was able to prevent such dust sticking to the spaceship, the mission could be one step closure to launching. (6)
Images credited to Wikipedia