What Are The Uses of Teflon?

Apr 9, 2019

Anyone who has grown up in the modern age has probably heard of Teflon™. Used in a variety of situations, from cooking to clothing, manufacturing to manicures, the amazing substance that we know as Teflon™ has proven itself to be an incredible addition to our modern lifestyles.

But have you ever considered what are the uses of Teflon™, and why is it such an incredible discovery? Let’s investigate.

What is Teflon?

Discovered by Roy. J. Plunkett in 1938, Teflon™ was identified almost by accident. While researching new refrigerants, Plunkett discovered an unusual by product which was exceedingly slippery and immune to many of the usual degrading factors.

Upon isolating this substance, Plunkett was attributed as the discoverer of Teflon™, a product used widely in numerous modern applications. What he had actually discovered was polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, which is marketed by DuPont under the trade name Teflon™.

What are the uses of Teflon™?

So, you probably know of Teflon™ as a non-stick covering. It’s certainly put to good use in cookware, providing a non-stick surface for pans and pots worldwide. However, there are undoubtedly plenty of other places where you’ve come into contact with Teflon™, perhaps without even knowing it. For example:

  • Nail polish: Teflon™ provides a smooth, crack free surface in many nail polishes
  • Hair styling: Straighteners and curling irons are often coated in Teflon™
  • Carpet protection: Is your carpet ‘stain resistant’? It’s probably infused with Teflon™
  • Waterproof jackets: Do you own a Gore-Tex jacket? If so, you’re wearing Teflon™
  • Paint and metal finishing: That nice shiny finish on your car paint? It’s probably Teflon™
  • Solar panels: If your solar panels are classed as ‘self-cleaning’, that’s probably because they are coated in Teflon™ to let the rain wash the dirt away

Of course, there are many more examples of Teflon™ in practice, from door locking parts to drills, machinery and much more. Anywhere where you need to ensure a non-abrasive connection between two parts can benefit highly from the application of Teflon™.

Uses of Teflon™ coating

The most versatile element of Teflon™ is the fact it can be used to coat pretty much anything, without damaging the integrity or shape of the item it is being used to coat. When we’re thinking about what the uses of Teflon™ are, it’s important to realise that Teflon™ can be used as a coating on any other material you can imagine.

For example, Teflon™ can be used to coat dental fillings, to prevent them from sticking to adjacent teeth. It can also be used as a coating for pipes, to stop the metal from reacting to corrosive chemicals passing through them. It also makes an amazing lubricant where having wet oil present is just not practical.

It would be impossible to list all the places where you’ll come across this product, so when you’re considering what are the uses of Teflon™, it’s almost easier to think of where it is not used!

From food processing to automotive manufacturing, from your kitchen to your clothing, we rely on Teflon™ in so many ways it’s almost the unsung hero of our modern age.