Polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, is found in almost every industry, but is especially well-known under the name Teflon. PTFE composite material is found in cookware across the world, and this video breaks down what exactly it is.
Teflon was created in 1938 by accident. Instead of creating a gas, the young scientist working accidentally created PTFE, a slippery powder. PTFE’s first use was in the gaskets and seals of the first atom bomb.
PTFE is a long-chain carbon surrounded by fluoride. The fluoride is what makes PTFE so slippery as it blocks any other molecules from adhering to the carbon.
In 1944, Teflon was trademarked. Pans are dipped in hydrochloric acid to roughen it up a bit, and then a sticky substance is sprayed onto the pan so that the PTFE will adhere to it. The exact sticky substance is a corporate secret held by Dupont. Then the PTFE is sprayed on and the temperature is drastically increased to melt the PTFE to the surface.
Many people wonder if Teflon is safe. It is an inert substance which means it is not toxic. The only time it is liable to break down is at temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not normal cooking temperatures.
To learn more about Teflon and its properties, click on the video above.