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In 1961 The First Teflon Coated Fraying Pan Went On Sale As “The Happy Pan”

teflon day

tis observed each year on April 6.  It honors the accidental invention of Teflon on April 6, 1938, by Dr. Roy Plunkett.

While working in the Chemours Jackson New Jersey lab that April day, Plunkett, along with his assistant, accidentally discovered polytetrafluoroethylene.  Chemours registered the Teflon trademark in 1945. Dr. Plunkett was added to the Inventors’ Hall of Fame in 1985.

Kansas City, Missouri resident Professor Marion A. Trozzolo had been using the substance on scientific utensils, marketed the first US-made Teflon coated frying pan, “The Happy Pan,” in 1961. He later founded Laboratory Plasticware Fabricators.

Teflon can be found everywhere and in surprising places, too.  Besides coating metals for cooking, it is also used to protect fabrics, to reduce friction in the aerospace industry and helps to increase production and reduce contamination in pharmaceuticals.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Teflon is heat and cold resistant. It can resist temperatures of up to 260C and can consistently operate of this level. Once this temperature is exceeded it will start to soften then at around 400C will start to give of fumes. If these fumes are inhaled it can cause flue type symptoms called polymer flue.
  • Teflon is used in many items we use in everyday life. Children’s school clothes can sometimes be impregnated with this to assist with the easy removal of stains.
  • Another area that PTFE (Teflon) is used is the coating of hair straightener plates. The plates are hot and need to offer a smooth surface which PTFE provides.
  • Carpet protection is a more recent use for Teflon. Similar to Children’s clothing it allows for the easy cleaning of stains and offers extended life.
  • One of these interesting uses of teflon came about during the Manhattan Project. This, as most people know, was a project that’s purpose was nuclear weaponry. Uranium hexafluoride was used during the Manhattan Project, and it’s production involved highly corrosive materials. The team agreed on using none other than Teflon! In fact, Dupont agreed to reserve all of it’s Teflon for this use.
  • 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.
  • Teflon is the slipperiest substance in the world.


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