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Teflon - Essay Example

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Summary
Polytetrafluoroethelyne (PTFE) might sound out of this world and a scientific name for an uncommon chemical compound but its numerous applications makes it an everyday necessity. PTFE is also known as Teflon which has become one of the essentials of a modern kitchen…
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Teflon
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Extract of sample "Teflon"

Download file to see previous pages Years after its discovery, it is commercially produced and sold in 1946 while the acquisition of DuPont of Kinetic Chemicals paved way for the usage of PTFE in consumer goods (DuPont 2008).
The manufacture of Teflon is modified in order to suit the specific application where it will be utilized. Some of the processes remain proprietor secrets for manufacturers in order to safeguard their competitive advantage. Scientifically, there are two ways of making Teflon. One is through suspension polymerization while the other is through dispersion (Teflon 2008).
The starting point for each of the two methods is the synthesis of tetrafluoroethelyne which is undertaken by combining its three components namely fluorspar, hydrofluoric acid, and chloroform in chemical reaction chambers. The main difference between the polymerization processes is by the amount and the strength of force used. In suspension polymerization, the next step will be the addition of water and a reaction agent inhibitor which will cause the TFE to polymerize. On the other hand, the dispersion process introduces TFE into the water-filled chamber together with the initiating chemical. The suspension process requires vigorous shaking while in the dispersion, the reaction is facilitated through gentle agitation only. Thus, tinier beads are formed in the second method making it suitable for metal and fabric coatings (Teflon 2008).
The outlined manufacturing process creates a white solid substance with a density of 2.2 grams per square centimeter. Teflon is also known as the solid with the lowest coefficient of friction next to diamond carbon at 0.1 or less which gives it its most notable characteristic of being very slippery and non-stick. Teflon also has very high corrosion resistance making it non-reactive to substances like ozone, chlorine, ammonia, and others. Because of this, Teflon is also non-wetting and adhesion is less likely. Even at extreme temperatures, Teflon maintains its form because of the strong bond of the chemicals comprising it (Polytetrafluoroethylene 2008).
Use of fluoropolymers
The unique properties of PTFE makes it suitable for various applications in numerous fields namely cookware and medical devices. Manufacturers in these industries have long relied on the characteristics mentioned above in designing more efficient products which can be used by customers in their everyday lives. Aside from these fields, PTFE is also present in more devices and instruments which are indispensible to a typical consumer.
Since Dupont holds the copyright for Teflon, cookwares with this brand of non-stick coating source their PTFE from the company. In their manufacturing plant, PTFE is applied directly in the metal surfaces pots and pans. In a normal process, two coatings are sufficient however, some manufacturers sometimes give up to three coatings to achieve the desired output (DuPont 2008).
Teflon has become an essential in kitchens because of its ability to make cookware non-stick and easier to clean. The product also gains popularity because of the growing health consciousness globally. As Teflon is non-stick, it enables consumers to fry eggs or sausages without using oil or butter ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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