The Role of Chemistry in History

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Serendipitous Discovery

April 19th, 2008 · No Comments ·

Intro to Teflon, Serendipitous Discovery, Chemical Properties, Production, Changing History, Conclusion




Like many great discoveries, PTFE was discovered serendipitously. Dr. Roy Plunkett, in a DuPont laboratory, was working on freon gas related to refrigeration when he accidentally discovered PTFE (1938). He accidentally froze a sample of tetraflouroethylene, and after checking it he discovered it had polymerized into what is now known as Teflon. It would be first sold in 1946, giving Dupont a dominating edge on competition.

Tags: Teflon