Why doesn’t anything stick to Teflon?

You are pretty much surrounded by Teflon, one of the slippiest materials on earth. From the raincoats that you wear in rainy season to the non-stick coating frying pan that you use to cook eggs, they all are composed of Teflon.

INSIGHT TO TEFLON

Teflon is merely the brand name of polytetrafluoroethylene o even so PTFE. Its discovery was purely an accident done by Roy Plunkett, a 27 year old American chemist.

While in the attempt of developing a non-toxic refrigerated fluid, a formation of strange white substance took place. This white substance was later found to be an inert one emphasizing that it did not react with other substances.

Other than that, it did not have any friction or even if it had the friction, it was very low thus making all the materials slides right off it.

WHAT MAKES TEFLON SLIPPIEST AND NON-STICKY?

The slippery property of PTFE is originated from the molecular structure. This is made up of long chains having the repeating sets of units of atoms that are strictly strung together which imply that it is a polymer.

Armor of the chain

This chain has carbon atoms as its backbone and each and every carbon atom is attached to a pair of fluorine. The fluorine forms armor by spiraling around the chain thus creating a tight bond between carbon and fluorine.

Interaction between these atoms

The interaction between the carbon and fluorine atom is rigid. Therefore, the average intermolecular forces helping substance to stick to each other do not stand a chance.

ATTACHMENT OF PTFE TO PAN OR SOMETHING LIKE PAN

The pan is sandblasted or even etched with chemicals so that it can be rough. After this, application of a unique primer is done over the pan which is a type of glue. The catch here is that the exact composition of this is unknown as it is a top secret that no manufacture allows to acknowledge the people.

After this, PTFE is sprayed over the pan and then it is heated around 500 degree Fahrenheit. This makes the layer of the pan very smooth having a solid coating on it. Thus when an egg is cooked on a pan, the intermolecular force between the carbon and fluorine atoms just don’t pay attention to the water, fat and protein molecules.

SAFTEY INVOLVED IN COOKING ON A PAN

It is safe to cook on a pan until and unless the user is careful because carelessness leads to damage no matter what the job is. Under moderate temperatures, PTFE is stable and safe but as soon as it surpasses 500 degree Fahrenheit while cooking, it will eventually lead to degradation.

When the pan is heated further, an unpleasing fumes will be released that will make a human being nausea and sick. If an empty pan is heated, it will reach 500 degrees sooner than usual but since almost all the kitchens are ventilated well enough, it will help in dissipating the fumes.

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