Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) also known as Teflon is a thermoplastic polymer. It is formed by addition polymerization using the monomer tetrafluroethylene (TFE). Teflon is a strong, waxy and non-flammable resin which is used in many applications especially in corrosive industries due to its resistance to chemicals. In addition, it is able to maintain its physical properties over a wide range of temperatures.
Teflon was invented by accident by a research chemist named Roy J. Plunkett at DuPont’s Jackson Lab in New Jersey on 6 April 1938. Plunkett and his technician assistant, Jack Rebok, were testing on the chemical reactions of the …show more content…
The high degree of crystallinity ensures it has a low chance to creep and also promotes the tensile strength due to the regularity of the fluorine atoms on the polymer chain. In addition, PTFE polymer has a high molecular weight ranging from (5-100) x 106 g/mol. Since the repeating unit (-CF2CF2-) has a molecular weight of 100.02 g/mol, the degree of polymerization is high. Due to this, mechanical properties such as ductility, tensile strength and hardness are at its peak.
When it crystallizes from a melt, it formed a spherulite structure. Each spherulite consists of crystalline region which acts as a nucleus, an amorphous region and tie molecules. The crystalline part makes PTFE strong but the amorphous region gives PTFE its toughness as it is able to bend without breaking. Also, spherulite can reflect light and therefore gave PTFE its optical property.
The fluorine atoms in PTFE has high electronegativity, thus having more electrons which formed an impenetrable shield which lock onto and protect the compound’s string of carbon atoms. Also, it contributes to the size of the polymer orbital formed and the number of electrons present in the