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Chap._500010 - 5.5 Polyt etrafluoroethylene(PTFE The story...

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Unformatted text preview: 5.5 Polyt etrafluoroethylene (PTFE) The story of Teflon® began April 6, 1938, at DuPont's Jackson Laboratory in New Jersey. DuPont chemist, Dr. Roy J. Plunkett, was working with gases related to Freon® refrigerants, another DuPont product. Upon checking a frozen, compressed sample of tetrafluoroethylene, he and his associates discovered that the sample had polymerized spontaneously into a white, waxy solid to form polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The 1938 discovery of Teflon. Left to right, Jack Rebok, Robert McHarness, and Roy Plunkett. Plunkett's first assignment at DuPont was researching new chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants—then seen as great advances over earlier refrigerants like sulfur dioxide and ammonia, which regularly poisoned food-industry workers and people in their homes. Plunkett had produced 100 pounds of tetrafluoroethylene gas (TFE) and stored it in small cylinders at dry-ice temperatures preparatory to chlorinating it. When he and his helper prepared a cylinder for use, none of the gas came out—yet the cylinder weighed the same as before. They opened it and a cylinder for use, none of the gas came out—yet the cylinder weighed the same as before....
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