National Teflon Day is on April 6, and we are set to celebrate a great discovery in technology that has made life easy for us. This chemical-, heat-, and cold-resistant material has revolutionized the manufacturing and production of various products. As a non-stick material, Teflon is very versatile in its uses, from medicine, weapon making, cooking utensils, and more. Many people prefer Teflon-coated products due to their ability to last over a long period. Its impact is a watershed in technology, making it worthy of celebration. And that is why a special day has been set aside to appreciate its existence in our ever-growing technical world.
History of National Teflon Day
Cooking can be a very tedious task. The whole process of frying, steaming, boiling, grilling, and every step that goes into making the delicious meals that we so much love can be exhausting. And then begins the more grueling task of scrubbing and cleaning all the utensils, which would have grease, oil, and numerous stains stuck to them and can take a long time to become stain-free.
Teflon is the name for ‘Polytetrafluoroethylene’ (P.T.F.E.), a popularly used polymer. It is an industrial coating used by engineers to layer materials and utensils to prevent and protect them from chemicals, corrosion, grease, oil, and other staining agents upon the surface of the materials. Discovered accidentally by Dr. Roy Plunkett while working in a laboratory to produce a refrigerant, he noticed that grease and several other substances could not stick on the surface of Teflon.
The laboratory where he worked, Chemours Jackson Laboratory patented the finding, but subsequently, Teflon was incorporated by a professor, Marion A. Trozzolo to coat his scientific utensils. Trozzolo later introduced it into kitchen utensils, founding a company named Laboratory Plasticware Fabricators, which introduced the first U.S.-made Teflon coated frying pan — the ‘Happy Pan.’
Today, Teflon can be found in the least expected places. It is used for coating medical and laboratory equipment, for making bullets, aircraft protection, pharmaceutical purposes, and more. In our homes, Teflon is used to coat the pans, pots, and cooking utensils used in the kitchen, saving us from the stress of washing and rigorously scrubbing while cleaning them.
National Teflon Day timeline
While testing a gas used in refrigerators with his assistant, Jack Rebok, Roy Plunkett discovers the non-stick properties of Teflon.
Du Pont, a company Plunkett works for, patents the polymer and later registers it as Teflon.
Teflon becomes a household name as it is used to make the most needed non-stick and heat-resistant cooking materials.
Plunkett finally retires from Du Pont after years of guiding the development of fluorochemical products.
Plunkett, after retirement, gets formal admission into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his achievement in discovering Teflon.
National Teflon Day FAQs
Is Teflon poisonous?
Teflon is relatively safe, except in the case where it is put under heat above 752 degrees Fahrenheit, causing it to melt and produce fumes, which, if inhaled, can lead to polymer flu.
How do you maintain Teflon cookware?
Avoid putting it under intense heat higher than normal, and do not scratch it with knives or sharp objects that can impact its coating.
Is it harmful if you eat Teflon?
Research has found that small amounts of Teflon in the body are relatively safe, but do well to protect yourself against this.
National Teflon Day Activities
Use Teflon cookware
Bring out your pans and pot and make delicious meals and treats to celebrate the invention of this timely convenience. Teflon cookware has helped to bring a lot of ease to the kitchen, and this is a time to enjoy that ease by cooking.
Buy new cookware
Bring out all the old cookware and discard them. This is an opportunity to go shopping for new Teflon cookware and utensils that would make life easier.
Share on social media
Talk about the benefits of Teflon cookware on social media and how it has helped cooking become easy for you. You can do this using the hashtag #NationalTeflonDay
5 Fascinating Facts About Teflon
An accidental discovery
Teflon was discovered by accident by Plunkett while he was researching a non-flammable coolant for refrigeration.
Used in weapons-making
Teflon is used to coat armor-piercing bullets and also for atomic bomb production.
Heat and cold-resistant
Teflon has a high resistance to heat, up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Under temperatures as high as 752 degrees Fahrenheit, Teflon would begin to soften and give off fumes, which if inhaled can cause flu-type symptoms called ‘polymer flu.’
Geckos can climb virtually any wall or surface, but it has been found that they cannot climb on any surface coated with the Teflon material.
Why We Love National Teflon Day
To celebrate a scientific discovery
Scientific discoveries can be hard to come by, even if by accident. Every new landmark in science is worth celebrating, and so is Teflon for its great contribution to humanity.
Commemoration of a great scientist
The day also commemorates Roy Plunkett, sealing his name in the annals of history. This is the greatest accolade that can be awarded to any scientist.
Ease of Life
Teflon has brought about ease of life to baking and cooking as we know it. With Teflon cookware, one no longer needs to bother about intense scraping and scrubbing of cooking ware to clean it.
National Teflon Day dates