After More than 75 Years, Teflon™ has Once Again Been Reimagined

Everyone knows the Teflon™ brand, but some people may not appreciate how we continue to innovate Teflon™ branded products to make them work better, last longer, and even be more sustainable. Like Teflon EcoElite™ finish for fabrics.

Teflon™ EcoElite—The world’s first plant-based finish for fabrics—is Teflon™, Reimagined.

Since it was first patented over 75 years ago, Teflon™ PTFE has been reimagined and put to work across industries from aerospace to medical instruments to automobiles and now fashion. That’s what happens when you consistently combine the very best science with imagination.

 

If you can imagine it....

Now imagine a repellent finish made from 60% renewably sourced plant-based materials.

Imagine one that’s 3x more durable than other non-fluorinated finishes. Imagine a textile finish that continues to repel water and water-based stains for 30 washes or more.

Imagine a garment that can reduce its water and energy footprint by 20%–25%.

Imagine a repellent finish that’s bluesign® approved for meeting sustainable standards in the garment industry.

Imagine a partner that’s been on the front lines of disruptive, consumer-focused innovation since its founding.

You’ve just imagined Teflon™—reimagined. Only the latest in a long legacy of breakthroughs.

Constantly evolving, always protecting

Today, one of the biggest market shifts we see is the demand for more sustainability in products across industries. That’s another reason people will continue to seek out products associated with the Teflon™ brand. Just look at what Teflon™ fabric protector does for the textile industry. Its promise of nine times more stain repellency than other products helps everything from mattresses to umbrellas stay in homes and out of landfills.

We even took it one step further: in our efforts to create a smaller environmental footprint, we have introduced Teflon EcoElite™, which is made from 60% renewably sourced materials and is the first renewably sourced water repellent for fabric and textiles.

We listened to the marketplace and today it is saying loud and clear that sustainability is a big trend. Sixty-six percent of consumers say they’re willing to pay more for responsible products, which is why Teflon EcoElite™ promises to be a very sought-after name.

The same can be said for what Teflon™ nonstick coatings do to help make other products more sustainable. They are made to outlast ceramic or silicone coatings by seven to one, and that means less waste in landfills and less CO2 emissions.

Factoid image detailing how Teflon™ helps make everything from cookware to paint more sustainable.

Improving windshield wipers, windbreakers, even beacons of liberty

Many people would be surprised to learn that the same properties that make Teflon™ coatings the gold standard in the kitchen for nonstick cookware have also helped create significant advancements in everyday goods like windshield wipers and windbreakers, aerospace technologies, electronics, architectural materials, medical tools—and even the Statue of Liberty. The brand’s hallmark qualities of nonstick properties, lubricity, chemical resistance, repellency, and durability continue to drive value across industries that go far beyond its early applications on pots and pans in the 1930s. The Teflon™ trademark is the most recognized brand of The Chemours Company—with up to 85% brand awareness across major consumer and B2B categories.


An infographic lists several interesting facts about Teflon™.

The innovation that knows no limits

The airline and aerospace industries have been using Teflon™-coated parts and wiring for decades. Teflon™ was used on the original space shuttle and has helped improve the quality of countless components for the International Space Station, the Mars rover, and several NASA deep-space missions


Infographic of a house that demonstrates all the everyday items in your house that Teflon™ protects.

The Teflon™ brand standard of performance

In an effort to ensure that performance expectations for Teflon™ PTFE remain intact, Chemours is diligent in its supervision of how the Teflon™ brand is used by licensed coaters. In the mid-1960s, Chemours launched the first program to certify the quality application of its nonstick coatings. Today, rigorous quality-assurance standards ensure that all cookware and bakeware products carrying the Teflon™ brand pass stringent quality-control guidelines.

When experimentation leads to discovery

Teflon™ PTFE has enabled change in the world, but it almost didn’t happen. The story began a little more than 75 years ago as a happy accident of the scientific process. Dr. Roy J. Plunkett was experimenting with Freon™-brand refrigerants in 1938 when he observed that a frozen, compressed sample of tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) had polymerized in a cylinder. He discovered that under intense cold and pressure, the gas turned into a white, waxy solid that formed the world’s first fluoropolymer: polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

This newly invented PTFE possessed outstanding chemical and heat resistance and was soon to demonstrate some extremely valuable qualities. In 1941, DuPont patented PTFE and sold it under the trademark Teflon™, and with it a new era of commercial chemistry was born.

 

A skier stands on top of a snowy mountain carrying their skis.

Teflon EcoElite™ hits the slopes.

See how Colmar, the Italian ski-and-activewear company, embraced plant-based Teflon™ water-repellent finishes to meet the demands of their eco-conscious customer base. Doing so has made their products more popular, increased their market share, and continued their commitment to sustainability.

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Image of Dr. Roy J. Plunkett who discovered Teflon™ PTFE.

Dr. Roy Plunkett

Chemours chemist, discoverer of Teflon™ PTFE

While I realized that PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) was an unusual material, I didn't know what to do with it. However, I was lucky to work with a company that had a great interest in polymers.

The Teflon™ brand difference

At Chemours, we’re helping our customers unleash the power of chemistry to break new ground and meet the challenges posed by the ever-changing needs of tomorrow’s consumers. Our partners can increasingly look to Chemours as a provider of value-added chemistry, giving them the competitive edge to help differentiate their products. At the same time, we are bringing a better quality of life and everyday conveniences to people worldwide.

“We are committed to partnering with our customers to bring innovative new applications, while proactively responding to the evolving needs of the marketplace,” said Paul Kirsch, President of Chemours Fluoroproducts.

In 2016, a new research and development facility opened in China that will drive our horizons of innovation into the next century.

And continue to reimagine Teflon™ for future generations.

 

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