Teflon Day is observed next on Thursday, April 6th, 2023 (125 days from today).
Until now, most people in the world know about Teflon chemicals, especially in kitchen work. The special property of this chemical is that it does not make food stick to pots and pans after it has been coated with a thin layer inside. About 50 years ago DuPont began manufacturing a wide range of Teflon coated cooking products. It can be said that this is a cooking revolution that makes this service easy and shortens the cooking time of housewives. New kitchen appliances keep coming, even electric ovens and pans. Currently, 70% of cookware in the United States is nonstick. The national calendar recognizes Teflon Day, which is celebrated annually on April 6, in honor of the chemical that revolutionized the non-stick cookware industry, as well as a holiday to celebrate The day that scientist Roy Plunkett accidentally invented Teflon, April 6, 1938.
History of Teflon Day
In 1938, American chemist Roy J. Plunkett accidentally discovered polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a polymer with many outstanding properties that was later registered under the trademark name Teflon.
Plunkett's initial research at DuPont's Jackson Laboratory involved the preparation of new chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants. He hopes to create a non-toxic, non-flammable compound to replace refrigerants with adverse environmental and health effects such as sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ammonia (NH3).
In one of the preparation of tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) gas, he attempted to store the gas in a cylindrical container weighing 1 kg and refrigerate it in dry ice before allowing it to participate in the chlorination reaction [Note: Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2)].
On the morning of April 6, 1938, Plunkett asked his assistants Jack Rebok and Robert McHarness to set up a test kit that included a previously preserved TFE cylinder. Theoretically, when the valve of the container is opened, the TFE gas will escape due to the high pressure in the tank. But practically no gas escapes and the volume of the container does not change either. Plunkett quickly realized that there was no TFE gas inside. He turned it upside down and a layer of white powder fell to the floor of the lab.
In the end, Plunkett decided to cut the TFE gas cylinder in half and observed that more powder adhered to the bottom and sides of the tank.
After testing, Plunkett discovered that the TFE gas had polymerized, forming a waxy solid called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The iron surface inside the container acts as a catalyst. This was something that the prevailing chemical theory of the time did not predict.
At first, Plunkett considered his experiment a failure. But after examining the chemical properties of PTFE, he found it had some remarkable properties. For example, it has high corrosion and heat resistance, as well as very low surface friction.
Soon after, other chemists and engineers sought to exploit PTFE's outstanding chemical properties, although it was initially expensive to manufacture and the compound was not easy to shape in the mold. The team working for the American Manhattan Project used PTFE in the process of making the atomic bomb. PTFE's anti-corrosion properties proved to be quite useful when it was used as a coating for valves and other components in highly reactive uranium hexafluoride (UF6) tubes at uranium enrichment plants in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
In 1945, Kinetic Chemicals Company - a business partner of DuPont and General Motors - registered PTFE under the brand name Teflon. Kinetic Chemicals PTFE production line produces approximately 900 tons of Teflon per year.
In the 1950s, scientists invented a copolymer (copolymer) that retained most of the desired chemical and mechanical properties of PTFE but was easier to mold or extrude, thereby opening more practical applications.
In 1954, at the suggestion of the wife, French engineer Marc Grigoire was known as a person who created the first non-stick pan coated with PTFE under the brand name Tefal. In 1961, young businessman Marion A. Trozzolo marketed the first US-made PTFE non-stick pan called "The Happy Pan". Since then, nonstick cookware has gradually become a popular household product and is supplied by hundreds of manufacturers worldwide.
Today, people use Teflon in a variety of industrial applications, for example car windshield wipers; antifouling agent on carpets, furniture and clothing; used in light bulbs; even some hair care products. In the medical field, it is used as an implant in surgeries and as a coating for catheters, because it prevents bacteria and other infectious agents from adhering to surfaces. Teflon is also a common ingredient in weatherproof paints.
Plunkett with his contributions to the discovery of the compound Teflon, was awarded the John Scott Medal in 1951 by the City of Philadelphia to honor, an invention that contributed to the "comfort, welfare, and happiness of the " mankind". Those who attended the medal ceremony even received a free box of Teflon-coated cupcakes.
Plunkett continued to produce lead tetraethyl lead – a gasoline additive – and Freon at DuPont before retiring in 1975. He was inducted into the US National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) in 1985.
Teflon has such an interesting history, but the history of Teflon Day is still unrecorded. As to the founder of Teflon Day is still in question, although the reason why Teflon Day is celebrated every year on April 6 is clearly indicated.
How to observe Teflon Day?
On Teflon Day, appreciate the non-stick cookware in your home, there is a lot of controversy over the toxicity of Teflon chemicals, but the convenience they bring to your kitchen is which is clearly not in dispute. Use any Teflon non-stick kitchen utensils such as non-stick salutes, non-stick pots and pans to make delicious, beautiful dishes this day. Share Teflon apps if you know, post them on social media with the hashtag #TeflonDay.
ObservedTeflon Day has been observed annually on April 6th.
Tuesday, April 6th, 2021
Wednesday, April 6th, 2022
Thursday, April 6th, 2023
Saturday, April 6th, 2024
Sunday, April 6th, 2025