Depiction of PTFE Discovery
Roy Plunkett’s World (by Sina
Every story about PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene)
and fluoropolymers begins with the serendipitous
discovery of Roy Plunkett in 1938
when he inspected
a small cylinder of tetrafluoroethylene and found no pressure.
He was trying to develop fluorinated refrigerants for automobiles and other uses.
He had the cylinder cut open and found a white powder which was characterized
and found to be polytetrafluoroethylene. The rest is
The first time I heard the story I was not sure whether
it is true or not because a
lot of tales transform over
time with the real story getting lost. I went looking for the
story and found out there was a lot more to the story
and the world in which the
discovery was made.
I am going to tell you about personalities and events in Roy
Those were the early days of polymer science when the field was in its formative stages.
The scientific discussions
were tinged with excitement that can only be found in an embryonic field.
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