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If Nothing Sticks To Teflon, how does it stick to the Pan?

Asked by: Mr. Who Am I


Teflon is very slippery, because of a layer of electronegative fluorine atoms on its exterior (which try to repel materials in close contact.) To stick to the pan, it is physically bonded to surfaces, not chemically, almost like velcro. It's like how ice gets stuck in ice-tray; the ice isn't actually stuck to the tray, just wedged in, and that's how Teflon is stuck to surfaces.

Answered by: Paul Hodgkinson, Physics Undergrad, Cambridge University, UK

Teflon and now a more popular cousin, Silverstone are both trademarks of the Du Pont corporation. Here is what Mr. G.A. Quinn from Du Pont had to say on this:

'When applying Silverstone to a metal frypan, the interior of the pan is first grit-blasted, then a primer coat is sprayed on and baked. A second layer of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is applied, baked and dried again. A third coat of PTFE is applied, baked and dried.

About the only thing that sticks to PTFE is PTFE. So, the 3-coat process used in Silverstone forms an inseparable bond between the PTFE layers and the primer coat bonds to the rough, grit-blasted metal surface.'

Source: Imponderables by David Feldman

Answered by: Anton Skorucak, PhysLink.com

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