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Fluoropolymers were discovered accidentally by Plunkett in 1938. He was working on freon and accidentally polymerised tetrafluoroethylene. The result was polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), more commonly known as Teflon.
PTFE is inert to virtually all chemicals and is considered to be the most slippery material in existence – it has the lowest coefficient of friction of any known solid material. These properties have made it one of the most valuable and versatile technologies ever invented, contributing to significant advancements in areas such as aerospace, communications, electronics, industrial processes and architecture. As Teflon, it has become a familiar household name, recognised worldwide for the superior non-stick properties associated with its use as a coating on cookware and as a soil and stain repellent for fabrics and textile products.
The aim of this review is to acquaint the readers with the science and technology of fluoroplastics that represent a unique group of plastics used in many dynamic industries, including automotive, aerospace, wire and cable insulations, oil and gas recovery, semiconductor manufacture and others.
The scope of this review includes basic chemistry, properties (attributes and limitations), processing methods and equipment, applications, recent developments and trends.
This Rapra Review Report comprises a concise, expert review, supported by an extensive bibliography compiled from the Polymer Library on the topic of fluoroplastics. This bibliography provides useful additional information on this topical field.