Why Nothing Sticks to Teflon Pans and Dishes

If you have a non-stick cookware, it is probably coated with Teflon , which you probably already know is a material that makes it difficult for food to stick. You may not know why this works so well.

Teflon, also known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), is a polymer with a carbon chain in the center and two fluorines that span the outside. Carbon and fluorine have a strong bond, which causes them to stick to each other and not to other substances that PTFE comes into contact with. It does not react with most other chemicals and has a low coefficient of friction, making it an ideal non-stick coating for cookware and other equipment.

PTFE is usually applied by roughing the surface of the equipment with sand or chemical blasting, applying a primer, spraying PTFE and then heating it to cure. When it hardens, it creates a smooth frying surface that conducts heat and is smooth enough to resist sticking. To learn more about why it works so well as a hob, watch the video above.

Why does nothing stick to Teflon? | TED-Ed (YouTube)

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