A non-stick surface is a surface engineered to reduce the ability of other materials to stick to it. A non-stick coating may be applied to a substrate to produce such a surface. One common application of non-stick coatings is cookware. Until recently PTFE (under the brand name "Teflon") dominated this market. Other coatings, including anodized aluminium and ceramics, have become popular.
Non-stick coatings are also used in lubrication applications.
PTFE and similar compounds
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer used in various applications including non-stick coatings. Originally developed by a DuPont-General Motors joint venture, today it is commonly known by DuPont's brand name Teflon, though other producers exist producing PTFE compounds under various other names. At temperatures above circa 600° F (320° C), which are normally only reached when dry pans are heated, toxic fumes are given off by such coatings; these can result in flu-like symptoms in humans and cause death in birds.
Processing of PTFE in the past used to include Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) as an emulsifier, however PFOA is a persistent organic pollutant and poses both environmental and health concerns, and is now being phased out of use in PTFE processing.
Non-stick coating systems often include a special treatment of the substrate. For example, Whitford Corporation's Excalibur consists of three layers of PTFE over a metallic substrate which is first grit-blasted to roughen it, then electric-arc sprayed with a proprietary stainless steel alloy. According to Whitford, the irregular surface promotes adhesion of the PTFE and also resists abrasion of the PTFE.
Teflon is a trademark of DuPont used to refer to their non-stick products. While mainly being used as a trade name for PTFE, it is also used to market Perfluoroalkoxy (PFA, as "Teflon PFA") and Fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP, as "Teflon FEP") compounds. DuPont's current line-up of non-stick coatings for cookware is (arranged in order of decreasing price and durability): DuPont Autograph, DuPont Teflon Platinum Pro, DuPont Teflon Platinum, DuPont Teflon Select, DuPont Teflon Xtra, DuPont Teflon Classic and DuPont Teflon with Radiance Technology.
Non-PTFE compounds are often based on Sol-gel technologies and marketed as "ceramic coatings".
- Cooking spray
- Electroless nickel plating
- Lunac (alloy and trans-ceramic coatings)
- Non-stick pan
- Silverstone (plastic)
- Teflon (nickname)
- Thread seal tape
- American Cancer Society, Teflon and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)
- Tugend, Alina (October 14, 2006). "Teflon Is Great for Politicians, but Is It Safe for Regular People?". New York Times. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- Nicholas J. Wall, US 5069937 "Thermal spraying of stainless steel", 1988
- Laurence W. McKeen, Fluorinated coatings and finishes handbook, 2006, p. 117
- Excalibur brochure, PDF
- "Science plans 'non-stick' submarine", bbc.co.uk, 10 October, 2003
- "'Virtually non-stick' gum created", Rebecca Morelle and Liz Seward, BBC News, 13 September 2007
- How non-stick surface works- Illustration, from How Stuff Works.
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