„Teflon is a by-product of space flight.” That often-heard sentence isn’t true. Roy Plunkett received patent US 2230654 A for Polytetrafluorethylen (PTFE), later known as Teflon, already on the 4th of February 1941.

The employee of the American chemical company DuPont found the material by case when he searched for new freezing agents. PTFE turned out to be very inert and had a very low friction coefficient, too.

Initially Teflon was used as anticorrosive for nuclear bombs. Colette Grégoire had the idea to apply it as non-stick coating for pans in 1954. She founded Tefal company two years later together with her husband Marc Grégoire.

Today Teflon finds use in many ways. So, it is used as heat protection of cables and space suits in astronautics or as base material of Gore-Tex membranes.