- Teflon redirects here, other uses are at Teflon (disambiguation)
In chemistry, Polytetrafluoroethylene (often shortened to PTFE) is a polymer of tetrafluoroethylene. It is a fluoropolymer, because the polymerization is based on strong bonds of fluorine and carbon. Polytetrafluoroethylene is not very reactive. It also repels oil and water. It is better known by its trade-names, Teflon, and Gore-Tex. Teflon is a coating done to frying pans, among others. Gore-Tex is a membrane used in clothing.
To produce Polytetrafluoroethylene, Perfluorooctanoic acid is needed. Perfluorooctanoic acid is problematic because it is very toxic, does not degrade well, and may cause cancer. The precursors for many chemical weapons are highly corrosive, their containers are therefore often treated with Polytetrafluoroethylene. For this reason, the export of Polytetrafluoroethylene from the European Union may need a special permit.