Q. Why doesn"t noþeles stick come nonstick cookware? and if the nonstick coating won"t stick come anything, exactly how do they get it come stick to the pans?

A. Sticking is a two-way street. In order for sticking come occur, there need to be both a sticker and also a stickee. At the very least one partner need to be tacky.Quiz: recognize the sticky one in each of the complying with pairs: Glue and also paper. Chewing gum and also a shoes sole. A lollipop and also a small boy.

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In every case, at least one that the pair need to be made of molecules that enjoy latching onto others. Glue, chewing gum and also lollipops save notoriously fickle molecules; practically anything have the right to be the object of your affections. Adhesives are deliberately developed to kind strong, irreversible attachments come as many substances together possible. Super glue is the uncontested champ.

But method over on the other hand, there"s PTFE, that black coating ~ above the nonstick pan. That molecules simply refuse to be either the sticker or the stickee, no issue what its potential partner might be. And that"s incredibly unusual in the chemical people of intermolecular attractions. Even Super glue won"t stick to PTFE.

This sticky concern hit the pan in 1938, when a chemist called Roy Plunkett in ~ the E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. Concocted a brand-new chemical that chemists reap calling polytetrafluoroethylene, yet which to be mercifully nicknamed PTFE and also trademarked by DuPont together Teflon.

After appearing in a range of commercial guises, such as slippery bearings the don"t need oil, Teflon started to present up in the kitchen in the 1960s as a coating because that frying pans that would certainly clean increase in a jiffy because they didn"t obtain dirty in the first place.

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Modern sport are known by a variety of profession names, but they"re all essentially PTFE, combination with miscellaneous schemes to make it stick to the pan, which together you can imagine is no little trick. I"m getting to that.

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