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[pol-ee-te-truh-floo r-oh-eth-uh-leen, -flawr-, -flohr-] /ˌpɒl iˌtɛ trəˌflʊər oʊˈɛθ əˌlin, -ˌflɔr-, -ˌfloʊr-/
noun, Chemistry
any polymer, plastic, or resin having the formula (C 2 F 4) n , prepared from tetrafluoroethylene, noted for its slippery, nonsticking properties, and used in the manufacture of gaskets, electrical insulation, tubing, candy molds, container linings, frying-pan coatings, etc.
1945-50; poly- + tetrafluoroethylene Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for polytetrafluoroethylene


a white thermoplastic material with a waxy texture, made by polymerizing tetrafluoroethylene. It is nonflammable, resists chemical action and radiation, and has a high electrical resistance and an extremely low coefficient of friction. It is used for making gaskets, hoses, insulators, bearings, and for coating metal surfaces in chemical plants and in nonstick cooking vessels PTFE Also called (trademark) Teflon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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polytetrafluoroethylene in Science
  (pŏl'ē-tět'rə-flr'ō-ěth'ə-lēn', -flôr'-)   
A synthetic polymer consisting of a chain of fluorinated ethane units (C2F4). It is a thermoplastic resin that is resistant to heat and chemicals and has an extremely low coefficient of friction (resistance to objects sliding over its surface). It is used as a coating on cookware, gaskets, seals, and hoses.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for polytetrafluoroethylene


a strong, tough, waxy, nonflammable resin belonging to the family of organic polymers, substances composed of large molecules formed by chemical combination of many small ones (monomers) into chains or networks. Known by the abbreviation PTFE or the trade name Teflon, it is distinguished by its complete indifference to attack by almost all chemicals and by its slippery surface; it retains its physical properties over a wide temperature range (-270 to 250 C, or -450 to 480 F). These qualities suit polytetrafluoroethylene to uses in gaskets, bearings, linings for containers and pipes, and parts for valves and pumps that must operate in corrosive environments and for protective coatings on cooking utensils, saw blades, and other articles

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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