The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Coefficients of Friction for Teflon

An educational, fair use website

search icon
Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Walker, James S. Physics. 2nd ed. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2004: Page 139.
Materials Kinetic Static
Teflon on Teflon 0.04 0.04
Reference Tables for Physical Setting/Physics. State Education Department of New York, 2002 Edition.
Approximate Coefficients of Friction
  Kinetic Static
Teflon on Teflon 0.04  
Teflon Fluorocarbon Resin. Omega Engineering, 2000.
Coefficient of Friction
0.1 0.2 0.2
Sears and Zemansky. College Physics. 3rd ed. Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1960: 31.
Materials Static Kinetic
Teflon on teflon 0.04 0.04
Teflon Industrial Coatings - Typical Properties. DuPont. 2003.
Coefficient of Friction
Teflon PTFE Teflon FEP Teflon PFA Teflon ETFE
-static 0.12-0.15 0.12-0.20 0.2 0.24-0.50
-dynamic 0.05-0.10 0.08-0.3 - 0.3-0.4

Teflon is the trademark name DuPont uses for the compound polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and three similar compounds: perfluoroalkoxy polymer resin (PFA), fluorinated ethylene propylene copolymer (FEP), and the copolymer of ethylene and tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE). The American chemist Roy J. Plunkett (1910-1994) discovered Teflon (PTFE) in 1938. Teflon was invented for machine parts. Several years later a Frenchman used it to coat a frying pan. Today Teflon is often used in cookware like pans; the reason for this lies in its properties. It was first shown to the public as a commercial product in 1946.

The force of friction is calculated by the formula…

Ff (force of friction) = μ ("mu"or coefficient of friction) * Fn (normal force)

Both Ff and Fn are measured with the unit N (Newton). In order for Ff and Fn to have the correct unit N in the formula, μ therefore must be unitless.

Teflon is the type of plastic that has the lowest coefficient of friction meaning this synthetic material has a slippery feel to it; this is the reason why it is used to make non-stick pans. Both the coefficient of kinetic friction and the coefficient of static friction for this material are low. The most common value found for the coefficient of kinetic friction (μk) and coefficient of static friction (μs) for Teflon is 0.04.

Teflon also has other interesting properties. It is inert meaning that it doesn't react to many chemicals. This property allows it to be used as containers and pipelines for reactive chemicals. Its melting point is 600 K.

Garvin Tam -- 2004

External links to this page: