PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEthylene) is one of the most unusual of the new materials that emerged from basic scientific research by large chemical companies after the First World War. It is manufactured by free radical polymerisation of tetrafluoroethylene, and has many uses for which it is uniquely suitable.

Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge
   Description of the Experiment   

Visitors tip the frame from side to side to see on which material the blocks move fastest. Generally the PTFE surface gives the fastest result.

   Duration   

The experiment lasts about 1 minute.

   Conclusion   

PTFE has the lowest friction of any solid material, although the application of surface coating can give other materials a similar friction for a short while (i.e. the application of silicone polish to wood).

   Detailed Conclusion   

Technically the low friction properties are the result of the low surface energy of PTFE.