Where did it all begin?

Nonstick coatings hit the selling floors in the early 1960s.

The first nonsticks were made primarily of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PTFE has the lowest coefficient of friction (CoF) of any known solid. In other words, the majority of materials (in this case foodstuffs) do not stick to it.

PTFE's low CoF "releases" the materials, making it easy to separate them from the coating. Therefore, on nonstick pans, most substances are easily removed from the surface.

Unfortunately, PTFE is also very soft and, if unprotected, wears quickly. While early nonsticks had good release, they were soft and wore out after little use. The result: nonstick-coated cookware earned the reputation of being "disposable".
 
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The Curing Process

How an Ounce of Cure Can Be Worth a Pound of Prevention

What ultimately ensures the performance of a fluoropolymer coating is the cure. The cure does several things: it hardens the coating, makes it smooth and creates chemical resistance. It does this either by melt flow or crosslinking the polymer matrix. ("Crosslinking" is joining most of the sites of some component chemicals with the sites of other component chemicals. It's the difference between a group of threads loosely massed together, as opposed to threads sewn into a common cloth.)

However, these characteristics are achieved only if the cure is done correctly, and according to the product data sheet provided by the coating manufacturer that indicates the exact details of how the coating is to be cured. Here are five elements in the process that must be monitored to assure perfect cure:

Substrate Temperature
Oven Temperature
Cure Time
Air Flow
Oven Load

 
 
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