PTFE was accidentally discovered in 1938 by DuPont chemist Dr. Roy Plunkett; Plunkett was experimenting with gases for new fluoro-refrigerants when he discovered a white waxy substance in a canister of frozen, compressed tetrafluoroethylene (TFE). The TFE had spontaneously polymerized into what is now known as polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE. The Teflon™ brand name was registered in 1945 by DuPont and early uses included pipe and seal coatings to protect against aggressive chemicals. Melt processable fluoropolymers started with the commercialization of fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) in 1960, quickly followed by ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) in 1970 and the perfluoroalkoxy (PFA) resins in 1972.
To learn more about fluoropolymers, read Fluoropolymers 201