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History of Plumber Tape

• 1938 — Dr. Roy Plunkett, a DuPont scientist, discovered polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

• 1946 — DuPont registers the trademark, Teflon® for PTFE.Dr. Roy Plunkett | DuPont™ Teflon® PTFE

• Late 1940s — DuPont began marketing PTFE on a small scale for certain industrial applications, including valves, o-rings, and pipe linings.

• 1969 — DuPont PTFE fine powder is used for plumber tape for sealing joints in piping and central heating systems.  However, DuPont never manufactured the tape. The manufacturers purchased and used DuPont PTFE fine powder as consumers started favouring easy to apply PTFE tape over existing solutions. Plumber tape using DuPont™ Teflon®  PTFE fine powder was the first such product to reach consumers.

• Times changed, other companies started making PTFE fine powder that was of a lower quality and at a lower cost.  The companies that made the plumber tape switched to the lower quality powder.  They didn’t have permission from DuPont to use the Teflon® brand because they no longer were using DuPont product.

• Separately, in the 1990’s, DuPont stopped selling its PTFE product lines labeled as Teflon®, including fine powder.  The reason for the change was to ensure products bearing the Teflon® brand met the highest quality standards expected by consumers. Any use of the Teflon® brand now needs written authorization from DuPont.


Teflon® is a registered trademark of DuPont.