Roy J. PlunkettTeflon inventorDr. Roy J. Plunkett, the...


May 15, 1994

Roy J. Plunkett

Teflon inventor

Dr. Roy J. Plunkett, the inventor of Teflon, died Thursday at 83 after a short illness at home in Corpus Christi, Texas, DuPont announced Friday.

Teflon, the trade name for the polytetrafluoroethylene resin, is most commonly known as a nonstick coating for pans and other cooking surfaces, but it also has many industrial applications.

The New Carlisle, Ohio, native was a research chemist at DuPont's Jackson Laboratory in Deepwater, N.J., in 1938 when he discovered the material.

He was investigating a failed experiment involving refrigeration gases when he discovered a white, waxy substance that proved to be the most slippery material known, DuPont said.

"Roy's contribution to science, industry and society is virtually impossible to calculate or attach a value to," said James M. Keegan, DuPont Fluoropolymers Business Director-Americas.

In addition to Teflon, Dr. Plunkett invented or co-invented a dozen products patented by DuPont in the United States and is responsible for many foreign patent filings on DuPont materials.

Dr. Plunkett worked at DuPont for 39 years, retiring in 1975.

He received an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Manchester College in Ohio and was awarded a master's degree and a doctorate from Ohio State University.

He was an avid golfer and fisherman and was involved in `D community activities in Corpus Christi.

He is survived by his wife, the former Lois M. Koch, of Penns Grove, N.J.; two sons, Michael Plunkett of Charlotte, N.C., and Patrick Plunkett of Reston, Va.; and two grandchildren.

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