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One of the best known and most widely used polymers of all time, the material is for example used for pots and pans. PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene was discovered on April 6, 1938 by Dr. Roy Plunkett at the DuPont research laboratories (Jackson Laboratory in New Jersey). PTFE was first marketed under the DuPont Teflon trademark in 1945. The molecular weight of Teflon can exceed 30,000,000, making it one of the largest molecules known. The surface is so slippery, virtually nothing sticks to it or is absorbed by it.

You know I'm rockin' with the best tre pound on my hip, Teflon on my chest -- 50 Cent & The Game (How We Do)

This is at first blush nonsense. Teflon is used as a non-stick coating for pans, not for bullet-proof jackets. The bullet-proof material is Kevlar. Taken in context though, the clear 50 Cent reference is to the fact that bullets don't stick to him. (50, as you may recall has been "hit with a few shells" but "he don't walk with a limp").

In another song by 50 Cent, "Someones Gotta Die Tonight," he references "I’m on that Teflon vest shit." Once again wrongly referring to Teflon as a bullet proof material. Perhaps he has a misunderstanding about Teflon.

Teflon also was used on armor piercing bullets which are now outlawed in all states in the USA. These used a sharp point projectile/bullet with a Teflon coat to help penetrate Kevlar by changing the friction coefficient and contact area between the Kevlar and Projectile.

External references

In Xzibit - X, Xzibit raps: "Teflon territory, you just can't shoot through." This was released in the year 2000 and suggests that it perhaps is referring to a bullet proof vest, even though it's not factually correct.

  • hip hop culture ref to the mob boss John Gotti who was referred to as the 'Teflon Don' since for many years none of the criminal charges against him ever stuck.-(shogun_assasin)