Nylon vs. Teflon

What's the Difference?

Nylon and Teflon are both synthetic polymers with unique properties that make them suitable for various applications. Nylon is a strong and durable material known for its high tensile strength and resistance to abrasion, making it ideal for applications such as clothing, carpets, and ropes. On the other hand, Teflon, also known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), is a non-stick material famous for its exceptional heat resistance and low friction coefficient. This makes Teflon suitable for applications such as non-stick cookware, electrical insulation, and as a coating for various industrial equipment. While both materials have their own distinct characteristics, they are widely used in different industries due to their specific properties.


Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Chemical CompositionPolyamidePolytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)
Melting Point160-275°C327°C
Density1.15-1.24 g/cm³2.15-2.20 g/cm³
Tensile Strength50-80 MPa20-30 MPa
Resistance to HeatGoodExcellent
Resistance to ChemicalsGoodExcellent
Electrical InsulationGoodExcellent
ApplicationsTextiles, carpets, ropes, automotive partsCookware, electrical insulation, non-stick coatings
Photo by Rob Wicks on Unsplash

Further Detail


Nylon and Teflon are two widely used synthetic materials that have revolutionized various industries. Both materials possess unique attributes that make them suitable for specific applications. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of Nylon and Teflon, their similarities, differences, and their respective uses.

1. Composition

Nylon is a synthetic polymer made from petroleum-derived chemicals. It is a type of polyamide, which means it contains amide groups in its molecular structure. On the other hand, Teflon is a brand name for a type of polymer known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PTFE is composed of carbon and fluorine atoms arranged in a chain-like structure.

2. Strength and Durability

Nylon is known for its exceptional strength and durability. It has a high tensile strength, meaning it can withstand heavy loads without breaking or deforming easily. This makes Nylon a popular choice for applications that require robust materials, such as ropes, fishing nets, and automotive parts. Teflon, on the other hand, is not as strong as Nylon. It has a lower tensile strength and is more prone to deformation under heavy loads. However, Teflon compensates for this weakness with its exceptional non-stick properties.

3. Heat Resistance

When it comes to heat resistance, Teflon outperforms Nylon. Teflon has an extremely high melting point of around 327 degrees Celsius (621 degrees Fahrenheit). This makes it suitable for applications that involve high temperatures, such as non-stick cookware and electrical insulation. Nylon, on the other hand, has a lower melting point of around 220 degrees Celsius (428 degrees Fahrenheit). While Nylon can withstand moderate heat, it may deform or melt under prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

4. Chemical Resistance

Both Nylon and Teflon exhibit excellent chemical resistance, but they differ in their specific capabilities. Nylon is resistant to many common chemicals, including oils, greases, and alkaline substances. However, it is not as resistant to strong acids or organic solvents. Teflon, on the other hand, is highly resistant to almost all chemicals, including acids, bases, and solvents. This exceptional chemical resistance makes Teflon a preferred choice for applications involving corrosive environments, such as chemical processing equipment and laboratory apparatus.

5. Friction and Lubrication

One of the most notable attributes of Teflon is its low coefficient of friction. Teflon has a very smooth surface, which reduces friction and allows objects to slide easily over it. This property makes Teflon an excellent choice for non-stick coatings in cookware and as a lubricant in various applications. Nylon, on the other hand, has a higher coefficient of friction compared to Teflon. While it is not as slippery, Nylon can still provide sufficient lubrication in certain applications, such as gears and bearings.

6. Electrical Insulation

Both Nylon and Teflon possess good electrical insulation properties. However, Teflon has a higher dielectric strength, meaning it can withstand higher voltages without breaking down. This makes Teflon an ideal choice for applications that require excellent electrical insulation, such as wiring insulation, cable jackets, and connectors. Nylon, on the other hand, is also used in electrical applications but is more commonly utilized for its mechanical strength rather than its electrical properties.

7. Applications

The unique attributes of Nylon and Teflon make them suitable for a wide range of applications across various industries. Nylon finds its use in automotive components, textiles, ropes, fishing nets, and 3D printing filaments. It is also commonly used in the production of clothing, such as stockings and sportswear, due to its lightweight and moisture-wicking properties. Teflon, on the other hand, is widely used in non-stick cookware, electrical insulation, gaskets, seals, bearings, and as a lubricant in industrial machinery.


In conclusion, Nylon and Teflon are two synthetic materials with distinct attributes that make them suitable for different applications. Nylon excels in strength, durability, and moderate heat resistance, while Teflon stands out in its non-stick properties, high heat resistance, and exceptional chemical resistance. Understanding the unique characteristics of these materials allows us to choose the most appropriate one for specific applications, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.

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