Cookware Reviews - Coatings
by Joe "Woods Goods and Stuff"
Cookware Reviews - Non Stick Coatings
Coatings used in the cookware industry are made from either a silicone base or a fluorocarbon (P.T.F.E.) base. Fluorocarbon coatings are applied in a 2 or 3 coat process, consisting of 1 or 2 layers of the non-stick material, plus a "sealer" or topcoat. This is the process generally used on interior coating. Exterior coatings are usually use a 1 coat silicone based process, since fluorocarbons have a drawback...if accidentally overheated, the fumes will kill household birds.
The main differences in different quality levels are in the formulas of the liquid coating, the number of layers of coating, and the thickness of each layer."Generic" or non-branded coatings are generally used on low end frypans, and will usually be a formula that has less durability and release qualities than branded coatings.
Cookware Reviews - Reinforced Non Stick Coatings
A reinforced coating is one that utilizes the application of stainless steel particles in a molten state to the surface of the pan prior to coating with the nonstick material. This technology was pioneered, developed, and refined by Whitford Corporation. The reinforced "Excalibur" coating system is the result of twenty years of research and development that required constant trial and error, which led to small but important changes in the basic concept of a reinforced nonstick until the ideal was finally achieved.
These are the basic differences between Excalibur and other "reinforced" nonsticks:
- The Excalibur alloy:
Excalibur uses the strongest, most corrosion-resistant alloy in the stainless steel spectrum. Excalibur is the only reinforced nonstick that can use this alloy (which is protected by a Whitford patent). This means:
- Greater durability: The stainless steel spray applied to the substrate of the pot or pan forms a harder, tougher, longer-lasting base for the nonstick coatings that are applied into and over the "peaks and valleys" formed by the hardened spray. This is true whether the pan is made of stainless steel, carbon steel, cast iron or aluminum. Metal kitchen tools can be used with Excalibur.
- Greater resistance to corrosion: The unique "recipe" of elements in the Excalibur alloy provide maximum resistance to oxidation as well as to galvanic corrosion.
Excalibur provides superior adhesion in two important ways:
- The alloy adheres better to the substrate of the pot or pan, no matter what the composition of the metal substrate.
- The special Whitford coatings specifically engineered to mate with the Excalibur alloy provide superior adhesion when compared to most 300 and 400 series of stainless steel used by other "reinforced" nonsticks.
- Uniform thickness:
The uniformity of the Excalibur product's surface not only resists abrasion better, but also provides more uniform wear over the life of the pot or pan. Raised, hard ridges, on the other hand, tend to lose their nonstick quality.
- Stain resistance:
The uniform Excalibur surface is not only easier to clean, but it is designed to avoid wells and other small depressions found in patterned surfaces that capture fats, juices, and other food residues that eventually carbonize. This not only encourages staining and spoils the aesthetics of the pan, it also deteriorates the release properties of the surface.
- Pattern vs. no pattern:
Other "reinforced" nonsticks offer a pattern pressed into the surface of the pot or pan on the theory that this will provide an anchor for the nonstick. Excalibur research proved early on that, however attractive the theory sounds, in practice it fails. That's because the artificial ridges in the surface provide hard, raised edges that are far enough apart from one another to become easy targets. When metal utensils are used, they simply scrape the nonstick off these ridges in amounts sufficient to deteriorate significantly the release of the surface (and to lead to corrosion of the inferior alloy).
Excalibur on the other hand, forms a series of "peaks and valleys" so close together that a metal spatula, by definition considerably thinker than the distance between "peaks", cannot penetrate what is essentially a uniform surface. This distributes the "attack" of the utensil over a wider, smoother surface, deflecting it and protecting the coating. The worst that can happen is that microscopic bits of nonstick are scraped off a few of the tiny peaks.
These are the basic differences between Excalibur and other "reinforced" nonsticks. For information on our commercial quality frypans with Excalibur, refer to Leyse Professional Cookware under Aluminum Cookware in the product information section. Product Information Whitford Corporation has recently developed a new method or reinforcing a nonstick coating internally, rather than externally, like Excalibur. The new coating system is called Quantum®. Rather than the external stainless steel reinforcement of Excalibur, Quantum® uses an internal reinforcement of inorganic materials with a diverse, controlled blend of particle geometries. The quantity and blend of particle shapes were developed to provide the optimum reinforcement and hardness of the coating system. Because the reinforcing components are primarily in the base coat, additional release ingredients can be incorporated into the subsequent coats to provide an unsurpassed combination of durability and nonstick food release properties. The key characteristics of the new Quantum® system are:
- Outstanding resistance to abrasion: second only to Excalibur for durability. Metal kitchen tools can be used with Quantum®.
- Excellent release: superior nonstick performance.
- Superb adhesion: won't peel or lift from the cookware surface.
- Smooth surface appearance
- High gloss
by Joe "Woods Goods and Stuff"