A Cut Above
A Cut Above
February 21, 2023
Given the many benefits that it brings with it, the popularity of steel as a material for modular kitchens is increasing. Of course, while the charm of wood and other related materials cannot be sidelined, the sturdiness and durability of steel are being increasingly explored too.
The advantages that come with it are many. Stainless steel is a resilient, 100 per cent recyclable material, making it a popular choice for kitchens. It has a wide appeal that works with contemporary kitchens while presenting a contamination-free working zone. Longevity and corrosion resistance are traits of stainless steel, which prevents food from getting contaminated. It is easy to clean and requires little to no maintenance. These features make it an ideal choice for kitchens.
The increasing popularity of steel has witnessed the launch of a flurry of new designs. Photo Courtesy: Abimis
Stainless steel has high resistance to corrosion. Even when scratched, the damage isn’t what it would be on other surfaces. It can be cut, bonded and machined easily, making it a perfect material for fabrication. It is easily and simply maintained resulting in a high-quality, pleasing appearance.
Though grades that are low alloy - alloy steel is steel that is mixed with various elements to improve its properties- resist corrosion in normal atmospheric conditions, high alloy grades can resist corrosion to most acidic and alkaline solutions, even at high temperatures and pressures.
The appearance of the metal is neutral, so it can be used with most colours. Though the traditional stainless steel finish is a bit shiny, a brushed finish is also available.
Many surfaces react to edibles and leave their taste to them, but steel doesn’t have this quality. It is considered to be among the safest surfaces across the globe for making food because as doesn’t harbour microorganisms like others do. For this reason, it is considered the most sanitary of metal surfaces and is used often in both restaurants and hospitals.
Given the current trend, it seems like stainless steel is set to broaden its strong foothold in the kitchen space in the coming years. Photo Courtesy: Abimis
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Stainless steel is eco-friendly material, as it can be recyclable and reused. In fact, over 50 per cent of new stainless steel is made from melted scrap metal.
Articles produced from steel are completely ecologically safe. The consumption of energy for production of stainless steel has dipped over last few decades due to improvements in technology and energy conservation measures.
Mixed metals are fast finding their place in the modern culinary space. Of these, brass, an alloy made of copper and zinc, is being increasingly used in kitchens as it comes with multiple benefits. For one, it adds warmth to the surrounding space. Durable and reliable, longevity is a given for brass.
Other advantages are its natural resistance to corrosion, sturdiness and the ability to operate without causing friction. Brass does not rust, and it resists hard water (water with high mineral content) deposits. These very qualities were the reason that till the twentieth century, shipbuilders used only brass for hardware, as neither extreme temperature nor saltwater could cause grave harm.
With mixed metals and materials being one of the biggest trends, it’s not surprising that copper has carved a niche of its own in the kitchen space. For one, it stretches and can be easily shaped and moulded. In addition to this, it is also corrosion-resistant, a good thermal and electrical conductor and has a high melting point, making it perfect for use in high-temperature processes. Copper has about ten times the thermal conductivity of stainless steel and glass, and twice that of aluminium.
This metal also has many essential antimicrobial properties, a big plus in any kitchen. In addition to this, it looks attractive and is also very durable.
Its primary disadvantage is that it is reactive to acidic foodstuff. To counteract this, it is often lined with another metal like tin. Another disadvantage is it is not cost-effective, as compared to other metals.
Given the many benefits that it brings with it, the popularity of steel as a material for modular kitchens is increasing. Photo Courtesy: Abimis