Better heating, lower energy consumption and a more even heat. Swiss company Condeco, nominated for the Swedish Steel Prize 2013, uses heat-resistant and thermal-conductive steel in its new cookware.

Condeco’s new cookware uses one of the world’s most heatproof steels. The steel can handle very high temperatures without any impact on its form, at the same time as having good thermal-conductive properties. These properties, together with the total flatness of the material, were decisive for the innovator – energy expert and founder of Condeco, Dusko Maravic – when he was set to realize his idea for more energy-effective cookware.

Ineffective technology created interest

Maravic identified that the new induction technology in stoves was not being exploited to its full potential. “Today’s induction stoves place higher demands on the cookware,” he explains, and points at a four millimetre thick stainless steel disc.”

“This disc lies as close as possible to the stove surface. Many saucepans do that when they are new, but after being used for just a short time, the heat alters the flatness. Once the bottom has been altered, heating deteriorates and energy consumption rises due to the poor contact.”

A material that meets demands

Maravic also realized that thermal conductivity and heat distribution in the actual cookware could be improved, which is of great importance for cooking. The properties Maravic was looking for were: a close contact surface, improved thermal conductivity and heat resistance.

“Steel was the only alternative, and SSAB’s Toolox have properties that no other steel could match. As it can handle very high temperatures, we can guarantee flatness even if you were to forget the saucepan on full heat on the stove for several hours”, says Maravic.

Having found the right material, Condeco found a solution for the operational production together with the German company Sitec. The first saucepans with the improved properties are already on the market. They have been developed for a wide audience and for all types of stoves – induction, convection and gas.

“We laser weld with a depth of only one or so millimeters and lay out an entire carpet of small welds which cover the whole part of what will be the bottom of the finished cookware,” explained Andreas Müller-Mehnert, Sales and Production Manager at Sitec. “This means that we avoid heat treatment, which is the usual way. Thanks to this we have now managed to substantially reduce production time.”