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Why no carbon steel cladded aluminum?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Using my new-ish carbon steel pans and liking them. Thinking about what my ideal fry pan would be. Here's a summary of what I like and don't: 

 

- Generally dislike cooking on stainless

- Don't use non-stick

- Don't care for cast iron

- Don't like cooking in aluminum (health concerns, pans tend to warp)

- Do like carbon steel

- Do like my copper pans, not crazy about the SS lining, too expensive 

 

Aluminum has similar cooking properties to copper, but there may be a health risk and the pans are generally not well made. 

 

So the question is, why does all cladded cookware have SS on the cooking surface? Is it not possible to make an aluminum exterior cladded to 1mm or 1.5mm of carbon steel? For me, this would be the ideal fry pan, assuming the aluminum was thick enough to not warp. 


Edited by dario - 5/1/13 at 12:00pm
post #2 of 4

The reason SS is cladded is because it isn't a good thermal conductor.  The cladding helps the pan heat evenly.

 

On the other hand carbon steel is a pretty good conductor.  A cladding might help a little but probably not much.

 

Also carbon steel and aluminum expand and contract differently as temperatures change so I think there would be a problem bonding them.
 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by allanm View Post

The reason SS is cladded is because it isn't a good thermal conductor.  The cladding helps the pan heat evenly.

 

On the other hand carbon steel is a pretty good conductor.  A cladding might help a little but probably not much.

 

Also carbon steel and aluminum expand and contract differently as temperatures change so I think there would be a problem bonding them.
 

 

Carbon steel is slightly better than stainless (carbon steel is 3x that of stainless, copper is 8x that of carbon steel, aluminum is almost 5x more conductive than carbon steel). 

 

You inferred that SS expands and contracts more similarly to aluminum than does carbon steel. This seems counter-intuitive. Do you know this is the case?


Edited by dario - 5/1/13 at 4:01pm
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Looked up expansion coefficient for these metals - (inches over inches/degree F increase). Allanm is correct: stainless is closer to aluminum in expansion properties than is non-stainless. 

 

Aluminum: 12.3 

Steel: 7.3

Stainless: 8.9 (assuming 316 stainless)

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