Whitford Announces a Breakthrough in Nonstick Technology, Sets New High in Nonstick Performance

15 February 2009, Elverson, PA. The holy grail in the world of nonstick coatings - outstanding nonstick (release) that lasts - has finally been achieved with new Eterna(TM) from Whitford.

The past few years have led to remarkable advances in the durability of nonstick coatings. The use of sophisticated reinforcing elements resulted in marked differences in resistance to wear - by a factor of 50 (and more) in some tests.

The coatings appear to last longer, since there is still coating visible after use. But the nonstick part of the coating (almost entirely the top layer) does not last longer. All or most of the nonstick ingredient (usually PTFE) is in the topcoat, which wears off first, and is the least wearresistant of all three coats.

So while a nonstick pan after some use may appear to be "nonstick" because there is still coating on the pan, the nonstick quality is always diminished, sometimes significantly (as many cooks can attest).

Since nonstick is the entire reason for using such a coating, it follows that its ability to continue releasing over an extended period of time is key. And that has been the single greatest weakness of nonstick coatings, despite the greater durability of the overall coating that has been achieved with improved reinforcing technology.

Whitford R&D set out to engineer what seemed unattainable: nonstick coatings that would not only last longer but also maintain their nonstick for much more time. The result is a totally new coating system called "Eterna".

The Dry-Egg test
The most widely used test for release is cooking a series of eggs, one by one, in a nonstick pan with no butter, grease or oil of any sort: just "dry" as the fry pan comes out of the box. It's the kind of test anyone can run, it involves no specialized equipment and, when done under controlled conditions, provides reliable, repeatable results.

Here's how it works. A fresh raw egg is carefully broken into the center of a nonstick pan preheated to 350°F/175°C, and cooked for 2.5 minutes. Then a spatula is inserted gently under one edge of the egg. The effort to lift the egg is rated on a scale of 5-1 (5 = easy to remove, 1 = sticks to the pan).

The test is repeated until the eggs no longer lift off with ease, at which point the nonstick is considered to have begun to wear off (but by no means destroyed, since the pan's coating continues to perform, although at a diminishing level of nonstick quality).

The ability to achieve 5 "easy" egg removals in a row is generally considered to mean the nonstick is acceptable, and the test is stopped.

The surprising results
In order to test the scope of Eterna's nonstick qualities, Whitford's laboratory returned to this classic test and ran it until the failure mode was reached for a variety of nonstick products. Pans from three major manufacturers using the latest, best nonstick coatings were used, as was a similar pan coated with new Eterna.

The results of this practical test: Nonstick "A" lasted for 13 fried eggs. Nonstick "B" went to 15 fried eggs, Nonstick "C" went to 33. And new Eterna went for an unheard of 350 fried eggs - at which time the test was stopped.

That's more than 26 times better than one of today's best-known, most popular nonsticks, and more than 10 times better than the nearest top-end competitive nonstick system.

Never in Whitford's history have such phenomenal results been achieved over so long a period of actual cooking.

Whitford laboratories subjected Eterna to other tests to confirm the longer-lasting release life. In the "Tiger Paw" test, for example, Eterna outperformed all other coatings tested. In the LGA Shaker test (popular in Europe), it outperformed all others tested and, in fact, still provided excellent release after the test. No other nonstick that survived the LGA test had release approaching that of new Eterna.

Another advantage of the new Eterna system is that the coating has an extremely smooth, reflective finish, which gives it a higher gloss than other nonstick coatings, which is attractive to potential customers at point-of-sale.

Yet another: Eterna is a two-coat system and is extremely user-friendly. To the cookware manufacturer this, compared to the usual high-end three-coat systems, means simpler application and less inventory to manage.

For more information on new Eterna, contact Whitford directly at sales@whitfordww.com.

Whitford, a privately held company, has manufacturing facilities in 8 countries, offices in 8 more, and agents in an additional 25. Whitford manufactures the largest, most complete line of fluoropolymer coatings in the world. To visit Whitford on the web: whitfordww.com.

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