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Exterior Coatings and Finishes

What are the pros and cons of each exterior coating type?

Differences between a silicone polyester and a true silicone coating: 1) a pure silicone has better temperature resistance and hot hardness; 2) it is much more brittle (and can chip more easily); 3) adhesion is more difficult to obtain (a pure silicone in most cases will need a grit blast to get good adhesion versus a silicone polyester which can easily go on an etched or cleaned aluminum surface).

For porcelain enamel, it has very good heat and scratch resistance (better than either silicone polyester or pure silicone). The only downside in performance would be dishwasher resistance, which is not great. For the US market it is probably not too bad - most likely just a bit of color fade over time. However, in the EU market where the dishwasher soap used is closer to caustic hazardous chemicals than soap. it would fade fairly quickly and over time be damaged.

Application process is the main downside for porcelain enamel. The cure temperature is at least 550C/1022F for aluminum and normally just a bit higher, this eliminates the use of thin gauge aluminum as it softens when heated. The cure temp for steel is even higher at 820C/1508F. Also getting good adhesion with porcelain is a bit of an art as it varies with different grades of aluminum. It is a technically much more complicated product to apply correctly.

Most cookware manufacturers don't do this on their own, beyond the expense of adding ball mills to your factory, you have to source the pigments and have people do color matching. Usually just larger companies can do porcelain on aluminum, or the cookware is sent out to be coated.

Type Pros Cons
Porcelain Enamel Great durability, very good heat resistance and scratch resistance Dishwasher resistance and complexity of application
Sol-gel Ceramic High hardness, very good heat resistance, lower application cost than porcelain High hardness increases risk of chipping
Silicone Polyester Good durability and scratch resistance, easy to apply and dishwasher resistance Temperature resistance is not as high as porcelain enamel


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