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Glossary: "S" terms

Along with nylon, the most widely used polymer in the manufacture of kitchenware, including a wide array of cookware and bakeware. In all its forms, from liquid to gel to rubber to hard plastic, silicone is strong, flexible, thermally stable and resists chemicals, moisture, sunlight, stains and odors.


Stainless steel
One of the principal metals used in cookware, cutlery, kitchen utensils and appliances, this smooth, durable alloy is relatively impervious to stains, corrosion and rust. The qualities, including surface finishes, of stainless steel vary depending on the proportions of the primary ingredients iron, carbon, chromium, and nickel, and on the manufacturing process.


Surgical stainless steel
A term used to denote high quality in a steel alloy, as in material suitable for surgical instruments, for its strength, corrosion resistance, and sterilizability. The element molybdenum is sometimes added to the usual mix of iron, carbon, chromium, and nickel to give the stainless steel a hardness which helps maintain a cutting edge. This term is frequently employed liberally by manufacturers of kitchen gear and is not necessarily meaningful as an indication of the quality of the materials used.


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Updated: February 25, 2008

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