For our clients who do not understand the details about the difference between internal reinforcements and coating resins, we have prepared a brief primer on the subject:
What are "Resins"?
Resins are engineered polymers which form the main solid component of any coating. Unlike solvents, which evaporate during curing, resins are left behind permanently. These resins are safe for food contact, and are inherently quite soft. When you scrape a nonstick coating with a sharp metal spatula, it is actually the resin that you are scraping.
What is an “internal reinforcement”?
An “internal reinforcement” refers to a very hard particle which is built internally into the liquid non-stick coating. The point of internal reinforcements are to help harden the soft resins so that the coating can stand up to metal utensil use. Examples of internal reinforcements are titanium, tungsten, or even diamond flakes. The process of internally reinforcing coatings is well known to all coatings manufacturers, with the only difference being what specific hard particles are used.
Are all “internally reinforced” coatings basically the same?
Yes, to the extent that they all just utilize varying hard substances to try and make up for the weakness of the soft resins. This is the problem, because there is a very low threshold past which the hard particles are useless. To make a slightly exaggerated analogy, imagine suspending many small 24 karat diamonds in a tray of Jell-O and then scraping the surface with a spatula—the diamonds will not stop the cutting and scraping because the Jell-O is so soft. The Jell-O is somewhat similar to a normal nonstick resin, displayed in the following video clip. As you can see, the hard reinforcing particles are just scraped off the cookware along with the soft resins when metal utensils are used.
As you can see, the hard reinforcing particles are just scraped off the cookware along with the soft resins when metal utensils are used.