Cooktop Panels

Christine Fuhr

Pure Glass Ceramic

SCHOTT produces the world’s first and only cooktop panels without utilizing the toxic heavy metals arsenic and antimony.

Now that climate change is receiving more attention, environmental protection, preserving nature and the environment and sustainability have taken on greater importance for people all over the world. New standards are being set by politicians at both the national and international levels. After all, according to a study entitled ”How to reach today’s eco-minded consumers” published by Kleber & Associates, Marketing and Communications (K&A) in Atlanta in February of 2008, the people of today are all part of the ”green generation” that now demands that action be taken to produce tangible results.

As observed at the IFA, the international trade fair for ­consumer electronics and home appliances in Berlin, and the KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) in Chicago, ­companies are striving to turn “eco-friendly” and ”ecologically compatible” into an important quality label for the products they have on the market. New developments from research laboratories are not only designed to help curtail the hunger for energy and result in higher efficiency, but also to help achieve greater ­environmental compatibility by banning ­harmful substances from manufacturing and turning to new materials instead.
SCHOTT now boasts the “The Purest Glass Ceramic. Free from Arsenic and Antimony” for its new glass ceramic cooktop panels that are manufactured using a patented melting process. These consist to a large extent of the raw material quarry sand. Photos: SCHOTT/T.Lohmes (on the left) Panther Media (on the right)
By introducing the world’s first and currently only glass ­ceramic cooktop panel produced without the toxic heavy metals arsenic and antimony, SCHOTT has also set a benchmark for environmental compatibility for the household appliance industry. ”Thanks to the new melting technology, for which initial development work began back in the 1990s, we are exceeding the regulations of the ­European Union and meeting future eco-standards,” emphasizes Stefan-Marc Schmidt, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for SCHOTT Home Tech.

Thanks to the material mixture and an optimized, patented manufacturing process, SCHOTT saves more than 180 tons of the heavy metals arsenic and antimony that are generally used. In the past, the conventional manufacturing process required the use of these substances in order to ensure the high quality of the material and achieve the desired smooth surface of the cooktop panels.

New quality

The remarkable thing is that the new process produces a glass ceramic that even exceeds the version that preceded it with ­respect to its robustness, heat transmission and temperature resistance. Due to its high heat permeability, the newly-­developed cooktop panel is also energy-efficient. At the same temperature and for the same duration, it is also much more thermally resistant than a conventional glass ceramic and stands up to temperatures of up to 700 degrees Celsius. At the same time, with its range of ± 580 degrees Celsius, it is highly ­resistant to changes in ­temperature. This means that the cooktop is hardly affected by the aging process and is virtually non­perishable, if used ­properly.
Stefan-Marc Schmidt Vice President Marketing and Sales SCHOTT Home Tech. Photo: SCHOTT/A. Stephan
Ceran Suprema® consists to a large degree of quarry sand that occurs naturally in volumes that are essentially inexhaustible. No toxic substances that could harm the air, water or soil are released during disposal. This product of the highest hygienic purity with a 72 percent share of quarry sand (SiO2) and a 21 percent share of aluminia (AL2O3) is ”made in Germany” by SCHOTT using an ultra-modern technique. Over the ­medium term, the company plans to convert its entire cooktop panel manufacturing to the new environmentally friendly standard.

Household appliance manufacturers, dealers and end customers will soon be learning more about its unique ecological advantages from a targeted information campaign entitled “The Purest Glass Ceramic. Free from Arsenic and Antimony”, that focuses on the aspects environmental compatibility, manufacturing that preserves resources and longevity. ”We are planning to score points with our pure glass ceramic with environmentally conscious customer audiences,” says Stefan-Marc Schmidt.

According to GfK Consumer Scope 2008, the study conducted by the German Society of Consumer Research, the change in consumer consciousness has resulted in nearly half (48 percent) of German consumers indicating that they would be prepared to pay more for environmentally friendly products.