Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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artificial diamond Teflon replacement

Once a commodity, prices will drop considerably
  [vote for,

Make the bottom of pots and pans from a flat artificial diamond. No more Teflon additives in our scrambled eggs, and nothing will ever stick.

Even now, artificial diamonds cost nothing like the natural thing. I suppose you could shape it - so make a large flat one or even shape it like a pan. Perhaps etch it out (with another diamond, or laser) to the correct shape.

This time I did NO research. Not even a simple search. Just put the idea up. Lets see the responses.

pashute, Jun 05 2012

wp:Synthetic diamond http://en.wikipedia...i/Synthetic_diamond
[pashute, Jun 06 2012]

wp:dlc (diamond-like carbon coating) http://en.wikipedia...d_synthetic_diamond
[pashute, Jun 06 2012]

One synthesizer of diamonds http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Apollo_Diamond
These folks expressed a desire to grow large sheets of diamond, such that they could be used like silcon "wafers" in the microelectronics industry. It should be obvious that a big-enough diamond sheet could serve as the inside-bottom of a frying pan. I didn't know before now that this company got bought out. Perhaps it was ahead of its time? [Vernon, Jun 06 2012]

BARS: A Russian method for synthesizing diamonds http://en.wikipedia...wiki/BARS_apparatus
1.2 grams in 100 hours, pressure:10 gpA and temperature:2500C - not something unacceptable in the industry, and efficiency can probably be improved for mass production. [pashute, Jun 06 2012]


       ...don't buy Teflon pans!!!
xandram, Jun 05 2012

       ...don't use Teflon pans!
xandram, Jun 05 2012

       If a diamond gets too hot, it will either (A) burn like a piece of coal, or (B) turn into graphite. I'm not certain of what the temperature is that makes that happen. For ordinary cooking a diamond skillet might be fine. But if you forget to take the pan off the stove....
Vernon, Jun 05 2012

       Artificial diamond is not available in pan sizes. It is available as a coating, but it's expensive, very abrasive, and fairly brittle (and it's not monocrystaline, but that's not super relevant). I'd also worry about it's thermal properties, but I'm less certain about that as an issue.   

       Diamond Like Coating (amorphous carbon) is a cheaper, more durable, and almost as hard coating.
MechE, Jun 05 2012

       There are a number of "Diamond coated" frying pans on the market. So far, all the ones I've found are simply coated with PTFE (Teflon) with a small amount of diamond dust (nanotechnology! ka-ching!) mixed in. There is no measureable improvement in durability, heat transfer, or unstickableness. There is, however, a very noticable increase in price.
lurch, Jun 05 2012

       //Artificial diamond is not available in pan sizes// Another example of the monopolies and cartels in the Diamond trade restricting what we can buy!
pocmloc, Jun 05 2012

       //Another example of the monopolies and cartels in the Diamond trade restricting what we can buy!//   

       It has more to do with the fact that, while diamonds should be significantly cheaper than they are, a monocrystalline diamond the size of even a small frying pan would be far (far, far, far) beyond our current equipment and likely cost hundreds of thousands at a minimum.
MechE, Jun 05 2012

       ///far (far, far, far) beyond our current equipment and likely cost/// Of course the cartels want you to believe that!
pocmloc, Jun 05 2012

       Seriously, if its the equipment, then the price cannot be an issue. Today nobody needs pan sized flat diamonds. Tomorrow they will. Prices drop. Issue closed.   

       The thermal issue shouldn't be that serious either - if it is true that it burns at gas burning temperatures. If the price is low, then if it burns, OK, so my pan burnt. Its inside the aluminum casing, which does not melt AFAIK on a stove fire, no matter how long its there. PCMIIW.   

       Vernon, where's the info from? Is it true that a natural diamond (just like an artificial one) will burn or turn to graphite if left in a pan on the stove long enough?   

       Having asked that, and while beginning to look into Meche's anno about it being abrasive and brittle, I found that this stuff is totally baked. Wp (wikipedia) for Diamond-like carbon (DLC) - which, unusual to wp, has a very clear article. No mention of using it for pots and pans, not sure why. Then again, if a peace of that chunks off into our food somehow, I'm not sure at all that its better than Tefon.   

       Clicked to wp:'synthetic diamond' and found out the following: "The properties of synthetic diamond depend on the details of the manufacturing processes; however, some synthetic diamonds (whether formed by HPHT or CVD) have properties such as hardness, thermal conductivity and electron mobility that are superior to those of most naturally- formed diamonds."   

       And also, more importantly: "Both CVD and HPHT diamonds can be cut into gems"...   

       So back to the idea: grow giant synthetic diamonds. Cut them to the shape of a pan (re-using the internal cut out parts for all the things mentioned in the wp article) and fry an egg on it. your knife cannot scratch it, and nothing can stick to it.   

       The high price is only because of the current low demand. Carbon is common, and both processes are not expensive (one is time consuming, but if you build up a good workflow - that consideration falls too). There even some promising new methods of creating synthetic diamonds, but because of the low demand they were never developed.
pashute, Jun 06 2012

       Hey Vernon, thanks for the link!
pashute, Jun 06 2012

       DLC is not diamond, it does not have a crystalline structure. It's a very good, hard, wear resistant, high lubricity coating. It's in high demand already, so increasing demand will not significantly lower the cost (it will come down, as the equipment improves, it's relatively new, but nowhere as cheap as teflon pans).   

       As far as actual diamond, scaling up the equipment is non-trivial. It's definitely an extended research project, and may or may not be feasible. Regardless the embodied energy in diamond is high, the purity requirements are high, and it will always be pricy even if it is feasible. Again, the cost may come down as the technology matures, but not into the range of current cookware any time soon.
MechE, Jun 06 2012

       Diamond burns in air at standard pressure around 700C. Natural gas stove-tops run about 900-1500C. So a pure diamond pan is out because it will burn through. Even a coating might reach these temperatures on the inside of a dry metal pan (the primary cause of problems with Teflon).   

       I would also argue that diamond is poor for pans because of it's relatively low toughness (it fractures easily despite it's hardness). Thermal flexing of the substrate will tend to cause it to fracture. I would also question its properties as a non-stick surface. I don't think it would be horrible, but it probably wouldn't be nearly as good as teflon. Which would make its only real advantage that you could scrub it to clean it, which you can't PTFE.
MechE, Jun 06 2012

       //So a pure diamond pan is out because it will burn through//   

       It might be possible to ignite diamond using a gas flame but certainly not through a resistive heating element cooktop.   

       A diamond frying pan would share some of the problems/benefits as a pyrex frying pan. The biggest difference would be thermal conductivity; pyrex having very low conductivity, whereas diamond is the best thermal conductor known. This would probably result in an uneven heating surface.
xaviergisz, Jun 06 2012

       ...don't even teflon pan-handle!!
The fourth rule is a bit dodgy.

       are the surface properties of a diamond a comparable in resistance to sticking to those of Teflon, or is this just the assumption. Because I am guessing, with no research, that they are not.
WcW, Jun 06 2012

       //It might be possible to ignite diamond using a gas flame but certainly not through a resistive heating element cooktop.//   

       I'd debate this, but I can't find definitive answers to how hot an electric range can get. Nichrome wire can certainly get hot enough to burn diamond.   

       and [WCW] I am reasonably sure it's not as non-stick. Diamond appears to have about twice the coefficient of friction of teflon (still less than steel, much less than aluminum, admittedly). That's not the only criteria for stickiness, but it's indicitave.
MechE, Jun 06 2012

       I don' think that it has the same resistance to van der Waals forces, which, I believe, is a substantial reason why teflon makes such a cling resistant cook surface. I also have reason to believe that the highly lipophilic nature of the diamond surface might cause it to be somewhat "stickier" to some foods than the low CF would suggest.
WcW, Jun 06 2012

       an ox-acetylene torch is adequate to burn diamond, at a lower temperature if an oxidizing flame is used. A diamond sheet could be "cut" using a cutting torch.
WcW, Jun 06 2012

       Did Ronald Reagan (The Teflon president), and Marilyn Monroe ( Diamonds are a girls best friend) ever get together ?
popbottle, Nov 14 2015


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