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Ask a Silly Question

September 14, 1999

How do they get nonstick coatings to stick to the pans?

Since even Super Glue won't adhere to the coatings, manufacturers must do something physically to the pans to make the stuff grip, according to Robert L. Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh.

Companies use several techniques to roughen the pan's surface so the coating will cling. Improvements in those techniques have made the coatings more durable, to the point that some dare you to use metal spatulas on the pans, Wolke said in his book, "What Einstein Didn't Know - Scientific Answers to Everyday Questions."

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