Bruce Harding is not the first person to be frustrated by rusty cast iron hotplates and grills on his barbecue – the difference is that he did something about it.
Drawing on more than 25 years experience in the stainless steel industry, Mr Harding and his team at Equipment Tech Pty Ltd have developed a range of stainless steel hotplates, grills and baking dishes (sold under the name of Topnotch) that can be retro-fitted to almost any barbecue.
The company uses austenitic T304 and ferritic stainless steels, which are mostly supplied by ASSDA members Sandvik and Atlas Specialty Metals.
Mr Harding said these stainless steel grades played an important role in addressing the design challenges, including the ability to expand and contract under heat.
“The grades we have selected really work together with our design to prevent food sticking to the hotplates and grills,” Mr Harding said.
Laser cutting and a specially developed electropolishing procedure are used to fabricate the products.
Equipment Tech has produced over 100,000 Topnotch stainless steel cooking surfaces since launching the product commercially 5 years ago.
This article featured in Australian Stainless Issue 41.