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Anolon Nouvelle Copper--Anyone Know What's Inside?

kaleokahu Aug 1, 2011 01:52 PM

Hi, All:

Saw this line advertised in a magazine last week. http://www.anolon.com/cs/Satellite/mA...

It's clear as mud to me what "A copper double full-cap base" is. Also unclear is what thickness of copper is in the pans. I notice that the 10-piece set weighs almost 25 pounds.

Anyone know?

Aloha,
Kaleo

  1. b
    beansjulienne Aug 1, 2011 07:39 PM

    My guess is that the insides? of this analon cookware is a base containing an induction compatible metal,with a little copper, perhaps encapsulated in(as in surrounded by lots of) aluminum. The analon people like their aluminum, so it is probably copper inside thick aluminum rather than aluminum encapsulated in copper.

    1. j
      jshawn2 Aug 2, 2011 03:09 PM

      Anodized aluminum, copper, pure aluminum, magnetic SS for induction is my guess. Like a 4ply disk.

      There are 6 pieces of actual cookware plus 4 lids. Assuming the information you provided is accurate. It's about 4.2 lbs per piece including lids. Heavy cookware, probably a good amount of copper in the disk. But I'm sure they won't put so much copper that its as heavy as cast iron.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jshawn2
        kaleokahu Aug 2, 2011 03:24 PM

        Thanks for the replies, folks, but what is a "copper double full-cap base"? Double how or what? "Full" and "cap" as in goes up the sides, or just a disc of copper? How thick is the copper? Anyone know?

        Thanks,
        Kaleo

        1. re: kaleokahu
          davidahn Jan 10, 2012 03:22 PM

          Sounds like marketing BS to me. "Double"-speak, maybe?

          Anolon's wording: "A copper double full-cap base features a full layer of copper sandwiched by 2 layers of aluminum and protected by an impact-bonded magnetic stainless steel cap..." While brief, sounds like marketing jargon for a double cap of stainless on top and bottom. Sadly, I found no references to the thickness of the various layers, so I just sent a question to customer support. Hopefully they respond quickly and with actual numbers. I'll update you as soon as I hear.

          I'm very interested in this line (the Nouvelle Copper Stainless version for its ease of maintenance) for what appears to be its fat copper base, so we'll see what they say.

          David

      2. davidahn Jan 11, 2012 04:18 PM

        Here's the reply from Anolon's Customer Service:

        "Thank you for your inquiry. The bottom layer of stainless steel on both lines is 5.5 mm and the layer of copper is 4.0 mm. The body of the pan on Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless contains stainless steel with a thickness of 1.0 mm, whereas the body of the pan on Anolon Nouvelle Copper contains a hard anodized aluminum body with a thickness of 5.0 mm."

        Sounds a little thick on the SS, but that's what she said. I did ask for a breakdown of each layer, so we'll see what they say.

        23 Replies
        1. re: davidahn
          kaleokahu Jan 11, 2012 04:29 PM

          Hi, David:

          If this is true, I am both astounded and confused by their answer. Almost a *centimeter* of total thickness, not including the liner? FOUR millimeters of that being copper? Nearly SIX of SS? Fully clad? They must have presses unlike any in the world.

          I suspect the info is in need of clarification or revision, but thanks for passing their answer along. Ask for a cutaway or *scaled* cross-sectional representation.

          Kaleo

          1. re: kaleokahu
            m
            mikie Jan 11, 2012 04:42 PM

            Ya gotta wonder if it's 5.5 mm total thhickness and 4.0 mm copper disc. That would be close to the 6 mm aluminum on some disc bottom cookware. 9.5 mm would be a terribly thick bottom.

            1. re: mikie
              davidahn Jan 11, 2012 05:04 PM

              Ha, I was drafting my response below as you were posting this.

              That's EXACTLY what I thought at first, which would make the composition:

              0.5 mm SS
              0.25 mm Al
              4 mm Cu
              0.25 mm Al
              0.5 mm SS

              But if you look at the photo I've attached below, the bottom SS layer definitely looks thicker than 0.5 mm (if you scale it to the 4mm copper layer).

              In either case, 4mm of copper! If that ain't a lot of copper bang for your buck, I don't know what is!

            2. re: kaleokahu
              davidahn Jan 11, 2012 04:58 PM

              Right? That's what I said, that it sounds AWFULLY thick. See attached photo which I got from Overstock's website after zooming in. The bottom SS layer is distinctly thinner than the copper layer.

              My guess is there's 4mm of copper and 5.5 mm of cap total, half on each cap:

              2.5 mm SS
              0.25 mm Al
              4 mm Cu
              0.25 mm Al
              2.5 mm SS

              Or thereabouts. What do you think? I await their response with bated breath.

              David

               
              1. re: davidahn
                p
                plainv70 Jan 18, 2012 09:20 PM

                I've got a friend in the tool & die business; if you send me some samples, I'll get him to him to cut them in half and post some pics. Really.

                1. re: plainv70
                  davidahn Jan 18, 2012 10:16 PM

                  Hmmm. Interesting offer. I haven't heard back from customer support since I asked them for specs on essentially every piece. I'm sure there are pieces I don't really need in the set I bought. I had to buy the set because the Anolon.com online store doesn't sell the pieces individually. I suppose I don't need the 1.25 qt saucepan.

                  I'll let you know if I decide to sacrifice a piece!

                  1. re: davidahn
                    k
                    kagemusha49 Jan 19, 2012 08:58 AM

                    Let me just chip in my two bits worth here. Clearly the 11mm total thickness you were told is in error. If the bases was that thick, there is now way the total set would weigh just 25 pounds. So I'm thinking that your conjecture abiut 5,5mm total thickness is correct.

                    1. re: kagemusha49
                      davidahn Jan 19, 2012 01:35 PM

                      Looking at the rather thick bottom disk (which I will measure when I get home), it is plausible that the 1mm of body SS continues on the bottom, then 4mm of copper below that, and 5.5 mm SS cap, for a total base thickness of 10.5 mm. The question is where is the aluminum in that: thin layers between the copper and SS for an additional 0.5 mm, or is the 4 mm copper disk composed of copper + two generous layers of aluminum (a lot less copper), or in the 5.5 mm SS cap (a lot less SS)? Either of the two latter scenarios would explain the light weight of the cookware.

                      Either way, it looks like the only way to know for sure is to sacrifice my 1.25 qt saucepan. :)

                      1. re: davidahn
                        p
                        plainv70 Jan 19, 2012 10:23 PM

                        Wow. you guys are serious. lol.

                        What I'm thinking: a tri-ply where two thick Al layers sandwich a significantly thinner layer of a good conductor is, for all practical purposes, equivalent to a single Al layer of the same total thickness of the laminate (chemicalkinetics:think rate determining steps & concentration relative magnitudes).

                        What we need is a chemical engineer with materials science experience. They could settle this with one hand tied behind their back.

                        I think if one were to devise a few good, repeatable, meaningful tests, we would find that many of these multi-layer pans are damn near physically and, certainly, functionally equivalent. Which is why some of the companies are not very forthcoming about the construction.

                        For the record, my guess is that the layer thickness is selected based on cost, then performance. Last I checked, copper was more expensive than SS.

                        It would be fun to cut open a variety of these pans to show the world what is really in there. Which is why I like the ss lined copper pots; no secrets.

                        1. re: plainv70
                          k
                          kagemusha49 Jan 20, 2012 10:11 AM

                          Er - I'm qualified to addrss questions in heat flow dynamics. Also, my prior post should have disposed of the idea that the total thickness exceeded one centimeter. Even if a good chunk of that is the relatively light aluminum, the whole set would wigh more than 25 pounds.

                          1. re: plainv70
                            davidahn Jan 20, 2012 10:50 PM

                            "a tri-ply where two thick Al layers sandwich a significantly thinner layer of a good conductor is, for all practical purposes, equivalent to a single Al layer of the same total thickness."

                            Let's put your assertion in concrete terms: a 5mm layer of Al would conduct as well as a 3mm layer of Cu sandwiched between two 1mm layers of Al. I disagree. I don't think heat conduction works quite the same as a chemical chain reaction. I think the copper layer would distribute the heat it receives approximately 20% more evenly (see "Thermal Diffusivity" section http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ar...). Will it make a huge difference? Probably not. And a 20% thicker layer of aluminum would compensate for copper's 20% better thermal diffusivity.

                            David

                  2. re: davidahn
                    kaleokahu Jan 19, 2012 11:41 AM

                    David:

                    Do you have this stuff yet? I'm curious what the exact weights might be. If I'm understanding correctly, there are 6 pans and four lids, and the set weighs 25 pounds. Assuming the lids weigh an average of a pound apiece, that means the pans average 3.5 pounds. This still sounds low to me for having 4mm copper slabs on the bottom, but maybe evrerything else--handles & walls is thin and light enough to make up for it.

                    Kaleo

                    1. re: kaleokahu
                      davidahn Jan 19, 2012 01:24 PM

                      I'll be happy to weigh everything for you tonight. The handles look matte, but I'm sure it's SS (otherwise they'd get way too hot). The 1.25 qt saucepan tips over unless the lid is on, which I didn't expect based on all the metal in the bottom disk. I'll get the weights of each piece on my handy-dandy digital kitchen scale that otherwise never gets used.

                      Looking at the base, I wonder if the copper band goes all the way through or if that's just cosmetic and not necessarily representative of and continuous with the copper disk. I say that because there's quite a bit of stainless steel below that copper band, and it's definitely not heavy enough for all that SS.

                      If I don't see much use for the 1.25 qt saucepan, I might take Plainv70 up on his offer to slice it and take photos.

                      David

                      1. re: davidahn
                        Eiron Jan 19, 2012 01:44 PM

                        "... I wonder if the copper band goes all the way through or if that's just cosmetic and not necessarily representative of and continuous with the copper disk."

                        Excellent point. The Emeril "copper bottom" cookware has a thin sheet of copper in the bottom disk that is exposed at the edges. It extends a bit up the sides of the pots/pans, leaving the impression that it's actually quite thicker than it really is.

                        1. re: davidahn
                          u
                          unprofessional_chef Jan 19, 2012 08:30 PM

                          I just took a few measurements for comparison these are my heaviest SS pans:

                          3lbs 14oz - All-Clad D5 (5 ply) 3qt saute pan w/o lid
                          5lbs 5oz - All-Clad D5 (5 ply) 3qt saute pan /w lid
                          2lbs 11oz - Berndes (Al disk) 9.5" SS skillet w/o lid

                        2. re: kaleokahu
                          p
                          plainv70 Jan 20, 2012 10:58 AM

                          Metal for thought:

                          According to Amazon, an Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel Covered Saucepot, 3-1/2-Quart is about 10" in diameter and weighs 4.8 lbs. That seems reasonable. I weighed an 8" SS top and it was 3/4 lb, the Anolon top is larger with a more elaborate handle, I will assume it weighs more.

                          http://www.amazon.com/Anolon-Nouvelle...

                          If a 10" diameter 4mm thick copper disk weighs 4 lbs give or take a few grams and the lid weighs > 0.75lb, that would leave about a 1 lb for the rest of the pot. If the disk is a little smaller in diameter, that still doesn't appear to leave much for the rest of the pot.

                          Cost wise, with copper at almost $4/lb, it might not sound like much and for the high end manufacturers it isn't; but, for the lower middle end of the market, and Anolon at under $300 for 10-pieces certainly qualifies, every penny counts.

                          1. re: plainv70
                            kaleokahu Jan 20, 2012 11:53 AM

                            Hi, plainv70:

                            I'm with you on the weight of the copper disk, but there's 2 more slices of aluminum, and one more of SS before you ever get to the "pan". I'm not sure *one* pound is enough to cover the walls and floor of the pan.

                            And is 4.8 pounds with or without the lid?

                            Kaleo

                            1. re: kaleokahu
                              p
                              plainv70 Jan 21, 2012 10:04 AM

                              I'm going to assume it is with the lid, i.e. the total product weight. In other words, there cannot be 4lbs of copper in that pot...

                              By comparison, a deBuyer 3.3L 2.5mm thick SS lined all copper (10/90) casserole (presumably w/lid) weighs 2kg or 4.4 lbs.

                              1. re: plainv70
                                kaleokahu Jan 21, 2012 10:12 AM

                                This just confirms my initial reaction, thanks.

                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                  p
                                  plainv70 Jan 23, 2012 07:32 AM

                                  There are Chinese manufacturers and vendors advertising tri-ply pots in the various online export venues. Some of them give specifications for their products, I noticed one which had a "copper" disk on the bottom similar to the Anolon pans. From the description, it was clear that it was a thin (0.5mm) copper layer covering an Al disk.

                                  DavidA: if you are still interested in dissecting a pan, please contact me via PM, plainv7 AT gmail DOT com.

                                  1. re: plainv70
                                    p
                                    plainv70 Jan 24, 2012 05:58 AM

                                    DavidA, should have been plainv70 AT gmail dot com

                          2. re: kaleokahu
                            davidahn Jan 23, 2012 07:19 PM

                            I didn't weigh the whole set, but I weighed the 8.25 qt stockpot. It weighs 4 lb 5.5 oz for the pot, 1 lb 3.475 oz for the lid. Recall they said the sides were 1mm SS. It's somewhat difficult to measure due to its curvaceous figure. Here's a picture of it: http://www.anolon.com/cs/Satellite/Pr....

                            Amazon lists it as measuring: 13 x 12.8 x 8.9 inches.

                            Let me know what you think bout the weight vs. the composition.

                            David

                            1. re: davidahn
                              kaleokahu Jan 23, 2012 07:45 PM

                              Hi, David:

                              It's not exactly my style, but I find it aesthetically pleasing. Why don't you measure the base and calculate its area, then calculate the weight of a 4mm copper disk of that size? Net that weight from 4lb, 5.5oz, and see what's left for the rest of the pan.

                              An 11" copper saute in 3mm usually goes 10 lbs. Attributing a pound to the CI handle, and cutting the weight by a third to account for the walls, I can't get how the Anolon with that massive base gets below 6 pounds.

                              FYI, there is a THIRTY-pound stocker listed on eBay right now.

                              Aloha,
                              Kaleo

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