Step Up Your Kitchen Game with Ceramic Knives

first_img 5 Survival Knives That Could Save Your Life Know Your Knife: A Guide to the Best Steel for Knives You probably already know a thing or two about good steel, but if you want to stay on the *cutting edge* of cutlery, it’s time to step up your game and snag some ceramic kitchen knives. Thanks to advances in materials engineering, it’s becoming increasingly common for blademakers to make knives out of zirconium dioxide – a type of ceramic that also happens to be one of the hardest materials on earth. It’s the same stuff they make cheap engagement rings out of, but instead of giving it a princess cut and setting it in pewter, they cast this stuff in the shape of a blade, sharpen it with diamond grinders, and make some of the most solid knives you’ve ever seen.The main benefit of ceramic blades is their hardness. Zirconium dioxide scores an 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. To put that in perspective, even the hardest steel you can buy ranks around 7 or 7.5, whereas diamond tops the list with a hardness rating of 10. What this means is that you’ll rarely need to sharpen these knives; they’ll keep a good edge for far longer than a steel blade – so long as you don’t routinely use them on a hard surface like marble or stone. Stick to plastic or wooden cutting boards and you won’t have to pick up a sharpener for years to come.And hardness isn’t the only benefit either. Ceramic knives are also ridiculously lightweight and easy to to handle. They also won’t rust, discolor, or react with the food you’re cutting in any way. There are a few jobs that steel will handle better, but adding a couple super-sharp ceramic blades to your collection probably isn’t a bad idea.This set from Edge of Belgravia is a good place to start – it’s definitely one of the best-looking ceramic cutlery sets we’ve come across yet. The onyx finish on the knives gives them a clean, professional, and unassuming look that would fit nicely in both modern and classic kitchens alike. The Official Knives of Flavortown: Guy Fieri Unsheathes New Knuckle Sandwich Knives We’re in Love with the Look of Gerber’s New Everyday Carry Knives The New Gerber Explore Collection Offers Up Great Holiday (or Anytime) Gift Ideas Editors’ Recommendations last_img read more

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Oilsands crude pellets touted as cure for industrys bitumen transport ills

CALGARY — A new technology that transforms heavy crude oil into pill-sized pellets could cure the oilsands industry’s transportation headaches, according to University of Calgary professor Ian Gates.The newly patented technique creates self-sealing balls of bitumen of various sizes that can then be moved in coal rail cars or transport trucks with less risk of environmentally harmful spills, thus reducing the need for new pipelines, he said.The technology was discovered accidentally by Gates and research engineer Jackie Wang at the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering.“We were trying to upgrade and we learned how to degrade,” said Gates on Wednesday.“For these products, we’ve taken it to degrading the outer surface of pellets … so we have an intact pellet that’s kind of like a black Advil pill.”Gates said Tuesday a pilot project able to generate one barrel per day of the pellets will start up in November, to be followed by a scaled-up commercial demonstration project able to produce about 600 barrels per day.He estimated it would cost about $1 million to build a machine that could deliver 100 barrels per day of pellets but added the cost per barrel will fall dramatically with larger scale projects.Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) unveiled a similar-sounding technology earlier this year, announcing it had filed a patent application for CanaPux, a process that turns bitumen into a semi-solid for transportation by mixing and coating it with polymer.But Gates says his system is better because it doesn’t require chemical additives or complex equipment — it uses heat to remove some of the lighter petrochemical molecules from the bitumen and a roller system to make the pellets.He said there’s a potentially “massive” market for the pellets which can be used as is to make asphalt or can be converted back to bitumen by reinjecting the lighter oil.Opponents of new oilsands pipelines such as the Trans Mountain expansion through B.C. have argued that bitumen will be hard to clean up if it leaks into water because it will sink.Gates says it is possible to inject an air bubble into his pellets to make them float, allowing recovery with a fishing net.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter. read more

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