Aluminium Kitchen Cabinets in Modern Kitchen Design
Sitting in the 13th group and the 3rd period on the periodic table – and hugely abundant in nature – aluminium is widely regarded as an excellent material for a wide variety of applications. Since the discover of the element roughly 200 years ago, aluminium has been used in construction, packaging, electronics and furniture. Aluminium kitchen cabinets in Malaysia are no exception.
In Furniture Design
Aluminium has been gaining popularity as a material of choice in modern kitchen cabinet design for both small kitchens and large kitchens. The natural abundance of aluminium in nature makes it cheap and affordable compared to stainless steel, and its light-weight makes it easy to move around. For many of the same reasons that aluminium has become the second most widely used metal for construction after steel, the metal is chosen for its ecological benefits, ease of construction, aesthetic value, economics and ergonomics. The metal’s lustrous silvery surface also lends a modern look to any kitchen.
Kitchen cabinets made of aluminium do not get dirty as easily as wooden ones do and are easy to clean if they do. Cleaning your aluminium kitchen is easy and usually all it takes to get it shining again is a simple wipe, although rust or tough stains need special attention.
Aluminium cabinets are also water, fire and insect proof, and last longer than wooden equivalents. Like stainless steel – aluminium doesn’t rot, thus depriving a site for bacteria or fungus to grow as long as they are properly cleaned. Damp wood is the perfect breeding ground for pathogens and mold.
Installation of aluminium cabinets are also easier due to its lightweight, and in modular form is very versatile. They can be placed anywhere in a room and in many variations: they can be attacked on the ceiling, stacked on one another or simply put on the floor.
The clink and clank of metal like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz can be annoying, though, and might not sit well with those who prefer a quieter environment.
Also, aluminium, being a relatively soft metal, also dents more easily compared with stainless steel. And yet it is still a metal and metals can also be more difficult to work with compared with wood and therefore most designs are more generic and less unique.
As Cookware and Cutlery
There are a number of favourable characteristics of aluminium over other materials such as steel. One of these properties is its high level of thermal conductivity, which is an order of magnitude better than that of steel. This allows cooking utensils made of aluminium to heat faster and thus allow for more efficient cooking.
Aluminium is largely not reactive with foodstuffs at high or low temperatures, ensuring that it is less likely to come off and mix with the cooking. It has low in toxicity (as compared to earthenware which can contain lead in its varnishing). It also doesn’t discolour food should it happens to mix with cooking.
According to the European Food Safety Authority, the lowest-observed-adverse-effect levels (LOAELs) for effects on neurotoxicity, testes, embryo-toxicity, and the developing nervous system were 52, 75, 100, and 50 mg aluminium/kg to body weight per day, respectively. Unprocessed foods contribute about 5mg of aluminium/kg a day!
Aluminium is also a lot lighter than steel and cheaper to produce but less hardy. Its light-weight makes it easy to handle very large pots and pans. However, aluminium reacts with alkaline solutions such as sodium hydroxide to produce a whitish sodium aluminate salt. Because it is highly reactive to alkaline and acidic solutions it makes strong chemical sterilization methods unsuitable, which might damage the protective oxidized layer.
Also, certain types of foodstuffs, like tomatoes, contain acid that can react with and gradually wear away this protective layer. This is why aluminium cooking utensils are often covered in another metal.