NITRIDED STEEL VS. STAINLESS STEEL
The original handpans were constructed of a case hardened steel, referred to as nitrided steel. Nowadays, handpans are also being constructed out of stainless steel. Both materials have their own advantages and disadvantages, so keep reading to explore these differences!
- Nitrided steel is what the original sound sculptures, invented around the year 2000 in Switzerland, were made of. It provides a very unique and robust feel to the steel. In short, the nitriding process hardens regular steel by diffusing nitrogen molecules into its structure.
- Nitrided steel also has rust resistant properties, though without proper care it can still rust.
- The high hardness and increased tensile strength of nitrided steel lends itself well to percussive playing, and those with heavy handed playing styles.
- The advantage of timbre is added during the nitriding heating process, which makes the steel harder and maintains long-term tone.
- When nitriding heating is added during the production process, the sound will be warmer, the sound will be more stable and full, and the tail sound will be clean.
- Stainless steel has recently become quite popular in the construction of handpans for several reasons.
- High hardness, Crisp and ethereal sound, Long sustain.
In additional to the changes in sound, stainless steel is also much more resistant to rust than nitrided steel. While it technically can still rust as well, it would take an incredible amount of purposeful neglect to cause stainless steel to rust in any significant fashion.