Perfect stainless steel design for the classiest dream kitchensIceDesign, the premium product from Suter Inox, is a sturdy and aesthetically-peerless special surface for the most important part of the kitchen: the worktop. Today, more than ever before, the kitchen is the heart of the home, the place for living, celebrating and cooking. It gives expression to joie de vivre, art and sensuousness. Planning the kitchen therefore takes on a major significance when we design our home environments.
As a consequence, aesthetics and functionality play a much greater role than they used to. “Our individually-tailored kitchen solutions allow spaces to evolve that lend themselves to far more than just cooking. We offer scope for moments of togetherness and have always placed our faith in stainless steel as a material for innovative kitchen dreams,” says Marco Suter, Managing Director of Suter Inox. “Because stainless steel gives us complete freedom in interior design. Its hygienic and functional benefits are unbeatable, and the unmatched aesthetics, in combination with other materials, make every kitchen a work of art.”
Legendary long service life
The family company Suter Inox, based in Schinznach-Bad in the Canton of Aargau, can look back on a tradition of working with the very best stainless steel materials that goes back decades. Until Alfred Suter sen. revolutionised the kitchen culture of the time with the hand-crafted “Comfort” built-in sink, the first successful products were milk churns made of stainless steel. Unique craftsmanship, high-quality design and functionality still provide fascinating kitchen solutions today. For almost 40 years, they have owed their legendary long service life, among other things, to the high-quality primary material from Outokumpu.
“An IceDesign worktop from Suter Inox is absolutely one of a kind. The secret of its singularity lies in the different reaction of the material to different processing techniques. The surface structure of the hot-rolled stainless steel, and the gloss level of the surface, cannot be standardized and are individually produced,” says Jörn Teipel, Lead Technical Manager at Outokumpu.
The solid stainless steel in the IceDesign surface, with a thickness of 8 mm, contrasts particularly attractively with the body and sums up the magic of the material. The hot-rolled, irregularly-structured stainless steel is an important element in the overall appearance. It lends every worktop an originality and high-quality appearance all of its own. The chromium-plated surface is also particularly sturdy, and almost impervious to scratches.
In the beginning are design and material selection
The material used is, in particular, the austenitic grade Core 304/4301(EN 1.4301) from Outokumpu, which is available also in various surface versions beside the IceDesign. The 2B surface version is cold-rolled, heat-treated, pickled and, in addition, cold temper rolled with highly-polished cylinders resulting in a smooth, reflective grey shimmer. The high-gloss 2R version is processed in a way which gives it an almost mirror-like appearance. For the exclusive special surfaces, the stainless steel is further processed in the Outokumpu service centres, to attain an individual look through sanding or brushing.
“For almost 20 years now, Outokumpu has been our stainless steel manufacturer of choice. The company offers us great product diversity and supports us perfectly in creating individual designs for our customers,” says Marco Suter.
New designs for the kitchens of tomorrow
The latest technology creates an impression of wood grain on the stainless steel surface. Outokumpu implements this extravagant design exclusively for its customer Suter Inox. Radiant elegance meets a rustic wood look, producing an enthralling contrast.
“This innovative approach really appealed to us and we immediately began considering how we could transfer the wood grain to steel. In joint deliberations, it was decided to adapt the wood model to prepare it for further processing,” explains Jörn Teipel.
On the basis of the embossing templates, a roll was produced and commissioned in Outokumpu’s cold-rolling plant in Dillenburg. This resulted in initial sample worktops, one in a matt version and one in gloss. In the second step, the embossing was further refined to exactly meet the customer’s wishes.
“In under eight months, we were able to implement the new design, together with Outokumpu – and the result is impressive. We are more than satisfied with the short development time. Outokumpu listened closely and responded very precisely to our wishes and advised us on the best way of implementing them,” says Marco Suter in summary.
Two partners – one aim: top quality
In Outokumpu, Suter has found a partner who lives out their own values. This joint striving for the best quality comes into its own, among other things, in the individual worktops – for example IceDesign. The special feature in the manufacturing process at Outokumpu is that the pickling fluid drips off very slowly, resulting in an irregular surface. As a consequence, no two worktops are the same.
“In order to be able to respond to the wishes of our customers, we constantly develop new processes and materials. We work closely with the customer so that we can agree on things quickly and reach the best solution without delay,” says Gerhard Heidinger, responsible Sales Manager at Outokumpu. “The many years of partnership with Suter is a perfect example of how joint effort results in fabulous innovations.”