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Cookware

Cast iron over copper - can CI make heat uneven?

ar1338 | Nov 15, 202109:39 PM     14

Let's say you place a copper plate over a theoretically perfectly even heat source of the exact same size and which only heats from underneath, and you measure the evenness of the heat on the other face (top-side) of the copper plate. This heat would be less even than that of the source, right, since it is not an infinitely perfect conductor?

Now let's say you place a cast iron plate of the exact same shape, and of any thickness, over the copper plate. Is it possible that, despite adding more thermal mass, the heat measured coming out of the top-side of the cast iron will be less even than the the heat coming out of the copper alone? Is there a thickness at which this will/won't be true?

In other words, I am wondering if some materials actually concentrate heat, rather than just fail to spread it. Failing to spread heat is taking a point source of heat and not moving it very evenly or very far. Concentrating the heat would taking a perfectly even heat source and making it less even by forcing the heat into pockets or along veins or eddies, which might be a product of heterogeneity in the material composition, or, more interestingly, an inherent property even of a completely pure and homogeneous material. I don't know if such a thing happens - at least the latter case (the former, i.e. uneven heat from uneven composition, is easier to imagine, but I don't know if it plays a significant role).

Another way to conceptualize this is: as far as evenness (not responsiveness) do we only need highly conductive materials when we have an uneven heat source? If the heat source is even, will cast iron heat as evenly as copper?

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