Bombers help make pizza

Stealth bombers are the source of inspiration for a new surface coating that could help to make crispy pizzas in a microwave and eliminate interference problems with mobile phones.

Dr Ferdy Mayer, a French inventor, was involved in developing the coating that allows the Stealth bomber to absorb radar waves without reflecting them and thereby rendering it undetectable to radar scanners. And now, a British company, Microheat International, is developing the technology for domestic use. Microheat plans to open a factory to exploit the technology within three years time.

Anyone who has tried heating a pizza in a microwave oven will probably know the rather unappetising result: a soft and wet doughy base as a result of the water in the pizza being converted into steam by the microwave. But if the pizza is placed in a dish coated with the Microheat coating, the pizza can heat up to 200 degrees C in 60s, thus crisping the base nicely!

Unlike metal dishes, the coated dishes can absorb high frequency microwaves so metal plates can be used safely in a microwave oven without causing sparking problems. The first product Microheat hope to market is a coated dish, but they are also considering a hotplate that could be incorporated into the packaging of an individual pizza.

The stealth bomber technology is being extended in other directions, such as EMC protection in electrical equipment.

At present, the coating is under development, but details can be obtained by calling the National Surface Engineering Centre.

Figure 1: From a B-2 to a pizza. Stealth technology is now being transferred into the home

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