So, you have this cooktop with “glass surface.” It’s often referred to as CERAMIC GLASS, or GLASS-CERAMIC, or even just CERAMIC cooktop. Despite the names, despite whether you love it, or are here because you are angry with it; let’s look a bit into the material to help you better understand why this is the most optimal material for this type of cooking system. A key point to remember, the material is not glass, like most think of glass. It has more properties like a ceramic and less of glass than normal “window” glass.
Glass-ceramics share properties or similarities of both glasses and ceramics. Glasses have no crystal structure in the makeup of the material and all the atoms of the glass are random and mixed up, sort of like what water molecules look like, …all mixed up. Ceramics are generally fired, like you would pottery, and the atoms take a set in a predictable pattern within the structure. Then most glass-ceramics, as in the case of our cooktop material, have not only properties of both materials, but the material actually has glass structure mixed with a ceramic, or crystal, structure.
This combination material has special properties for high temperature use and significant temperature differences built in. Your cooktop heater can heat the glass to over 1,100 degrees F. Then, when the heater area is this hot, the surrounding area of the burner is still near room temperature. If you ever have taken a hot glass or baking dish and placed it in cool water only to have it crack, then you realize what a significant feat this is.
Yes, some other materials can also get hot, but these glass-ceramics have almost no thermal expansion, in other words they are not growing and shrinking with hot and
cold. If they did, then your cooktop would bend, bow, and break during use.
Read more from SCHOTT: CERAN® Product Description