Used in diverse architectural applications, vitreous enamel steel produced by Vitrex has been applied to create new table tops for Nando’s.
Adding an extra dimension to the versatility of vitreous enamel steel, the material, produced locally by Vitrex in Boksburg, has been specified for an innovative and almost unexpected application – as bespoke table tops for two new outlets of the global restaurant chain, Nando’s.
The unique durability and rugged nature of the vitreous enamel steel are what prompted Durban-based interior designers, Egg Designs’, decision to approach Vitrex to provide the vitreous enamel steel table tops for the Nando’s restaurants at OR Tambo International Airport and West Street, Durban.
“We did some research and found that vitreous enamel steel had the hardwearing attributes we were looking for, and that Vitrex could provide both limitless colour and print options,” explains Greg Dry, one of the founders of Egg Designs.
“Vitreous enamel steel is also impervious and therefore the ideal material on which to serve food. We believe that the future design possibilities of vitreous enamel steel are limitless and we are extremely excited about increasingly using it, not only in our designs for Nando’s, but also in other interior designs as we continue our association with Vitrex,” he states.
Any design is possible
The Portuguese roots of Nando’s influenced Dry’s “kombuistafel” concept, which features blue enamel graphics on a white background.
Cristian Cottino, sales and marketing director of Vitrex in Boksburg, explains that the graphics were digitally printed prior to the final firing of the table tops. “Special graphics, such as those designed by Egg Designs for the Nando’s tables, are no obstacle for our production line as Vitrex’s vitreous enamel steel surfaces can incorporate virtually any graphics including the work of artists, or special effects such as metallic or wood grain finishes,” he says.
The 32mm deep tops are 1 300mm in diameter and factory-fitted with a core to receive a set of crafted metal legs.
Vitreous enamel steel for interiors
Dry believes that as vitreous enamel steel is increasingly seen in Egg Designs’ interior landscapes in the future, the product’s relatively under-utilised capacity in this creative field in South Africa will be discovered and increasingly specified by the design fraternity.
“Nando’s is pushing the boundaries in every aspect of design, and allowing Egg Designs to implement this innovative application of an established form of architectural cladding shows the restaurant chain’s commitment to lead the field,” he says.
The interior designer adds that the “absolute passion, commitment and exceptional professionalism” displayed by Vitrex in the execution of this order bore testimony to the company’s success as a global player.
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Advantages of vitreous enamel cladding:
• Can withstand high temperatures and thermal shock.
• Incombustible and doesn’t release toxic gases or smoke.
• Resistant to corrosion, UV radiation, pollutants and chemicals.
• Impermeable to liquids.
• Scratch- and impact-resistant.
• Difficult to permanently mark the surface, vandalism is prevented.
• Odours and flavours are not absorbed.
• The proliferation of bacteria and mould is inhibited.
• Simple maintenance without the need for chemicals.
• Non-toxic and recyclable.
• A long working life (well over 35 years).
• A wide range of colours, matt and semi-matt enamels can be produced.