Dictionary Kitchen

In order to help you understand better the quality of our kitchens and be able to compare it, in this section you can discover the meaning of all the words commonly used to describe materials and techniques of the kitchen world.
Acrylic stain The stain with the highest resistance to light. It gives the greatest guarantee against yellowing. 
It is used in particular on light-colored woods where yellowing stain would result in unpleasant color changes. It gives wood a very natural appearance since it is applied in thin coats without creating a film on the wood.
Aluminum A silvery-colored metal, soft and very light. It is the third most abundant material found in nature. It can be die-cast or drawn and is then painted or protected with anodic oxidation which makes the surface scratch- and corrosion-resistant. Aluminum not treated in this way oxidizes and thus darkens easily.
Carbon dioxide Gas that forms during combustion when the carbon in fuel bonds with two oxygen atoms in the air. Carbon dioxide is the prime culprit of the greenhouse effect.
Carbon monoxide Carbon monoxide is generally the result of incomplete hydrocarbon combustion. This occurs in the home when food is cooked on gas burners. Colorless and odorless, it is a toxic pollutant that bonds with hemoglobin in the blood, preventing it from carrying oxygen through the body. It can cause death by suffocation.
CFC Chlorofluorocarbon, known commercially as Freon, was used widely in the past in the refrigeration industry and as a propellant in spray cans. Widespread use however has led to its accumulation in the stratosphere causing a series of destructive chemical reactions. Since Freon is partly responsible for the hole in the ozone layer, other, more ecological gases are now being used.
Chipboard Chipboard is made with the scrap from wood processing and residue from trees. It is favorable ecologically because no additional trees are cut down to make it. Chipboard is made from chips and particles of wood that are pressed and bonded with thermo-hardening glue. Generally, it is then covered with veneer, melamine resin paper, PVC or laminate to give it its aesthetic qualities.
Mechanically it has great dimensional stability. This makes it extremely useful for large surfaces where solid wood could buckle. It is not very resistant to dampness; the problem has been partially but not completely resolved with the creation of P3 water-repellent board. The glues used for chipboard release formaldehyde, this has been reduced to a minimum in board produced in accordance with strict Japanese laws (F****).
Class 3 exterior plywood Five or more layers of wood are arranged with the grain at right angles and attached with glues that resist water and humidity. Valcucine makes its Class 3 exterior plywood with a full 11 layers of birch wood.
Ergonomics Ergonomics studies the interaction between people, their work place and equipment to facilitate safer use of objects.
Finishing Covering a raw wood panel with various materials, e.g. laminate, PVC, veneer, etc
Formaldehyde A pungent-smelling chemical used to make most thermohardening glues for the furniture industry. Suspected of being cancerous, in high concentrations, it can cause tearing and irritation of the respiratory tract. In 1977, the B.G.A. (The Berlin Health Board) decreed that it is dangerous in concentrations of 0.1 p.p.m. (parts per million) or 12 mg/m3. Many other countries have adopted this standard.
Greenhouse effect During the day, the earth’s surface accumulates the heat of the sun. At night, the heat escapes into space. Excessive concentration of carbon dioxide in the air traps the heat from the sun’s warmth during the day and keeps it from being expelled. The resulting effect is similar to that of a greenhouse. 
Hot-melt glue Adhesives that are applied while hot which adhere and harden during cooling. They are reversible because they soften when heated to temperatures between 60°C and 100°C, temporarily losing their adhesive power. Used almost exclusively to attach edging.
HPL laminate Only laminate boards meeting the standards of  excellence of EN 438/1 regulations are fit to be called HPL (High Pressure Laminates). This high quality material is extremely hard and resists scratching, wear, impact, chemical agents and fire.
Laminate Also known commercially as “Formica”, it has a base of phenol resin and decorated melamine paper glued together to form sheets approximately 0.6 mm think. It is used to cover lumber core. If both sides are covered, it is called double-sided laminate.
Lumber-core Board of three layers of wood veneer arranged with the grain at right angels to each other and attached with thermohardening glue. When more than three layers are used (but always an odd number), it is called multilayer board.
Medium density fiberboard Board made with wood processing scrap. Ecologically valid because production does not required that more trees be cut down. Wood fiber-produced using steam and defibrators-is bound with thermohardening glues. Once pressed, the fiber (which resembles cotton wool) has excellent mechanical properties and dimensional stability. It is compact along its edges making it excellent for making lacquered panels and PVC faced board and for large surfaces where solid wood might buckle. Fiberboard is very heavy and does not resist humidity. There is also V100 MDF board which is designed to have a higher resistance to humidity.
Melamine board Chipboard faced with sheets of melamine resin-soaked paper.
Melamine paper Paper that is soaked in melamine resin. It can be various colors or imitate wood. Used to finish chipboard, which is then called melamine board.
Multilayer laminate Laminate with a resin base generally thicker than 1 mm. The mechanical properties make them suitable for use alone or applied to wooden boards. Laminate is highly resistant and is therefore excellent for use in kitchen cabinets.
Polyurethane paint The most commonly used stain in the wood sector based upon its low cost and easy application. It is not very resistant to light and tends to produce an unsightly yellow film with time. For that reason, it is not suitable for light-colored wood.
PVC Polyvinyl chloride is one of the most commonly used materials in the furniture industry and is used to cover structural components and doors. It is considered a toxic material, but the only danger is during production and destruction (if it is not burned in special incinerators, it produces dioxins). It can be colored and can imitate wood grain. A thermoplastic material, it is not heat-resistant and softens at temperatures between 75° and 95° C.
Silicone rubber A plastic mass of silicon and oxygen. Vulcanization makes it pliable and produces silicone rubber. It is:
- resilient over time
- resistant to temperatures between -100°C and +300°C
-  bacterioloigcally inert (resistant to fungus and microorganisms)
- stable in the sun’s rays
- easy to clean
Silk-screening A method of printing (on metal, glass, plastic, etc.) where the ink is passed through the mesh of silk with stencils. On glass, the silkscreen can also be tempered by using high temperatures that melt the color onto the glass, making it indelible.
Solid wood Term used to indicate furniture or furniture parts built only using wood cut directly from tree trunks. Solid wood comes from various species: for example walnut, beech, cherry, etc.
Stainless steel Steel that resists corrosion and some chemical agents. It must contain at least 12% chrome to be called stainless. Since it is very hygienic, it is used to manufacture food containers, pots and pans, sinks and counter tops. 18/10 stainless steel (18% chrome, 10% nickel) is normally used for this purpose.
Tempered glass Glass that is particularly hard and impact resistant (5 times more than normal glass) thanks to toughing. The glass is heated to very high temperatures (650°C) and then cooled quickly with cold air. Tempered glass breaks into tiny pieces rather than large sharp shards.
Tempering temperature The temperature at which hot-melt glues begin to soften and liquefy, causing edging to come off.
Thermohardening glues Resins that join during heat-activated chemical reactions. The major thermohardening glues used in the furniture industry are obtained with a mixture of formaldehyde and other basic resins. Since they are formed through chemical reactions, they are irreversible glues that resist high temperatures.
Tree species The different types of wood found in nature. Wood from different species differs in appearance and physical and mechanical properties. There are basically two categories: coniferous and broad-leafed trees. The first group includes pine, spruce, cedar and larch. The second group includes walnut, beech, cherry, oak and ash.
Veneer Veneer or sliced veneer is a thin sheet of wood (about 0.6 mm) made by rotary cutting or sawing a log. Used to face wooden board, this is known as “veneered board”.
Veneered board Board finished with veneer.
Water-based paint Part of the new system of ecological paint with water solvents. This solves serious problems of environmental impact (up to 70% of most products use polluting solvents that evaporate when drying). Water-based paints are still in the experimental phase.