Almost Rust-Proof - Stainless Steel Handpan Explored

With nitrided-steel shells being the most commonly used blank canvases from which Handpan are formed (to date) - due at least in part to the work of the inventors of the Handpan instrument-type, PANArt, who championed the nitriding-process with their use of a specially-formulated type of steel known as “Pang”. Recent videos demonstrating Handpan made from stainless-steel, a material once widely spoken of as being unfit-for-use, are beginning to suggest that this rust-resistant steel alloy, with all of the benefits to Handpan owners that that particular quality brings, may have been somewhat overlooked - as can be heard in the following stainless steel creation from Nirvana Handpans...



Arguably, second only to those people who ask to have a go on your Handpan, and then proceed to beat on it far more heavily-handed than you would like, curse-wise for Handpan owners, comes rust.  Something that without regular maintenance, and oiling, can begin to eat away at a Handpan fairly quickly, even with the inherent rust-resistance gained from the nitriding process itself.  So the benefits of a Handpan made from a material renowned for its corrosion-resistance, should require no further explanation.  Something that has likely led the likes of Nirvana, Aciel, Meridian, Axiom, and numerous other makers, to increasingly experiment with it.   

In addition to its rust-resistant qualities, the base material from which a Handpan is formed can also impact the voice of the finished instrument.  As can be heard in this final video from Nirvana Handpans, in which four of their pans are showcased, one made from Raw Steel - Hydroformed, another from Raw Steel - Handsunk, a third from Stainless Steel - Handsunk, and the final offering of Nitrided Steel - Deep Drawn - demonstrating the different tonal characteristics of four Handpan, all tuned to the same scale, by the same maker, but made from different base materials. Leaving you the listener free to decide, where your own preferences lie...

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