Ember Steel

After years of extensive research on all kinds of different materials, we have finally found a stainless alloy that checks all our boxes: sustain, clarity, ceramic sound, workability, stability, rust protection and more. We have been extensively testing, and solely creating instruments from this material over the last few months. The possibilities for building and playing feel endless. We would like to present to you Ember Steel handpan shells:

  • Sustain: Much like Stainless 430, though more controlled and often mentioned by players as “round” and less "wild".
  • Ceramic-like sound: The material feels more ceramic than AISI 430, shoulder tones of the notes are less present and more controlled. When having a correct shape of the center tonefield, crystal clear shoulder tones with sustain can be achieved.
  • Rust protection: Our first instruments dating back 6 months show no signs of any rust. The shallow single time layer of rust that often happens on AISI430 is thus also not present on Ember Steel.
  • Stability: When the border tension is balanced all the way around the note, the Ember Steel provides very stable notes. Easier to stabilize than AISI 430.
  • Patina: The steel scratches rather more quickly than other materials before annealing. However, through annealing, a strong patina can be achieved which in turn scratches less easily than annealed AISI 430. Various temperatures give different colors, from bight golden, to ember/red to dark purple and even blue.
unoiled ember shells

These are our results after shaping and annealing

Demonstration

This is a demonstration of an Ayasa D Kurd made with deepdrawn 1 mm Ember Steel that we offer. Sound recorded with condenser mics and lightly edited to reflect the actual sound.

Three Different Batches

From our research we have found that every production of this alloy gives some significant differences. We tested over five different productions from three different steel factories. Each batch of steel has its own unique characteristics. They can, for example, require the use of different annealing temperatures to give the desired color and to reach the preferred level of hardness. We truly see this as one of the huge benefits of this material and this is why we are starting out with offering three different batches directly available for makers. As over the last few years of offering shells, we have found that every maker works in their own way and has their own preferences for material and vision for their desired sound.

  • Ember Steel Batch #1
  • This is the softest out of the three batches, we anneal these shells at 650C.
  • Ember Steel Batch #2
  • This batch works well for us between 550C and 600C. At 650C the notes become too hard to loosen for us. Of course this depends on your shaping and tuning techniques, perhaps 650C would work well for you! Our suggestion: If at 600C the metal is too soft, go up to 650C, if it's too hard go down to possibly even 500.
  • Ember Steel Batch #3
  • This batch works similarly to batch#2.

Note: these are our experiences so far, we are still testing different oven temperatures and their resulting colors and hardness levels as well as different scales with the various steels. We have launched a forum where we would like to share our further experiences and invite you to share yours.

Top and bottom shells of all three batches are available as of now! Because this is a new material, we suggest that you try out a couple of shells of each batch to find your best method per batch and then see which batch you prefer the most.

front view ember shells

These are our results after shaping and annealing

Prices

All the prices are quoted excluding VAT. If you are located in the EU and have a valid VAT number, or if you are located outside of the EU, we do not have to charge VAT (21%). Only when you are inside the EU and do not have a valid VAT number then you would have to pay 21% on top of the prices listed here below:

Prices of orders under a 100 shells:
  • Top shell € 62
  • Bottom shell € 81
Prices of orders above a 100 shells:
  • Top shell € 56
  • Bottom shell € 75

Specifications

  • Tuning ring diameter: 530mm
  • Total shell diameter: 560mm (including flanges)
  • Height: 130mm
  • Flange width: 15mm
  • Min Shell thickness: 0.9mm
  • Max Shell thickness: 1.0mm
  • Port Diameter: 82mm
  • Port height: 19mm
Disclaimer:

The material is quite sensitive to scratches, that is why most shells have been polished to remove the scratches that were inflicted during the making of the steel and deepdrawing of the shell.

ember steel top shell
ember steel top shell

Shipping

We are shipping in boxes that can fit a maximum of 11 shells. If you wish to purchase 30 shells or more, we can ship a pallet to you and you will save on both the shipping and packing costs. Any order of a 100 shells or more will be credited a €6 discount on each shell in the order. Pick up from our workshop in Almere, The Netherlands, is also possible.

It is not possible to freely mix top and bottom shells in one package and guarantee the shells to stay in the best condition during transport. That is why we ship in two types of boxes:

  • Top shell box: Order any amount of top shells (raw, nitrided, stainless, ember, mixed) up to a maximum of 11 pcs. In this box it is possible to add one single bottom shell.
  • Bottom shell box: Order any amount of bottom shells (raw, nitrided, stainless, ember, mixed) up to a maximum of 11 pcs. In this box it is not possible to add any top shells.

The shipping costs range from € 50 – € 250, depending on your location and weight of the package (i.e. the amount of shells). After receiving your order, we can quote you the precise shipping costs.

Contact form

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