Kitchenware manufacturer Lurch AG in Germany used Vectra liquid-crystalline polymer (LCP) for the base of the world's first springform baking pan with removable silicone ring.
The LCP, from Ticona, Florence Ky., creates a stiff and stable base so the flexible ring clamps down forming a tight seal to keep baking mixtures from leaking out.
Lurch also chose Vectra LCP because it withstands temperatures from about –20 to 445°F (–30 to 230°C), so pans can go directly from the freezer to a hot oven. The LCP base has a durable, nonstick surface. It also weighs about 30% less than comparable metal versions (with no loss in rigidity or strength) and is safe for use in microwave ovens. The LCP colors easily, forms an attractive surface finish, and is cut resistant, so it can be used for serving at the table.
The silicone-LCP springform pan gives excellent results when making tarts, cakes, souffles, and other dishes that can't be flipped upside down after baking. The Vectra LCP comes to temperature faster and transfers the oven's heat better than metal, so recipes can bake quicker at lower temperatures. It also cools more quickly, has a pleasant-to-touch surface, easily releases baked items, and can go in the dishwasher.
Vectra LCP flows easily during injection molding to create thin-walled bakeware. It also has a relatively short cycle time and is dimensionally stable.