Applications and process of vitreous enamel

The word enamel comes from the High German word ‘smelzan’ and later from the Old French ‘esmail’. The Collins English Dictionary defines enamel as ‘a coloured glassy substance, transparent or opaque, fused to the surface of articles made of metal, glass etc. for ornament or protection’. Vitreous enamel is specifically on a metal base. It is thus defined as a vitreous, glass like coating fused on to a metallic base. In American English it is referred to as Porcelain Enamel.

It should not be confused with paint, which is sometimes called ‘enamel’. Paints cannot be enamel. They do not have the hardness, heat resistance and colour stability that is only available with real vitreous enamel. Beware of companies or products implying the use of enamel. Check their credentials and warranties.

The glass will be applied to the metal by a various methods either as a powder or mixed with water. This is followed by heating in a furnace to a temperature usually between 750 and 850 degrees Celsius. This ‘firing’ process gives vitreous enamel its unique combination of properties.

The smooth glass-like surface is hard; it is scratch, chemical and fire resistant. It is easy to clean and hygienic.

Vitreous enamel can be applied to most metals. For jewellery and decorative items it is often applied to gold, silver, copper and bronze. For the more common uses, it is applied to steel or cast iron. There are some specialised uses on stainless steel and aluminium.

The durability of the early advertising signs, still showing the brilliance of the original colours after a hundred years, is one of the best examples of the long-term colour stability of vitreous enamel. Compare them to signs, for example road signs, produced in less durable materials which fade and become shabby. Some of the early vitreous enamelled relics date back to the 13th Century BC and the colours are still as vibrant as the day they were produced (see our page on Enamelling History). If you want something where the colour will never fade – use vitreous enamel.

Following the disastrous King’s Cross fire, where combustible materials underground were the major cause, the specification of vitreous enamel for both decorative and functional parts in underground applications is now universal. It cannot burn, in contrast to paints and plastics. The famous London Underground station signs and maps are instantly recognisable uses of this unique product.

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Metals Suitable for Enameling

Enamels for metal normally used on copper work satisfactorily on good cast iron providing certain precautions are taken. Ideally the surface should be sandblasted, however in most instances it is sufficient to use an electric grinder to remove irregular surface areas such as lumps, projections, ridges, rust areas, etc. We do not recommend any casting whether it be cast iron, cast gold, cast silver, etc. be pickled. Castings usually have a few pores where the pickle solutions hide only to come out as blisters in the firing operation.

Best results are normally obtained if the firing temperature is as low as possible. Select enamels for metal which will fire at 1300-13500F for 20 minutes or more. Sifting is not an ideal method of applying the first coat. At these low temperatures individual enamel grains do not flow out easily. If the surface of the cast iron is exposed between grains of enamel it will oxidize during the long firing cycle. Although a second coat may flow out and cover the entire surface the oxidized areas may produce blisters. The best practice is to use Liquid Form – Water Base enamels for the first coat.

For small articles Thompson’s Overglaze Painting Enamel (dry powder) can be mixed with water and applied for the first coat. Cast iron does not require a cobalt bearing ground coat as described above for certain types of steel. Subsequent coats can be normal enamels for metal used on copper if they fire at these lower temperatures. They may be applied by the usual methods. Enamels for metal with expansions of about 240 to 340 are workable on cast iron.

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The Enamel Material

Enamel material comes in a number of forms: lump, string, liquid, and powder, as well as in the optical qualities of transparent, opaque, and opalescent. The important factor in selecting an enamel material is that it be made for the metal you are using. Enamel material expands as it is fired and then contracts as it cools. This is called thermal expansion. The metal on which the enamel material is fired must expand and contract at a slightly higher rate.

Enamels material arc sold in assorted lump forms and in meshes, probably as coarse as 10 mesh and as fine as #325. Some enamelists use the fines for a painting technique. I principally use 80 mesh powder, overglazes, and the 20 mesh in transparents for some jewelry.

Enamels material arc manufactured in soft, medium, and hard fusing, which refers to how they fire. The soft enamels material fire the most quickly. Some enamelists refer to the soft enamels material as delicate. In Thompson’s catalog, most of the 80 mesh enamels material for copper, steel, silver, and gold are listed as medium fusing.

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Industrial Enamel

A single-component, all-purpose, medium industrial enamel.

Designed for interior and exterior use, Industrial Enamel is an all-purpose enamel with a durable color pigment system. Recommended industrial environment uses include properly prepared steel, concrete, wood, plaster, primed aluminum and galvanized steel.


  • Good exterior durability
  • High-gloss coating
  • Excellent application properties
  • Exterior/interior all-purpose enamel
  • 450 g/L (3.75 lb/gal) VOC
  • Suitable for use in USDA inspected facilities

Product data is a representative set of attributes and characteristics for this system or product line. Data for individual products may vary and is subject to change.

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Sample records for industrial inorganic pigments

Nuclear magnetic resonance has been used to look at a number of colourful industrial inorganic pigment systems, most of which are sold commercially in large quantities. Industrial inorganic pigments were examined using 19 F, 23 Na, 29 Si, 51 V and 91 Zr NMR. In these systems, paramagnetic species are incorporated into the sample in small quantities creating the colourful industrial inorganic pigment.

The impurity dopants in the systems studied either dope directly into lattice sites in the zircon, or form an extra chemical phase. NMR was able to distinguish between these two doping mechanisms in a number of industrial inorganic pigments. Most spectra showed effects which were due to the magnetic influence of paramagnetic colouring species, and the strength of the interaction depended on the magnetic moment of the ion containing the unpaired electron. In the case of vanadium doped zircon, the moment was small enough that it allowed extra contact shifted peaks to be resolved in the spectra which indicated that the V 4+ colouring ion probably substitutes into both the tetrahedral SiO 4 site, and at the dodecahedral ZrO 8 site. This is of current interest, and many other spectroscopic and computational experiments have also been performed to elucidate which of the two sites V 4+ is located at.

A 17 O-enriched zircon sample was also synthesised through a sol-gel route, and the local environment at the oxygen sites was followed through zircon formation from the TEOS and Zr-isopropoxide precursors. A multinuclear approach looking at the 11 B, 23 Na, 27 Al and 29 Si isotopes within silver containing glasses was able to provide information about the coordination of the isotopes within the glasses. 109 Ag NMR was evaluated as an experimental technique for examining silver containing compounds. 119 Sn NMR was used to quantify the amount of Sn(ll) and Sn(IV) in orange coloured SnO-ZnO-TiO 2 (TZT) produced pigments, and the colour of the sample was found to correlate with the width of the Sn(IV) peak.

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Industrial Enamel Paints, Equipment and Supplies

Industrial enamel paint, paint equipment, and paint supplies are used to apply paints, coatings, and stains to surfaces and equipment to protect them and refresh their appearance.

Interior paints and stains are suitable for furniture, floors, walls, ceilings, and other indoor surfaces. Exterior paints and stains are designed for buildings, houses, decks, patios, driveways, fences, and other outdoor surfaces. Brushes, rollers, sprayers, trays, drop cloths, and other painting supplies let painters apply paints, stains, and coatings neatly and efficiently.

Industrial enamel paint and wallpaper tools prepare surfaces for painting and wallpapering, streamline the application of paint and wallpaper, and facilitate cleanup when the job is done. Floor coatings protect floor surfaces from traffic, abrasion, moisture, cleaning chemicals, and other damaging elements. They can also improve the floors’ appearance or add increased traction in pedestrian areas such as walkways, stairs, and ramps.

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NonStick Cookware Alternatives – Porcelain Enamel Cookware

What is Porcelain Enamel Cookware?

Porcelain enamel is made by heating a powdered glass formulation known as a frit to a very high temperature (at least 1380 degrees Fahrenheit). At this point, the frit liquefies and flows over the substrate (usually steel, cast iron or aluminum) and forms a very hard, durable finish. (Learn more about porcelain enamel.)

Is Porcelain Enamel Cookware Safe?

20200115At one time, porcelain enamel cookware was known to contain unsafe levels of lead and cadmium. Fortunately, modern manufacturing has now reduced these elements to amounts well below that permitted by the United States Food and Drug Administration. To be safe, consumers should only purchase high-quality products made by reputable firms. Avoid off-brands and cheap products not approved for sale in the United States.

Porcelain enamel cookware combines beauty, safety, and performance. Like ceramic cookware, enamelware is nonstick and does not have the potential toxicity issues of Teflon. Not surprisingly, porcelain enamel cookware has become very popular.

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Cobalt Blue Suit

The Cobalt Blue Suit by Allure Men offers a vibrant take on the classic blue suit. The rich cobalt coloring of the fabric allows for a bright and fresh appearance, impeccably crafted to give you the sophisticated look you crave. The slim and modern fit options of the cobalt pants give you the flexibility to choose your exact fit.

Make the Cobalt Blue Suit by Allure Men your next style for the exciting events in your life. Whether you’re standing by your buddy’s side on his wedding day, or attending a party and want to make a strong first impression, this suit will fit your needs. Lightweight and breathable, this suit is suitable for wear all year round. Pair with tan, black, or heather grey pants for a truly unique look.

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5 Benefits of Porcelain Enamel Cookware

1. Light Weight Pans

Porcelain enamel cookware is sturdy enough for a professional kitchen, yet light enough for everyday use. A 12 inch porcelain enamel skillet can weigh just 2.1 lbs, as compared to a 12 inch non-stick skillet that weight over 5 lbs.

2. Can Go in the Oven

Unlike most non-stick cookware that can only be used on the stove top up to the medium heat setting, Porcelain Enamel Cookware can be used on the stove top or in the oven up to 350° Fahrenheit. This allows you to use one pan for the entire cooking process, especially if the dish requires starting on the stove top and finishing in the oven, such as browning meat or chicken to sear the outside, then putting in the oven to cook the inside.

3. Stay Cool Handles

One of the biggest issues with porcelain enamel cookware that goes in the oven is that the handles can get too hot to touch. The unique rubberized stay cool handles prevent burns when removing from the oven or stove top.

4. Comes in Several Exciting Colors

While many non-stick skillets and pans come in just black, grey, or silver, the Porcelain Enamel II Cookware Set, for example, comes in several exciting two-tone gradient colors, including: Blue, Red, Orange, Fennel, Green and Purple, to match your kitchen, favorite color or even your personality.

5. Scratch Resistant Outer Shell

Due to the baked on enamel external coating, porcelain enamel non-stick cookware is scratch resistant, and can hold up in even the most demanding kitchens.

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Black Cobalt Pigments And Dispersions

We are one of the world’s providers of pigments and dispersions, including Inorganic and black cobalt pigments, functional pigments and color pigment preparations.

Our custom black cobalt pigments and formulations provide our customers with specific properties such as aesthetics (shade, tinting strength, opacity), process and service life performance (dispersibility, heat fastness, chemical fastness, migration, light and weather fastness) and functionality (anticorrosion, NIR reflectance, camouflage, tanning) at the most competitive cost.

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