Descriptions of porcelain frit

Chemical Properties

1) Porcelain frit powder often is applied as a paste, and may be transparent or opaque when fired; vitreous porcelain frit can be applied to most metals. It has many excellent properties: it is smooth, hard, chemically resistant, durable, can assume brilliant, long-lasting colors, and cannot burn. Its disadvantages are its tendency to crack or shatter when the substrate is stressed or bent. Its durability has found it many functional applications: early 20th century advertising signs, interior oven walls, cooking pots, exterior walls of kitchen appliances, cast iron bathtubs, farm storage silos, and processing equipment such as chemical reactors and pharmaceutical chemical process tanks. Commercial structures such as gas stations, bus stations and even Lustron Houses had walls, ceilings and structural elements made of porcelain frit steel.

2) Color in porcelain frit is obtained by the addition of various minerals, often metal oxides cobalt, praseodymium, iron, or neodymium. The last creates delicate shades ranging from pure violet through wine-red and warm gray. Porcelain frit can be either transparent, opaque or opalescent (translucent), which is a variety that gains a milky opacity the longer it is fired. Different porcelain frit colors cannot be mixed to make a new color, in the manner of paint. This produces tiny specks of both colors; although the eye can be tricked by grinding colors together to an extremely fine, flour-like, powder.

Typical Applications

1) Architectural panels

2) Barbeques

3) Bath-tubs & shower trays

4) Hot water boilers

5) Cooker panels and ovens

6) Grills & pan supports

7) Microwave ovens

8) Washing machine drums and housings


Porcelain frit is the colorful result of fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 degrees Celsius. The powder melts and flows and hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on metal, glass or ceramic.

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Characteristics and uses of industrial inorganic pigments

Have you ever heard about inorganic pigment? If you have recently painted your house or automobile, then you will aware of this term. Paint is usually derived from the powdered industrial inorganic pigments. Each color has its own unique set of the attributes. When you research well, you will become familiar with the strengths, distinctive natures of your pigment.

Industrial inorganic pigments significantly change our surroundings. They are irreplaceable for the coloring of construction materials – their applications range from concrete to artist’s colors, from industrial paints to toners in photocopiers, from coloring in foodstuffs to raw materials for catalysts.

Industrial inorganic pigments have been utilized by mankind since ancient times, and are still widely used to colour materials exposed to elevated temperatures during processing or application.

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What is porcelain enamel coating?

Porcelain enamel (also called vitreous enamel or glass-lining) is an engineered boro-silicate glass layer, which may be applied in a liquid or powder form and fused on a metal substrates, like mild steel, cast iron, stainless steel, aluminum or copper.

This inorganic coating was already used by the Egyptians for art and jewels around 1000 B.C. and may be characterized by a number of unique chemical and mechanical properties, like :

  • Color stability (during many years)
  • Corrosion resistance (even against boiling water !)
  • Easy-to-clean
  • High temperature resistance
  • Scratch resistance

Porcelain enamel on mild steel (Also called ceramic steel or glass on steel) has been adopted by many different industries all over the world and is nowadays used for providing a functional and/or decorative coating to a wide range of products, such as architectural panels, bath-tubs, barbeques, boilers, chemical vessels, cookers, heat-exchange panels & tubes, hollowware, microwave ovens, street signs, water heaters, washing machines, etc.

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Porcelain Enamel Coatings

Porcelain enamel is an inorganic-type coating, which is applied to metals or glass for both decorative and functional purposes.

This coating is a silica-based solidified glass mass obtained by high-temperature firing (temperature can range between 450 and 1200 °C depending on the substrate).

Porcelain enamel coatings differ from ceramic coatings mainly by their glass structure and dilatation coefficient, and from organic paints mainly by the inorganic nature of the matrix and the chemical bond that exists between the coating and the substrate.

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Titania opacified porcelain enamels

Porcelain enamels, also called Vitreous Enamelling, process of fusing a thin layer of glass to a metal object to prevent corrosion and enhance its beauty. Porcelain enamels iron is used extensively for such articles as kitchen pots and pans, bathtubs, refrigerators, chemical and food tanks, and equipment for meat markets. In architecture it serves as facing for buildings. Being a glass, porcelain enamels has the properties of glass: a hard surface, resistance to solution, corrosion, and scratching. Enamelware is usually quite resistant to acid and impact, but may crack if the base metal is deformed.

In general, base items consist of fabricated steel, iron castings such as bathtubs and stoves, or, for kitchenware, a good grade of low-carbon sheet iron formed in the shape of the utensil by pressing or drawing, by spinning, and by trimming, with handles, spouts, and ears welded in place.

The base items are cleaned by physical means such as sandblasting or by pickling in acid. Next a coating mixture of ground glass, clay, and water is applied and dried. The ware then is fired in a furnace. For cast-iron dry-process porcelain enamels, powdered glass is dusted over the hot ware; as it melts it forms a continuous layer of enamel. For wet-process porcelain enamels, a second liquid layer of cover enamel is applied.

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Difference between Organic Pigments and Inorganic Pigments

Colours play a significant role in our lives. Organic pigments and inorganic pigments are colorants extremely important for cosmetic manufacturers. India is a leading producer of pigment colours for cosmetics. These colours are supplied by pigment manufacturers in India to the domestic markets as well as imported to international markets.

Let’s take a look at the key differences between organic pigments and inorganic pigments.

Composition of pigments

Pigments colours can be used to give colour to other objects by coating them or blending them with the product ingredients. Organic and inorganic pigments are types of pigments based on their method of formulation. Organic pigments are generally derived from plants. Inorganic pigments use chemical formulations to get the desired product properties for various applications.

Compounds obtained from inorganic metallic compounds and salts such as chromates, metallic oxides, sulphates etc. are used in inorganic pigments. Organic pigments are made up of carbon rings and carbon chains. Chemical compounds can be used during colour production to stabilise the organic pigments. Inorganic compounds primarily use chemical compounds based on a specific chemical composition to create colours.

Based on the properties, the following characteristics make organic pigments different from inorganic pigments:

  • Particle Size

Organic pigments have smaller particle size compared to inorganic pigment colours.

  • Brightness

Organic pigments are brighter compared to inorganic pigments. But for long-lasting products, inorganic pigments are preferred because fading and exposure to sunlight or chemicals can take away the bright colour of organic pigments.

  • Colours

The variety of colours available in inorganic pigments is greater than the variety available in organic pigment colours. Titanium dioxide; Iron oxide, etc. are examples of inorganic pigments. Lake colours are examples of organic pigments.

Ultramarine Blue, Iron Oxide Yellow, Chromium Oxide Green, Manganese Violet, Titanium Dioxide etc. are the colours available in inorganic pigments. India also exports the blended inorganic colourants such as Iron Oxide Burgundy, Iron Oxide Sienna, Iron Oxide Amber etc. Inorganic pigments also comes in Lo Micron Iron Oxide variants such as red, yellow and black.

Organic Pigment colours consist of lake colours such as Lake of Allura Red, Lake Patent Blue, Lake of Indigo Carmine etc. Since organic pigments are derived from minerals, the colours can also be classified on the basis of mineral lakes such as Aluminium (Al) Lakes, Calcium (Ca) Lakes, Barium (Ba) Lakes, and so on.

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Enamel Frit and Slips

Enamel frits are glassy ceramic materials, poured while still in a molten state (at temperatures of 800 to 1400 deg. C.) into cold water, to break it up into small granules, which are easy to grind into a paste (slip) which is used as a colorful, decorative or protective coating on glass or metal.

Our products are sold in the enamel frit (glassy granules) form,and in the slip form (ready to use paste).

We manufacture 3 categories of enamel frit and slips- ground coat, cover coats as well as coloured and special coats.

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Spotlight on deep cobalt blue pigment

Although smalt, a pigment made from deep cobalt blue glass has been known at least since the Middle Ages, the deep cobalt blue established in the nineteenth century was a greatly improved one.

The isolation of the deep cobalt blue color of smalt was discovered in the first half of the eighteenth century by the Swedish chemist Brandt. In 1777, Gahn and Wenzel found cobalt aluminate during research on cobalt compounds. Their discovery was made during experimentation with a soldering blowpipe. The color was not manufactured commercially until late in 1803 or 1804.

Deep cobalt blue was generally regarded as durable in the nineteenth century. It requires one hundred percent of oil to grind it as an oil paint otherwise its cool tone can turn greenish due to the yellowing of linseed oil. To avoid the yellowing, Laurie suggested that it be used as a glaze color or mixing it with white. It is totally stable in watercolor and fresco techniques.

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Metals Suitable for Enameling

Porcelain enamel is an ancient decorative, coloring technique which fuses finely powdered glass to metal. Using intense heat, the glass melts, flows, and then cools to harden into a smooth, durable, and decorative, colored surface.

What Metals Can I Use?

Almost any metal can be enameled, but the most common are copper, fine silver, and high karat gold. Metal clay is a perfect material to use for enameling. It’s easy to texture, shape and form and can be sintered with the same torch or kiln used for enameling.


Copper is a great sub surface when using opaque porcelain enamel. If the metal itself is not a feature of the final work, using an inexpensive material like copper reduces the cost of the project.

Many porcelain enamel suppliers carry milled copper, untextured shapes (also known as ‘blanks’) which are useful for practicing on.

However, when copper or copper bearing metals are heated an oxidized surface develops. This oxidation creates a barrier that prevents the porcelain enamel from fusing to the metal surface unless it’s been properly prepared. See below for cleaning options.

Fine Silver

Fine silver is brilliant and reflective under transparent colors. Because it doesn’t oxidize, it is easy to fire with a torch or kiln.


Lump gold metal clay is an expensive option but would provide a beautifully rich under layer to transparent enamels, especially those in the warmer color range. You can achieve the same luscious glow by first applying a foundation of clear porcelain enamel to a fired silver clay base, then add Keum Boo foil, and finally apply the porcelain enamel colors.

Gold is infinitely soluble into silver. With each successive firing, more gold will absorb into the silver until it disappears, negating any effect. If you are only firing on one or two layers of porcelain enamel you might be able to keum boo directly to silver, but if you are doing a deep porcelain enamel with multiple firings the keum boo gold would eventually completely absorb and disappear, which is why it’s advised to apply a coat of clear porcelain enamel first.

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Cobalt blue color palette sources identified in the production

The cobalt blue color palette enamel coating on 112 fragments or small objects of Qing Dynasty Chinese, 95 of underglaze blue and white and 17 overglaze enamelled porcelains.

The cobalt blue color palette enamel coating on both blue and white and polychrome objects were created with a cobalt pigment that was rich in manganese with lesser nickel and zinc. This suite of accessory elements is generally considered to be characteristic of local, Chinese, sources of pigments. However, the cobalt blue color palette enamels were very different. The cobalt pigment here has low levels of manganese and instead is rich in nickel, zinc, arsenic and bismuth. No Chinese source of cobalt with these characteristics is known, but they closely match the elements found in the contemporary cobalt source at Erzgebirge in Germany.

Textual evidence has been interpreted to suggest that some enamel pigment technologies were transferred from Europe to China, but this is the first analytical evidence to be found that an enamel pigment itself was imported. It is possible that this pigment was imported in the form of cobalt coloured glass, or smalt, which might account for its use in enamels, but not in an underglaze, where the colour might be susceptible to running.

This article comes from core edit released