Institute of Porcelain Enamel

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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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.

This article comes from ditmer edit released

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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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

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.

Gold

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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The Differences Between Hard-Anodized & Porcelain Enamel

Walk in to any kitchen supply store, and the shine from all the glistening pots and pans may make you reach for your sunglasses. Your senses are immediately assaulted: all the cookware claims to be the newest and best thing to hit the market.

No-stick, non-stick, stick-resistant, a little stick — who can you believe, and how can you determine what shiny or brightly colored saucepan is the right one for you? Two terms jousting for the title of “best cookware” are hard anodized and hard enamel cookware made of porcelain. Distinguishing between the two isn’t difficult if you know how to wend your way through the language of surfaces on pots and pans.

Building a Better Model

Realizing the weaknesses in aluminum cookware, but aiming to maintain the high conductivity of the element, scientists at Calphalon created hard-anodized aluminum cookware in the 1960s. Through an electro-chemical process, they fused the aluminum in an acid bath jolted with an electrical current, resulting in an oxide blend that had greater resistance than the original aluminum. The process also created a lovely gray coloring, and the scientists noticed that food was less apt to stick than with the original aluminum.

Porcelain Hard Enamel Cookware

Porcelain, a combination of kaolin clay and glass fired at extremely high temperatures, was first fired onto iron in the 1800s, creating a pot lining that eliminated the leaching of iron into food. Through the years, aluminum and stainless steel have also been fused with porcelain, making a hard porcelain enamel product that adds to the myriad of cookware choices.

Benefits of Hard-Anodized Cookware

Touch a hard-anodized pot to realize its strength. The smooth cooking surface is stick-resistant, and its solid surface won’t corrode, leach or suffer abrasions. If satellites in the sky can depend on the strength of hard-anodized parts to protect them from the rigors of space, then a mere saucepan is sure to have a long life. Hard-anodized cookware also has excellent heat conduction and cleans safely.

Hard-anodized saucepans are safe at high temperatures, making them ideal for stovetop-to-oven cooking. Just be sure to use potholders when removing the cookware from the oven.

Porcelain Enamel Pros

The high-temperature firing of porcelain onto iron has driven the cookware market for over a century. The process was then expanded to include stainless steel and aluminum. The porcelain isn’t a coating over a base metal, but a fusion of the two. The rock-hard surface is resistant to scratching and peeling. While aluminum and stainless steel porcelain enamels are lighter second cousins to cast iron in the realm of cookware, it’s the heft of the iron that gives porcelain enamel its edge with serious cooks. Aluminum porcelain enamel doesn’t leach, making it a safer choice than unfused aluminum.

Disadvantages of Porcelain Enamel Cookware

Disadvantages of porcelain enamel cookware include the enamel color turning darker with heavy use. This, however, does not affect the cooking qualities of the pot; instead, it simply indicates years of use.

A Sticky Subject

Hard anodization of aluminum not only creates a smooth surface; the result of the fusion process is that the base aluminum becomes non-porous. Food adheres when first put into the pan, but as it nears doneness, it’s released from its bond. Hard-anodized cookware is stick-resistant.

Porcelain enamel over iron, aluminum or stainless steel is non-stick. Bits may be left behind, especially during high-heat cooking, but they scrape off with little effort. A good soak in warm water rinses away any residue without effort.

Safe Cooking Considerations

Both hard-anodized aluminum cookware and porcelain-fused enamel are considered safe. The biggest concern is leaching from the base metal to the food, and if chips in the porcelain are avoided, they are not dangerous. The FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition has deemed enamel-coated cookware safe, including products that are imported.

A Beauty Contest

Hard-anodized aluminum cookware is one color: gray. That’s the result of the oxidation that takes place during the chemical fusion process. Porcelain enamel over a base metal are manufactured in a riot of colors, which makes them ideal additions to well-decorated kitchens. Many cooks tend to collect porcelain enamel cookware in one color and display them as accessories instead of hiding them in cupboards.

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International standard chromium oxide green

Green chrome oxide and other pigmented oxides for a variety of applications including porcelain enamel, refractory, and more.

Applications:
1.Used in the dyeing agent of porcelain enamel and ceramic, leatheroid, structure material and fireproof material;
2.The chrome smelt and chromium carbide;
3.polishing material.;
4.catalyst, paint,ink.

How to clean porcelain enamel

It is best to clean porcelain enamel cookware right away as the surface can crack and chip if food residues are left to dry inside the pot or pan.

Avoid using steel wool scrubbers or other abrasive cleaning items on porcelain enamel. Some porcelain enamel cookware is dishwasher safe, just be sure to check first and to wipe out food residues before putting porcelain enamel in the dishwasher.

As porcelain enamel is part metal, it is typically not microwave safe. It may be useable on induction cooktops, though, so is a great option if you’re looking for cookware options in an energy efficient kitchen.

All in all, I’d say porcelain enamel is a decent option for eco-friendly cookware, but you’re much better off with ceramic, cast iron, carbon steel, stainless steel, or metal-ceramic, rather than porcelain enamel.

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Porcelain Enamel Coatings

Porcelain enamel coatings have their origins in ancient times when they were mainly used for decorative and ornamental purposes. From the industrial revolution onwards, these coatings have started to be used also as functional layers, ranging from home applications up to the use in high-technological fields, such as in chemical reactors.

The excellent properties of porcelain enamel coatings, such as fire resistance, protection of the substrate from corrosion, resistance to atmospheric and chemical degradation, mainly depend and originate from the glassy nature of the porcelain enamel matrix itself. On the other side, the vitreous nature of porcelain enamel coatings limits their application in many fields, where mechanical stress and heavy abrasion phenomena could lead to nucleation and propagation of cracks inside the material, thus negatively affecting the protective properties of this coating. Many efforts have been made to improve the abrasion resistance of enamelled materials.

On this regard, researchers showed encouraging results and proposed many different improvement approaches. Now it is possible to obtain porcelain enamels with enhanced resistance to abrasion. Differently, the investigation of the mechanical properties of porcelain enamel coatings remains a poorly studied topic. In the literature, there are interesting methodological ideas, which could be successfully applied to the mechanical study of enamelled materials and could allow to have further insights on their behaviour. Thus, the path that should be followed in the future includes the mechanical characterization of these coatings and the search for new solutions to address their brittle behaviour.

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Advances in Porcelain Enamel Technology

Porcelain is made from baked clay

Porcelain itself is a ceramic material made from a type of white clay called kaolin, plus feldspars, quartz, steatite, and other rocks. To make regular porcelain, the whole mixture is baked at 1300-1400 degrees. Porcelain enamel is made when the porcelain is melted together with a stronger metal. This makes porcelain enamel cookware both light and strong, with low porosity, so it is naturally non-stick.

Pay attention to porcelain coatings

Oddly enough, though, some companies seem to want to coat their porcelain enamel cookware with chemical non-stick coatings or to use potentially toxic heavy metals and other compounds in glazes and in the enamel mixture. It pays to be picky about porcelain enamel cookware and to ask questions of manufacturers if it’s not clear what they use in their pots and pans.

Unlike somewhat terrifying porcelain dolls that could be extras in a Stephen King movie adaptation, porcelain enamel cookware is a fun addition to the kitchen. That’s because it is available in a variety of colors and does not fade or peel when used according to instructions. My advice, though, would be to avoid porcelain enamel in reddish tones and to favor those that are blue, given that some Le Creuset models with a red tone have tested positive for lead and cadmium. The Signature Enameled Cast Iron Braiser (in a blue shade like Marseille or Marine) from Le Creuset is a good option for one-pot meals (View on Amazon).

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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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