What is Enamel?

Vitreous Enamel

Vitreous enamel – A natural material that is born from fire, is immune to corrosion and as pure as glass, comes in a huge range of colours that remain unaffected by time and atmospheric conditions, can always be recycled… A coating that offers a global, utterly versatile response to the requirements of all sorts of industrial sectors.

All ancient cultures have known and applied enamel to decorate and provide light and colour for jewellery and ornaments, even developing highly sophisticated techniques.

Thanks to the resistance of the enamel these objects have maintained the splendour of their decorations intact over the centuries.

How it is produced
Porcelain enamel is an inorganic and vitreous coating used on metals for protective, functional, and decorative purposes. After applying enamel to the base surface, vitrification firing is carried out at a very high temperature.

This procedure triggers between the two surfaces chemical and physical reactions which create a new material combining the properties of glass (hygiene and hardness) and those of the base metal (resistance, formability and lightness).

Rarely has the joining of two such different materials given such brilliant and versatile results, both in terms of aesthetics and performance. For this reason porcelain enamel has always enjoyed increasing growth, parallel to the search for new areas of use and formulae which comply with increasingly strict requirements.

Its properties
The chemical composition of enamel varies according to the base surface and the characteristics to be enhanced in the end product.

In general all enamels ensure:

:: to fire
:: to cold (-50°C) and to heat (450°C)
:: to thermal shock
:: to corrosion by acids and alkali at ambient temperature, organic solvents and atmospheric agents, scratching and abrasion (Mohs hardness 5.5 – 7.5)

Hygiene and non-toxicity
:: the non-porous surface prevents the implantation and development of bacteria colonies, mold and dirt. Chemically inert, it does not absorb smells and does not release harmful substances.

Easy cleaning
:: does not require any special maintenance.

:: can be coloured in an extremely wide range of gloss, matt and semi-matt tones. The surface is smooth, compact and with a perfect finish.

Colour fastness
:: the colours remain fast, bright and shiny in time, even under the effect of light, UV rays and atmospheric agents.

Respect for the environment
:: it is a natural and environmentally friendly product, fully recyclable.

Its applications
On an industrial scale, enamel is used above all as a protection for ferrous materials (steel and cast iron) subject to rapid deterioration, rust and corrosion: enamelling protects them in time, avoiding high costs of maintenance and replacement. In recent years the applications have extended increasingly also to products with base surfaces which corrode less (aluminium, copper, stainless steel): valid confirmation of the aesthetic and functional worth, and also protective, of this material. For these reasons porcelain enamel has been used most extensively in the home: from pans to kitchen utensils, from sanitaryware to electrical appliances and components for building.

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