Enamelled steel, a strong bond

Vitreous enamelling has been acknowledged for centuries as one of the most durable ways to protect metals against abrasion, temperature and corrosion.
In recent years, driven by ever-stricter environmental legislation, the enamelling industry has evolved by limiting or avoiding the use of hazardous compounds. 

Vitreous enamelling remains an interesting manner to protect metals against corrosion, abrasion, high temperature, etc. However, obtaining the strong link requires several competences. 

It is a matter of chemistry & physics, of surface design, of morphology and composition. And all that at the same time for two very different materials: a crystaline metal, and an amorphous oxide glass.  Full understanding of all mechanisms involved at this particular interface, demands expertise on different topics.

OCAS’ skilled staff and state-of-the-art equipment not only provide technical support to production lines and their customers, but also boost the development of future enamelled products.

Over the past years, OCAS gathered a lot ot knowledge in the field of:

  • surface cleanliness
  • surface composition
  • surface morphology such as roughness, pickling, brushing and sand blasting
  • electrochemistry & diffusion processes
  • dissolution at high temperature
  • thermodynamics: redox potentials, oxidation at high temperature, firing process window
  • mechanical testing: impact, flexion, Klotz test, finite element modelling

        

On top of that, the traditional adherence mechanism for enamelling is based on heavy metals, which are soon to be replaced to fulfil REACH* regulations. Also, the new health & safety rules about food contact and drinking water quality regulation has recently changed. Collaboration with customers and their enamel suppliers, enables the OCAS enamel team to understand process issues and to propose novel approaches which are fully REACH-compliant and at the same time reduce the cost of the customer’s process. 

*REACH is the abbreviation for the (=Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, the European regulation on chemical substances)

Combining our expertise in the fields of coating and metallurgy, we recently developed a new concept for a durable, ecological, easy to shape and light-weight enamelled product, at an affordabe price.

Marc Leveaux, Senior project leader at surfaces department, OCAS