ÖSTERREICHISCHER EMAIL VERBAND
It is said that an alchemist found a wonderful type of glass in the slag of his crucible after trying to create gold out of a mixture. This glass was so beautiful as nothing he had seen before so that he started to use his experience for mixing with other glazing and after a long time and big troubles he found the way to produce enamel.
Long before Common Era people from eastern Asia, Chinese, Japanese, Indians and people from the area of the black sea achieved high reputation for this type of art. Enamel started its history as a type of art. The first prime time of enamel artwork is mentioned in the fifth to tenth century anno Domini in Byzantium. You have to point out the enamel art at the Rhine from the 11th to 14th century and in Limoges, France from the 12th to 17th century.
Enamel on the way to an industrial Product
J. Gottlieb Justi gave the advice to use glass lined steel dishes instead of harmful copper dishes.
The metallurgical plant Königsbronn in Würtemberg started to sell such dishes.
The Swedish mineralogist Sven Rinmann gave a description of trials with a glass coating for sheet metal. Soon these trials led to his opinion that his easy and also very primitive way is very suitable for cooking accessories. As a suitable material Rinmann found the melted mixture of crystal glass, minium, potash, saltpeter, borax, tin ash and cobalt chalk. These substances had extreme importance for the later development of enamel although Rinmann did not know the importance of tin oxide and cobalt oxide. In the 18th century enamel was not very common anymore. The enamel artwork was reanimated in the 19th century by adapting it to the modern needs. This former small type of art developed into an industry during the period of coal and steel.
The importance of the oxides from cobalt and nickel for the adhesion of the enamel layer was identified.
The adhesion problem was clarified by A. Dietzel. During the following decades important scientists and practitioners worked hard on the field of industrial enamelling. Although the development of the enamel led to a maximum possible perfection the advancement of special enamel coatings and new application methods to provide modern enamel coatings and state of the art methods will remain a permanent aim.