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New Paper Shows How Anhydrous Borax Improves Glaze Adhesion

:: Monday, July 17, 2023 :: Posted By Kee Lung
Adhesiveness test results from research study by Sinopigment & Enamel Chemicals Ltd. and U.S. Borax. Download the technical bulletin for full results.
 

Authors

Throughout history, borates have played a pivotal role in ceramics, including the production of enamel glazes.

Recently, a new paper from researchers at U.S. Borax and Sinopigment & Enamel Chemicals, reveals how using anhydrous borax in enamel glazes can offer superior adhesion and lower the energy required for melting.

We studied how anhydrous borax affected the adhesiveness in the metal/glaze interface with two techniques: Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) techniques.

Findings from this paper show how ceramics manufacturers can:

  • Improve energy efficiency
  • Reduce volatile emissions
  • Lower sodium nitrate dosage
  • Enhance productivity

Ultimately, anhydrous borax can improve your product quality, while also saving time and money.

Improving enamel frits efficiency

In enamel frits, anhydrous borax enhances both production efficiency (lowering melting temperatures) and product quality (strong adhesion between glaze and metal substrate).

With the ceramics industry prioritizing sustainability, there’s more pressure on manufacturers to find better ways of operating without sacrificing product quality.

Anhydrous borax present an exciting solution for accomplishing both objectives.

The anhydrous advantage

What gives anhydrous borates an advantage when used in enamel glaze production? Mainly, the higher boric oxide content and melting without dehydration.

Traditional borax products such as borax pentahydrate are roughly 49% boric oxide. Whereas anhydrous borax is highly concentrated featuring B2O3 content of around 69%.

That difference, paired with anhydrous borax’s melting without dehydration, lowers the necessary melting energy, reduces boron emission, and allows producers to increase batch capacity.

Anhydrous borax offer benefits beyond just energy savings and boron emissions reduction. Benefits include obvious productivity increase and even eliminating the need for sodium nitrate, depending on the furnace environment.

Our findings

But how does anhydrous borax impact the adhesiveness of enamel products? That’s the question our research sought to quantify.

In partnership with Sinopigment & Enamel Chemicals, our team performed plant trials, testing the adhesiveness of enamel glazes prepared with Dehybor®, our anhydrous borax product. The outcomes?

Enamel glazes prepared with Dehybor had smaller peeling areas than those prepared with hydrous borates, indicating anhydrous borates resulted in better adhesion.

The plant studies also showed that Dehybor did not expand as much as borax pentahydrate when heated, resulting in less boron emissions. One gas firing furnace had a reduction of 6%.

Download the research paper

Consider Dehybor for your enamel frit

Leading ceramics manufacturers trust Dehybor for their processes because it significantly reduces energy use.

Dehybor is a free-flowing granular product made from the dehydration and fusion of borax. It’s available in two grades of particle size distribution, and due to its higher bulk density and anhydrous state, the product is easy to ship, handle, and store.

With Dehybor, you can ensure your enamel glazes adhere better to metal substrates, protecting your products from surface damage.

Curious to know if Dehybor is right for your processes? Contact our technical team to learn more about anhydrous borates in enamel glazes and what you need to consider before converting to this product.

 

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U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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