Advancing the Science of Porcelain Enameling

The 65th PEI Technical Forum will provide an opportunity for porcelain enamel suppliers and end users to learn how to improve their formulations and application techniques.

Porcelain enamel suppliers and end users from around the world will gather in Nashville, Tenn., May 12-15, 2003, for the 65th PEI Technical Forum, hosted by the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI). The forum will include a small exhibition, called the Suppliers’ Mart, as well as more than 25 presentations on a variety of technical issues, such as frit raw materials, steel manufacturing and applications, cast iron porcelain enameling, new porcelain enameling technologies, laboratory investigations, recycling and industrial waste materials, and environmental and regulatory issues.

The forum will also include a Back to Basics Workshop. Following is a brief overview of what attendees can expect to find at this year’s meeting.

Educational Opportunities

The event will begin at 5 p.m. on Monday, May 12, with the Suppliers’ Mart and reception. On Tuesday, May 13, attendees can enhance their knowledge of porcelain enameling by attending PEI’s 18th Back to Basics Workshop. The first session of the workshop, which will be held from

8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m., will include discussions on metal selection; design and fabrication; cleaning and metal preparation; and porcelain enameling frit, raw materials and mill additions. The second session, scheduled for 1:15 to 4:45 p.m., will cover wet porcelain enamel coating; electrostatic powder coating; drying and firing; inspection, handling and storage; and defect analysis and troubleshooting.

Frit/glass is poured out of a continuous smelter at the beginning of the porcelain enamel process. Photo courtesy of Pemco Corp., Baltimore, Md.

Porcelain Enameling Improvements

The Technical Forum will open on Wednesday, May 14, with the A. I. Andrews Memorial Lecture, which will be presented by Richard Lehman, Ph.D., a professor at Rutgers University. Lehman will build on his “The Structure of Glass” lecture, presented in 2001, by taking a deeper look into the structure and resultant properties of glass. Structure/property relationships will be considered, along with the influences of various glassmaking components and raw materials. The goal of the presentation is to provide listeners with a greater appreciation of the complexity of glass structures and a basic understanding of porcelain enamel in the overall world of glass and coatings.

A session on frit raw materials will include a discussion of lithium-bearing minerals, the merits of anhydrous sodium tetraborate versus 5-mole sodium tetraborate in various porcelain enamel and specialty glass applications, and infrared reflective mixed metal oxide pigments. A session on steel manufacturing and applications will include presentations on basic steelmaking, porcelain enamel steel products and applications, and antimicrobial steels.

In a session on cast iron porcelain enameling, speakers will discuss the production of metal castings using the “lost foam” technique and the enameling of cast iron by electrophoretic deposition. A session on new technologies will include an overview of no-transfer powder porcelain systems, ready-to-use enamel systems and acid-resistant satin finishes.

Other sessions will cover topics such as improvements in water heater coatings, infrared firing of porcelain enamel, alternative uses for industrial waste materials and Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance issues facing porcelain enamel companies.

Plant Tours and Troubleshooting

On Thursday, May 15, attendees will be able to choose between visiting the nearby Saturn Manufacturing or Electrolux Home Products plants (reservations are required). Alternatively, attendees can participate in the annual Troubleshooting Seminar, moderated by Tony Mazzuca, Pemco Corp. The seminar will address many common porcelain enamel processing and finished product defects and will explore some typical causes and solutions. Participants are encouraged to bring “problem” production parts for examination and discussion.

For more information:

For more information, contact PEI at (770) 281-8980, fax (770) 281-8981, e-mail or visit

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