Vitreous enamel is the colourful result of fusing powdered glass to a surface, such as cast iron, by firing it at an extremely high heat in a furnace at a temperature between 750 and 850 degrees centigrade. It is the firing process that gives vitreous enamel its unique combination of properties.
Vitreous enamel has many excellent properties. It is smooth, hard, chemically resistant, durable, can be blended into brilliant, long-lasting colours, and cannot burn. Its durability has found it many functional applications, including early 20th century advertising signs, interior oven walls, cooking pots, exterior walls of kitchen appliances, cast iron bathtubs, farm storage silos, and processing equipment such as chemical reactors and pharmaceutical chemical process tanks… and range cookers, of course.
The colours are produced with the addition of various minerals, often metal oxides cobalt, praseodymium, iron, or neodymium. Enamel can be transparent, opaque or translucent. Harper's standard colours are black, claret, dark blue, cream, british racing green and pewter, as well as the more specialised shades of mustard yellow, red, royal blue, dark pewter, wedgewood blue, powder blue and white. In addition to these, Harper will match any colour you request as best we can and can even produce a decorative design, including the Union Flag and Stars & Stripes.