Skip to main content

Enamel research project a shining success for Prince

Increasingly stringent legislation is forcing chemical manufacturers to adopt new production methods. For Prince, or more specifically its enamel production site in Bruges, this meant developing a new environmentally friendly enamel powder. Sirris spent two years carrying out intensive scientific research to this end, resulting in a positive outcome in 2015.
  • Research project on adhesion mechanisms 
  • Non-toxic substances identified 
  • Patent application for production method

 

Prince International Corporation is a global producer and distributor of minerals, additives and coatings, with the tagline ‘source to solution’. Its Bruges division manufactures high-performance components for enamel coatings used to protect a range of products including kitchen appliances, water tanks, silos, boilers, cookers and tunnel walls.

“Industrial support in the fullest sense: applying basic science to arrive at new insights, culminating in a patent application.”

Environmental legislation steering innovation

Enamel coatings have been used to protect and decorate metal surfaces since time immemorial. Prince produces the basic material used for this purpose: a fine enamel powder that is fused to the metal surface by firing it at high temperature. Oxides of heavy metals such as cobalt and nickel are used to create a strong adhesion. However, with European REACH legislation imposing ever stricter environmental requirements, Prince had to look for an alternative – more environmentally friendly – way to create the adhesion between metal and enamel. 

Basic science as starting point

In its search for new avenues, Prince contacted Sirris in 2013 and we worked together on an R&D project that ended in 2015. This involved researching new adhesion mechanisms, in order to develop a new environmentally friendly enamel powder. The biggest challenge was identifying the adhesion mechanisms using basic science so as to generate new insights.  

New patented method

The research project came to a successful end in 2015. In collaboration with Sirris, Prince has introduced alternative, non-toxic chemicals that provide excellent adhesion of the enamel coating while also meeting European environmental regulations. The company immediately filed a patent application for the new production method.