Types of Glass Decals for the Spirit and Cosmetic Industry

There are many different types of glass decals that are available on the market today. 

So, if you’re looking to buy some, it’s important to know what the different types are and what they can be used for.

In this blog post, we will discuss the type of glass decals that are used for decorating spirit and wine bottles and also cosmetic glass like candles and perfume bottles. We will also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each type.

Ceramic Decals

Glass decals that are fired at high temperature are also known as ceramic decals.

These inks are made from naturally occurring elements of the earth. The firing temperature is between 600 and 620 degrees, depending on which type of enamel colour is used.

Enamel colours can be lead containing or lead free. Bright red and yellow colours in either type will contain cadmium. If decorating container glass with colours containing lead, it is important to note that 100ppm is the permissible heavy metal content of the whole container after testing. 

The benefits of using ceramic inks for glass decoration is their durability.

As with ceramic decals for actual ceramics, the pigments fuse to the surface becoming one with the substrate. Once correctly fired it will be impossible to scratch this ink from the surface. As with ceramic inks for ceramics, the colour range is limited compared to the colour range of organic pigments described later in this blog. Sweet, bright pinks are not possible with these inks.

The inks are also less adaptable to layering multiple colours, firing issues such as holes may occur when inks are printed on top of each other. 

The decals are coated in a normally yellow resin to facilitate their transfer to the glass piece. 

Organic Decals

Organic decals are manufactured using man made inks.

The curing temperature for bonding to the glass surface is 170 degrees.

Organic decals are completely free from heavy metals and have a virtually limitless colour range. They are made at our factory, and can also contain a hot foil stamp element.

The durability of this type of decal is less than that of a ceramic decal. The overprint varnish that protects the inks can be likened to a household varnish. If you were to scratch with a key aggressively, you would be able to remove the ink from the glass. 

Lithographing and Firing 

The process of applying the decal is called lithography.

The finished screen printed ceramic or organic decal is coated with a resin that allows the image to be placed in water. Here it releases from the gummed backing paper.

Once soaked, remove the decal from the water where it will become loose on top of the moist gum. The decorator should then lightly wet the object to be decorated; then slide the decal onto the glazed / glass surface.

Position the design to suit and then squeeze the excess water from the surface using a small decorators rubber. Using a dry, lint free cloth is used to finally smooth away excess moisture.

The piece should then be allowed to dry completely before firing or curing.

In the case of ceramic decals they are fired with the carrier coating in place. For organic decals it is always necessary to remove the peelable coating first before curing at the lower temperature.

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