What Are Onglaze Ceramic Decals?

Onglaze decals are probably the most common type of ceramic decal.

They are printed using ceramic pigments that fire between 800 and 830 degrees. These decals are placed and fired directly onto a glazed surface. The temperature used means the enamel ink sits on top of the glaze when fired.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Onglaze Decals

Onglaze decals have the greatest colour range of all the ceramic decal types; this is due to the fact they have the lowest firing temperature. The lower firing temperature equates to a lower energy requirement. 

As the ceramic pigment sits on top of the glaze, this does however mean that they are less durable than inglaze or underglaze decals. Onglaze decals are however very durable.

The difference to consider would be as to which setting they are being used in. Ceramics used in a restaurant or hotel would see significantly more use than those used in a domestic setting.

How to Apply Onglaze Decals

The process of applying the decal is called lithography.

The finished screen printed ceramic decal is coated with a resin that allows the image to be placed in water where 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 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 to finally smooth away excess moisture.

The piece should then be allowed to dry completely before firing. The yellow resin that is the carrier coating will disappear when fully fired.

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