Vitreous Enamel is an extraordinary material. Extraordinary in its performance as well as in its appearance. Therefore it is important that enamelled products are produced with the right skills and technik.
So the European Enamel Association (EEA) made it to its business, to develop, maintain and audit "Quality Requirements“, which are continuously harmonised between the EEA member associations.
EEA Quality Requirements, how do they work?
It is important to have a good understanding of the intent and the scope of the EEA Quality Requirements. The EEA Quality Requirements are the necessary requirements for the enamel layer of enamelled products.
A simple example illustrates the implication of this statement: An enamelled washing machine, displaying the EEA sign does not necessarily wash properly. The EEA sign guarantees that the enamel layer fulfills the EEA reqirements, like colour stability, scratch resistance, adherence, corrosion resistance and resistance against detergents needed to clean laundry.
Therefore it is important to realise that the EEA sign only covers the quality of the enamel layer.
Exceptions to this rule
For many products a well-applied enamel coating is essential for the functionality of the product. A cooking pan with a base which is not flat, may be well enamelled, but will not perform well on an electrical heating plate. It is even possible that that the non-uniform heating of the base damages the enamel. Because surface flatness is an essential condition for a proper use of the pan and at the same time for the durability of the enamel layer, EEA specifies quality requirements for surface flatness of cookware.
Another example refers to heat exchanger pannels. These pannels are packed in large industrial installation. During the packing in the baskets no damage may occur, since the pannels will corrode after installation. Therefore requirements have been included for the enamelled plates after packing.
Enamel has to comply with many requirements. In the EEA Quality Requirements the following subjects are included:
- all procedures for testing, obtaining and retaining the EEA sign
- uniform and internationally standardised definitions of all terminology, used in the requirements
- quality requirements for enamelled products with EEA sign
- test methods to be used to test the products. In principle these are test methods described in international standards, such as ISO- and CEN standards. In cases where no ISO or CEN standards exist, well-known national standards or EEA specifications are referred to quality of the basic materials, such as steel, cast iron, enamel frit and ways to test the properties of these materials
- the characteristic properties of (good) enamel layer, such as corrosion resistance, gloss, hardness, heat - and thermal shock resistance, but also cleaning- and antibacterial properties and the impact of material and process on the environment
- The product categories for which a sign can be obtained and the specific requirements for these categories