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Can a Laser Be Used on Enamels?


#1

My brain was wandering yesterday, and an odd thought occurred to me,
so I came to inquire among the many wise heads on Orchid. This
might be an incredibly foolish question especially since I have
never seen a jewlery laser in operation.

Can a laser be used on enamels?

I can see some potential problems, but again never having worked w/
a laser I just don’t know.

The glass (refractive index) of vitreous enamel is potentially a
large impediment. On the other hand, if a surface is roughed up,
can the laser effectively deliver enough heat in a very small area
to repair cracks in an enameled piece?

Would a laser generate too much heat differential in a small area
and create further cracks?

Could it be used to actually work directly on powdered enamels, or
would it blow the powders away or would it heat everything so fast
direct contact wouldn’t matter?

Or like torch-firing could a laser work from underneath heating the
metal enough to fuse the glass powders on the other side.

Those are some of the issues that occurred to me on this subject,
I’m sure there are others.

Joel


#2
   I can see some potential problems, but again never having
worked w/ a laser I just don't know. 

I’ve tried to fuse the powdered enamels with the laser and didn’t
have much success. Seems the intense heat in such a small area
scorches the enamel rather than flowing it. When I used a wider
beam, the enamel would flow but not stick to the base metal.I could
see possibly repairing a hairline crack but not filling voids.

   Or like torch-firing could a laser work from underneath heating
the metal enough to fuse the glass powders on the other side. 

Possibly could with a wide, soft beam but that defeats the whole
purpose of the laser. You would have to put the peice in a jig and
use a very fast pulse rate. Would be easier to just throw it in the
oven. Ken


#3

Ken, Thanks for the info. And I hope you don’t mind entertaining a
few more questions. :slight_smile: If the wider beam doesn’t get the glass to
stick to the metal, I wonder if it is because of the heat
differential. Wonder if it would work if you were adding additional
enamel as a 2nd layer, already having laid down a base coat? What
effect would the laser be on laying down foil? Have you ever tried to
use the laser to fix a hole in a plique-a-jour cell? BTW - What’s the
difference in width’s between a wide beam and a narrow beam?

Thanks again Ken for answering the questions emanating from my
foolish brain cells. Joel

I can see some potential problems, but again never having worked w/
a laser I just don't know. 

I’ve tried to fuse the powdered enamels with the laser and didn’t
have much success. Seems the intense heat in such a small area
scorches the enamel rather than flowing it. When I used a wider beam,
the enamel would flow but not stick to the base metal.I could see
possibly repairing a hairline crack but not filling voids.

Or like torch-firing could a laser work from underneath heating the
metal enough to fuse the glass powders on the other side. 

Possibly could with a wide, soft beam but that defeats the whole
purpose of the laser. You would have to put the peice in a jig and
use a very fast pulse rate. Would be easier to just throw it in the
oven. Ken


#4

Hi there, I had this thought (and boy did it hurt :slight_smile: - is the reason
that the the enamel will not stick to the metal because both are not
being heated simultaneously? I get the impression that you are
melting the enamel but not actually affecting the metal underneath.
Eileen