Dichoric Glass - Technical Information

Dichroic glass is the worlds finest coated glass


Dichroic glass has two primary colors. The Transmitted color as
seen when holding the glass to the light and the Reflected color
seen when the glass is placed against a dark background. ie:

Colors are named for the transmitted/reflected color of each piece
and coded by the first letter of each color. For example, YP 3D
Yellow/Purple, where Yellow is the transmitted color and Purple is
the reflected color.

Note: If you fuse dichroic to an dark base, you will only see the
reflected color.

Dichroic sheet glass comes in the following sizes.

a… Full size: 19" diameter (about 2 sq. ft.)

b… Half Size: 1/2 of a 19" diameter (about 1 sq. ft.)

c… Quarter size: 1/4" of a 19" diameter (about .5 sq. ft.) Jewelry
size 1 3/4 by 4 inch

Note: Sheets have flat edges on one side where the machines hold
them for coating.

STANDARD COLORS - Blue/Gold, Cyan/Copper, Cyan/Dark Dark Red,
Cyan/Dark Red, Cyan/Red, Magenta/Green, Pink/Teal, Yellow/Blue,
Yellow/Purple, Rainbow 1 SPECIALTY COLORS - Candy Apple Red, Emerald,
Mixture, Purple, Salmon, Violet ( only one basic color)

PREMIUM COLORS - Green/Magenta, Green/Magenta Blue, Green/Pink,
Red/Silver Blue, Silver Rainbow 2


“Dichroic” is defined as the property of having more than one color,
especially when viewed from different angles. Dichroic glass is a
high-tech spin-off of the space industry. Thin layers of metallic
oxides, such as titanium, silicon, and magnesium are deposited upon
the surface of the glass in a high temperature, vacuum furnace.

The glass to be coated is carefully cleaned, and fastened to a
planetary arm in the top of the furnace chamber. The oxides are
placed in a crucible on the bottom of the chamber. Air inside of
the chamber is removed with a high vacuum-producing cyropump, and the
chamber is heated to 300oF. The metallic oxides are vaporized by an
electron beam, and the rotating glass target is evenly coated with
many thin layers. The resulting color is determined by the individual
oxide compositions.

Dichroic coatings transmit certain wavelengths of light, while
reflecting others, thus creating an interference-effect similar to
the iridescence observed in Nature’s fire opal, dragonfly wings and
hummingbird feathers. The transmitted color is different than the
reflected color, and a third color is produced by viewing the
dichroic piece at a 45o angle. The resulting colors are pure,
saturated, single wavelengths of light, that appear to originate from
within the dichroic piece.

Howard Sandberg, owner of "Coatings by Sandberg, takes special
precautions to insure his coatings have outstanding brilliance and
viability - that is why we selected them as our supplier. The
naming of Dichroic Coated Glass is a confusing topic for the artist
as well as the manufacture since there is no industry standard.
Using the transmitted light and reflected light to describe the
glass seems reasonable and some manufacturers use this scheme.

When the Dichroic Coated Glass is fused or otherwise hotworked, the
color will permanently shift toward the next above color. The amount
of shift must experimentally determined. It is a good idea to make a
test strip, a part of which is shown below.


Take make a strip use Bullseye clear (1101.50 thin) glass. Cut base
plate of sufficient width and then fuse small samples of dichroic
glass onto it, using another piece of clear as a cap.

Below the fused glass, glue another original piece of dichroic
glass. You now have a visual measurement of the shift in color
created when fusing dichroic.


More and more artists are becoming interested in dichroic glass. My
wife and I are both glass artists, I am also a metal smith.

We happen to live in a glass mecca - Portland Oregon. Bulls Eye
Resource Center is about five minutes away. Savoy Studios is about
seven minutes away. Uroborus is right in the middle.

My work consists of fused and or lamp worked glass, set in precious
metals. A real twist to fused glass is layering with strike back
colors. “Strike back” simply means a color shift such as pink. The
material begins as a nice cool light blue then turns pink in the
kiln. Another neat little tick is using neo lavender which really
makes standard colors pop making them look like premium colors.
There I go giving away secrets.

Although my background is stained glass, I belong to a metals guild,
Creative Metal Art Guild - CMAG. CMAG is such an awesome group.

With a little clean up, that burnout oven may of you have, can serve
as a glass kiln. Just in case you want to try your hand at fusing.
I’d be happy to offer any fusing tips.

Jerry in Portland

Dear Jerry: You mentioned neolavender which I have. I’ve worked w/
dichroic glass for eight years now doing a blended cab of all sizes.
Clark & Fonda sold me some neolavendar which I still have but must
not have used it properly as I sprinkled it dry onto my cab which did
nothing. Am I supposed to mix it as a paste w/ my glass glue or
doing something else. I’d greatly appreciate your input…

Audie’s Images.

Audie, If you’re sprinkling the material on then I believe you’re
using frit. Frit powder will work however it’s a bit tricky. A
little too much and the material conceals everything below. Too
light and the color shift is barely distinguishable. An adhesive
would hold the frit in place. When using frit, I use it dry, at
least for my jewelry work.

The preferred method I use, neo lavender in thin sheet form. I
encase most of my work with clear. In some cases both clear and neo
lavender are used. These are applied in sections modifying some
colors but not others.



Thanks for your reply. The material I’m using, neolavendar, is a
very fine powder. Is that a frit? I have frits that are larger in
grain. Regards, Audie Beller.

Hi Audie - Frits come in powder and different sizes of granules up to
big chunks.

I just wanted to mention that I haven’t seen anybody mention yet
that frit must be fired in order to fuse to the glass, so I thought
I’d jump in and bring up that very important step.


Audie, Yes indeed. Frit comes in a variety of grits from large
flakes to powder. Be absolutely sure to wear a dust mask when working
with the frit powder that you have. That powder is fine glass and
you don’t want to inhale even a small amount.