Photochromic Effect in Engobes Containing Titanium Frits as Opacifiers

Melchiades, F. G.; Santos, L. R.; Nastri, S.; Leite, Á. P.; Boschi, A. O.
March 2013
Interceram: International Ceramic Review;Mar2013, Vol. 62 Issue 1, p16
Trade Publication
Engobes are intermediate layers applied between the paste and the glaze on ceramic tiles for the main purpose of concealing the color of the ceramic support. For engobes to perform this function effectively, opacifiers -- often zirconite -- are used in their composition. However, the price of this raw material on the international market has fluctuated significantly in recent years, motivating the search for new opacifiers. To this end, frits containing large amounts of titanium have been developed as alternatives for the opacification of engobes. The purpose of this study was to verify the effectiveness of this option for engobe opacification, considering that the literature indicates the existence of an optical phenomenon called the photochromic effect associated with the presence of sphene crystals in ceramic glazes. Engobes containing titanium in the form of crystalline raw materials and frits were applied to ceramic tile supports and their color was characterized spectrophotometrically immediately after firing and after controlled periods of exposure to ultraviolet radiation. The results indicate that engobes containing titanium frits undergo significant changes in color after short periods of exposure to ultraviolet radiation.


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