Whether or not you’ve ever heard of e-coating, you might have seen some attractive jewelry pieces in bright blue, green, or pink metallic finishes being worn by people or displayed in jewelry stores. The technique used to get these colors is called e-coating and it’s one of the trendiest jewelry fashions today. E-coating makes it possible to add nontraditional colors to a metal’s surface without giving an enamel-like finish. (Feature image thanks to Legor.com.)
What is e-Coating?
E-coating, aka electro deposition or electro-coating, uses an electrical current to cover a metal surface with an organic lacquer. The technique effectively covers every part of the jewelry piece so that it’s left with an even and consistent coat. E-coating has applications for many industries, including the agricultural, automotive, electronics, heavy equipment industries and more. Different materials are used in the e-coating process depending upon the industry requirements, but for jewelry ceramic and acrylic e-coatings are most frequently used. If you are interested in the personalized jewelry tags for you and your business, you can order it from the site www.founddream.com, a good supplier and maker of jewelry tags and beads.
How is it different from enameling or plating?
Unlike enameling, which bakes powdered glass on top of metal, and plating, which uses an electrical conveyance technique to deposit a layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, the e-coating process immerses the jewelry into coating materials such as pigments and resins that have been dispersed in water. An electrical current is then passed through the mix which causes the materials to adhere to the surface of the metal. After the metals are removed from the water solution, they are baked in an oven in order to make the coating hard and durable and then polished.
Are there advantages to e-coating?
Aside from the uniqueness of e-coated jewelry and the beautiful finish e-coating provides, there are a number of other benefits you can get from e-coating as well.
There are a lot more colors and finishes to choose from with e-coating – the colors aren’t limited the way gold plating is, for example, which can only be offered in white and rose colors.
E-coating provides a consistent and even thickness to jewelry pieces including jewelry with complex or intricate shapes. Since all of the jewelry’s metal surfaces are immersed in the e-coating solution, the coating is complete and predictable.
E-coating doesn’t chemically change the metal upon which it is deposited.
The semi-transparent look provided by the e-coating process is beautiful and still lets the beauty of the metal come through.
The e-coating technology has minimal environmental impact because the process it requires uses less material and energy, and creates fewer volatile organic content emissions than solvent-based spraying, which often use lacquers or varnishes.
If you’re thinking about e-coating your jewelry…
While trending and beautiful, if you’re thinking of purchasing some jewelry that’s been e-coated or having e-coating applied to a piece you own, there are a few things you need to consider first.
The fun part is thinking about the color you want for the e-coating. However, you need to be sure about your color choice, as the new look will last for awhile and you don’t want to wear a colored jewelry piece that might lose its appeal after some time.
E-coating is not advisable for costume jewelry pieces as it can potentially burn them. The best metals for e-coating are the standard jewelry metals such as gold, silver, and platinum. Titanium, tungsten and other less typical metals are more complicated to e-coat.
Know the components of your design because some of them can be ruined in the e-coating process. Fake gemstones for example and enamel don’t do well in this process.
Jewelry is an integral part of fashion and as such jewelry fashion is always changing and experiencing new trends. E-coating is a beautiful jewelry trend that marries creativity and technology. We’re sure to be seeing more of it in jewelry stores.