Controlling the Color of Lead-Free Red Overglaze Enamels and a Process for Preparing High-Quality Red Paints

Hideki Hashimoto, Hirofumi Inada, Yuki Okazaki, Taigo Takaishi, Tatsuo Fujii, Jun Takada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Akae porcelain, an artistic Japanese traditional overglaze ceramic typically known for Kakiemon-style ware, has fascinated porcelain lovers around the world for over 400 years because of the graceful red color displayed by akae that matches so well with white porcelain bodies. In this work, we clarified the factors that control the color of akae and those that are conventionally controlled by artisans based on empirical experience. Inspired by a recent particle-design method, we also developed a practical facile process to prepare red paints that yields high-quality akae. Various akae samples were prepared from a combination of lead-free alkali borosilicate glass frits with different particle sizes and hematite powders with differing dispersibilities. Polarized light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy analyses indicate that considering only the dispersibility of hematite powders is not sufficient, but the frit-particle size must be controlled to obtain high-quality akae with a high reflectance value for ≥580 nm visible light. In addition, we developed a process for preparing high-quality red paints that uses a large-particle frit powder and a strongly aggregated-hematite powder, both of which are easily obtainable. The red paint composed of frit, hematite, and the solvent is mixed until the paint is drying. By adding more solvent and repeating this process three times, we obtained high-quality akae with a higher reflectance value than for the akae prepared from a frit with submicron-sized particles and weakly aggregated-hematite powder. On the basis of transmission electron microscopic observations, we consider the red paint to consist of a core/shell-like composite structure of frit and hematite, forming a three-dimensional network in the akae glass layer. The good dispersibility of these particles leads to high-quality akae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10918-10928
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - May 4 2016


  • core/shell composite particles
  • hematite
  • lead-free frit
  • particle size
  • red overglaze enamels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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