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What's the Difference Between Hard and Soft Enamel?

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What's the Difference Between Hard and Soft Enamel?

  • 2018-08-01 11:23:03
  • David Braun

One of the most often asked questions is what's the difference between Hard and Soft Enamel badges.

The short answer is hard enamel is polished flat and soft enamel has recessed enamel. The detail that can be achieved in them is also different.


Soft Enamel

Soft Enamel badges

First, the image is stamped in the metal and cut to size. The badges are then plated in the metal plating such as gold or nickel. After this, the enamel is added in the recessed areas and put through ovens to bake the enamel hard. When dry the enamel clings to the edges and recessed below the metal die line (that stops the enamels mixing). This gives the soft enamel the 'bumpy' feel when you run your finger over the top. We can add an epoxy resin coating to soft enamel to protect the enamel and give the effect that the enamel is smooth, this, to some can make the enamel appear flat but is not hard enamel.


Hard Enamel

custom hard enamel pins

For hard enamel, the enamel is added before the plating is added, the enamel is added and polished flat to the same level as the metal die lines. Each color must be baked in the oven one by one which adds to the process and cost. Once all the colors have been added then the badge can be electroplated and polished again to complete the badge. The numerous polishing process is why the badge can achieve slightly less detail than soft enamel and why some of the metal lines are likely to spread in production and be thicker than the original design. Our hard enamel process is a modern process of the traditional hard enamel process and the main difference between our hard enamels is the actual enamel. Want more detail difference between soft enamel and hard enamel at www.doylabel.com.


Traditional hard enamel use glass based enamels which mean Pantone matching cannot be achieved and the enamel has more pigment.


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