When to Purchase a Steel Backed Cameo vs. Pure Porcelain

Steel Backed Cameo Vs. Pure Porcelain

When purchasing a color or black and white cameo for your headstone you must consider all the environmental factors that your cameo will be exposed to. You will need to understand both choices and the impact of each porcelain cameo and a steel backed cameo.

80 yr porcelain

Steel backed porcelain photos are fired on a steel blank containing iron. There is no manufacturer that uses Stainless steel because of the chemistry of Stainless it does not lend itself to the high kiln processing temps. Steel will rust when exposed to oxygen and this is accomplished when the glass surface gets chipped or scratched. This can be done during the installation at the factory, a flying stone from the mowers or machinery driving over your monument. Cemeteries water and fertilize constantly and this is a deadly combination when it sits on the porcelain steel photo baking in the sun.

Steel backed photos are generally installed using Silicone rubber adhesives which does not offer much compressive strength when trucks and equipment run over the photos. This movement from the heavy equipment will flex the steel and cause micro glass cracks on the porcelain barrier leading to water penetrating into and rusting.

Steel cameo delam

Porcelain photographs on the other hand are impervious to water entry, they are more resistant to cracking when installed using a mortar compound and not silicone rubber.

Some of the greatest Porcelain dishes was found in the Titanic after 50 years of being submersed underwater. They were pure porcelain.

If you are setting a grave marker or porcelain photograph in a cemetery located along the coast in close proximity to the Pacific or Atlantic oceans with high salt content it would be best served using a pure porcelain photo. Hawaii, Guam and the South Pacific are areas that Porcelain will be your best choices. I have included pictures of both Steel and Porcelain showing the effects of steel after only 7 years and a porcelain photo located 500 ft from the Hawaiian Pacific coast after 80+ years.

If you see corrosion on your porcelain photos at your cemetery always go back to the shop you purchased it from and demand a warranty replacement.

steel cameos El Toro 007

The Author

Josh Rapozo

American Headstone Company is a family business located in southern California. We have been in business since 1983 offering beautiful Granite memorial stones and cast Bronze flat markers and Bronze memorial plates. We are Orange Counties premier supplier of granite markers to the cemetery industry, offering both flat and vertical grave markers. Our expertise is in the custom design of each headstone, cremation marker, pet marker, tombstone, granite memorial plate, flat cemetery markers and stone monuments.