Effect pigments are an indispensable part of the paint and coatings industry. In this infographic we define effect pigments and how they differ from absorption pigments. We outline the three overarching categories of effects pigments (metallic flake, pearlescent and special effect pigments) and the industries that benefit from these specialty coatings.
Click on the infographic to the left for a larger view.
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Highlights from the infographic:
- One-dimensional absorption pigments absorb certain wavelengths of incidental light and reflect the rest, producing observable color
- Effect pigments reflect light in unique ways to produce color variations, luster, sparkle, shimmer and more.
- Two-dimensional metallic pigments use small, flat pieces of metal to reflect light and produce a luster.
- Metallic flake pigments can be solvent- or waterborne and have either leafing or non-leafing flakes.
- Multi-layered, or three-dimensional, interference pigments reflect light through the pigment’s various layers to create a changing array of color.
- Pearlescent pigments coat a high-refractive-index metal oxide layer onto a transparent, low-refractive-index substrate, which can be either natural or synthetic.
- Fluorescent, phosphorescent, thermochromic and photochromic pigments are special effect pigments that interact with UV light or heat.
- Effect pigments have important uses in the automotive, architectural, consumer electronics, signage and document security industries.
- Lewarchik, R. Using Effects Pigments for Limitless Coatings Design Purposes. 6 May 2016. Overland Park (KS): UL Prospector.
- Hollman, A. Decorative and Functional Metallic Effect Pigments. 4 April 2016. Troy (MI): Paint & Coatings Industry Magazine.
- Moyer B, Swank D, Peng Q. Luminous Metal Effect Pigments. 1 June 2014. Troy (MI): Paint & Coatings Industry Magazine.
- The Chemistry and Physics of Special Effect Pigments and Colorants for Inks and Coatings. 15 June 2003. Troy (MI): Paint & Coatings Industry Magazine.
- Pearlescent Pigments: The Science of Optics. 23 Feb 2009. Armonk (NY): SP Morell and Company.
- Weingrod C. Three Dimensional Color and Interference Pigments. Seattle (WA): Daniel Smith, Inc.
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