Paint production is not just about getting the right color variation, whose production can be everlasting but rather ensuring that some standards are reached and consistent. How do you think the paint sticks to your painted steel handrail? What substances are used to enable color to hold the viscosity, coating and brightness? What is a pigment dispersion? What are the properties of quality pigment dispersion? Well, we will answer all these questions in this article so you could understand better the whole subject about the colors and pigments. Now, let us introduce to paint.
What are the paints?
The paint is far more than just a color that you apply to achieve beautiful and cool design. Paint consists of three key components: a resin, pigment and solvent. The first one is a mixture of various resins that are creating the paint film, and these can vary depending on the final property and look of the paint. The pigment is the second layer of the color which enables the mentioned film to hide the material that we are trying to color, and it would not be possible to apply the color without it. The solvent is a substance that allows the applied color to achieve a certain consistency and they must dry out/evaporate before the paint can dry up.
What is a pigment dispersion?
Disperse pigments are powder-like substances that contain various particles of different sizes (the measurements are in microns like 0.22 microns) which are mixed with a “vehicle” (the term for the mixture of solvent and resin) to achieve good quality. In order to produce the high quality paints, these particles must not change their size when mixed with the vehicle. If they do change their sizes, you will get a paint that has no opacity and glossiness, or even the wrong color variation. Once they are combined with the vehicle, they can form aggregates. When these aggregates form, it is necessary to “tear them apart” and prevent the re-aggregating process. This is the pigment dispersion process and it usually has several steps: wetting, de-aggregation of clustered pigments and stabilization. Since this process is very complex, we will stop here for the sake of this article and we will continue on some other occasion.
What are the necessary attributes of a good pigment dispersion?
In order to achieve a good pigment dispersion, pigments must have a high level of lightfastness to prevent fading of the color over time. The certain level of viscosity of the color must be achieved in order to get the good pigment dispersion and better coating of the color. Good drying is also crucial for the quality of color in order to get a nice final flashy look once the paint is applied and dried up. Beside these, the pigment size is essential for the whole process of paint manufacture as the size of particles influence the transparency and the better lifetime of a color. The smaller these particles are, the higher the quality of paint is achieved.