Merck Effect Pigments
- story by MaterialDistrict
Merck Effect Pigments are divided in four specific product ranges:
- Iriodin effect pigments enable pearl lustre, glitter, or interference effects in all desired colours.
- Colorstream, multicolor effect pigments.
- Xirallic produces a sparkling effect.
- Minatec can produce electrically conductive surfaces which is especially important for antistatic areas.
Iriodin is the trademark for the pearl lustre pigments. Based on the natural mineral mica, they are covered with a thin layer of metal oxides, for example titanium dioxide and/or iron oxide. Through interplay of transparency, refraction index, coating and multiple reflections, a variety of colour effects (silver-white, interference, gold and metallic lustre effects) is achieved. All Iriodin pigments can be used alone or in combination with other colours. Iriodin pigments meet the latest findings in product safety and environmental compatibility and are non-flammable, electrically non-conductive and are temperature stable up to 800°C. Furthermore, they’re free from polluting heavy metals, react neutrally upon disposal, since as mineral pigments they are insoluble in water (as well as in solvents) and do not decompose. They present no problems with disposal, are non-toxic and therefore suitable for food packaging and correspond to the European norm EN 71/Section 3 for toys. They also present no problems in plastic recycling.
Colorstream pigments are different from conventional pigments through their physical and geometrical attributes, which are based on synthetically manufactured SiO2 (Silicium dioxide) platelets that are coated with metal oxides. The very thin, smooth pigment particles create unusual, iridescent interference effects. The colour transformation can even be seen well in subdued lighting conditions. The special feature of these pigments is the soft, flowing transition from one colour to another. Owing to the soft, flowing colour transitions, Colorstream multicolour effect pigments are best suited for applications in automobile manufacturing, printing inks, plastics, varnishes etc.
Xirallic effect pigments are based on aluminium oxide ( Al2O3 ) platelets coated with metal oxides. The Al2O3 platelets are produced synthetically using a new crystallisation process. The fine grain size (5 – 30 μm) and a narrow particle size distribution guarantee the problem-free implementation in application. This new type of substrate for the Xirallic pigments enables a very strong glitter effect. Lighter body colour, greater colour intensity and a more powerful lustre are the advantages of these pigments.
Minatec’s special feature is its substrate layer structure in which mica, an inactive substrate core, is coated with a dense layer of a conductive inorganic mix of metal oxides (tin oxide mixed with antimony varnish).Pure tin oxide is actually an insulator, which after doping with antimony becomes a semi-conductor. With its platelet-shaped design, the mica core provides a way to optimally support the outer shell in its function. The flat design of the pigment is especially suited for conductive ways, since there emerges a method of pigments within the top layer of the varnish.