The Importance of Opacity on Coatings Applications
Opacity is a “material’s optical property related to the refractive index” and is one of the key characteristics when determining the quality of paint. When a coating is opaque, the pigment particles scatter and/or absorb light sufficiently to prevent it from reaching the substrate. According to a recent article published by Special Chem (December, 2020), pigments in a coating are key to not only providing color, but also achieving the ideal opacity for the intended application. Inorganic pigments provide excellent opacity and enhanced durability at a lower cost. Certain organic pigments are designed for high opacity and are used to create bright, clean colors. However, it is difficult to achieve high opacity with organic yellows and reds for architectural coatings (hence the use of yellow and red primers in some cases). TiO2 is the most used pigment in paint formulations to increase opacity due to its exceptional hiding power. Other ways that opacity can be achieved in coatings applications include improving the paint’s rheological profile and transfer to wall (leveling), use of extenders, and using opaque polymers.
Opaque coatings are highly desirable for automotive, industrial, and architectural coatings. The reasoning behind it, is that opaque coatings will hide the substrate better, and save on time and product quantity (ie. Painting a wall with a more opaque paint will reduce the layers necessary to hide the substrate and therefore save on labor (time) and material (paint required). On a larger scale, an airplane painted with two coats versus three, will be significantly more lightweight in the air. This translates to savings in time to paint, materials, and thousands of dollars in gas savings each year. To better understand this concept of cost in use, you can read the entire case study.
There is a lot of hype now about one-coat paint in the specialty and decorative coatings markets. One-coat paints are a term used to describe a ‘heavy, thick acrylic-latex interior and exterior paint that builds up high’. These paints have up to 20% more paint solids, which give the paint more body and opacity. They started out being used in specialty markets for emergencies such as stained ceilings or water-flooded walls, that only came in a few color variations. More recently, they are being sold in decorative coatings markets with a wider range of colors. This is beneficial for homeowners who want to save time painting and want to cover wall imperfections (due to the thickness of the paint). However, expert painters still recommend using a second coat.
Where can I find highly opaque pigments?
DCL offers a large range of inorganic and organic pigments designed to have high opacity. Some of these include Benzimidazolone Orange 7336, our Super Alkali Fast Bismuth Vanadate pigments, Benzimidazolone Yellow 7751, and more!
2021: Color Trends
The most widely known annual color trends are set by Pantone. These colors are carefully selected through thoughtful consideration and trend analysis – looking at each aspect of what is trending globally from the entertainment industry, fashion, and even new technologies. This year, the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2021 are: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating! This color combination is meant to be uplifting through the combination of practicality with a hint of warmth and optimism.
Let’s take a look at some of the other colors of the year and color palettes!
Clark+Kensington 2021 Color Trends are inspired by nature and natural materials. They came out with three color palettes called “Understated Impact”, “Mindful Living” and “Creative Escape”. The intent is to evoke a soothing feeling.
These are just some of the Colors announced this year! Interestingly, they do not reflect the Pantone Colors of the year! Instead, they are all very warm colors, meant to inspire calmness since most of the world’s population are spending more time at home than in the past.
1462F: The only FDA Approved PY.62 in the Market
1462F is a FDA compliant clean green medium yellow for coloration of plastics including LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, PP and PVC. It is suitable for film application and is a cost effective alternate for PY.191 and PY.180. DCC 1462F is comparable in shade and strength to Non-FDA compliant PY.62.
Want to learn more? Download the Product Flyer!
Join our Webinar on Value Beyond Color!
Wednesday, March 3rd (10:00 AM EST)
What will it cover?
Frank Lavieri (Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing, DCL Corporation) will delve into 5 case studies in the coatings and plastics markets and highlight how the optimal pigment combination(s) can provide more value to the customer beyond the cost per kilo. Our aim is that attendees will take away a fresh idea or two with respect to formulating a color with pigments that create more value for the end customer.
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About DCL Corporation
DCL Corporation is a manufacturer and supplier of pigments for our customers in the coatings, plastics, printing ink and paper industries worldwide. Our extensive range of pigments is backed by technical expertise, our commitment to service excellence, continuous improvement, environmental, health, safety and social responsibility. Please visit www.pigments.com for more information on our product range.