Our expert pigments panel includes: Gabriela Seefeldt, Head of Industry Management Architectural & Industrial Coatings, BASF, Tom Landuydt, Head of Industry Management Automotive Coatings, BASF & Paul Verhoeven, eXpand!™ business leader at BASF; Brandon Devis, director of sales and marketing North America, Clariant Plastics and Coatings; Dr. Bruce Howie, global product marketing manager, DCC LANSCO; Christine A. Gehres, VP Business Unit Sales & Marketing, Heucotech, Ltd. and Michael T. Venturini, marketing director, coatings at Sun Chemical Performance Pigments.
CW: What specific performance attributes are your customers looking for?
BASF: Our customers are looking for more efficient ways for their coating production, since the dispersion of pigments usually is time and cost intensive. With our eXpand! pigment family we develop a new generation of stir-in pigments with outstanding chroma, transparency and lightfastness which meet the high requirements of the automotive coatings industry. The small particle sized stir-in pigment is easily dispersible and cuts the time involved in the production process as opposed to conventional milling methods; this lowers costs significantly.
DCC LANSCSO: Our customers are always searching for high-quality, innovative pigments that can deliver solutions for their technical requirements. Some specific attributes that customers look for are stir-in grades (requires less energy to disperse in their coatings applications), more highly chromatic shades, special effects, and products with better opacity to achieve full hiding in less paint applications, and ultimately help reduce costs.
We’ve seen a shift away from certain heavy metal-based pigments. As a result, we’re offering a vast array of alternatives including other inorganic, organic, hybrid (organic-inorganic) pigments and customer specific solutions. DCC LANSCO introduced the value-added service of a colour matching portal through our website to provide our customers with yet another way to satisfy their needs.
Heubach: Customers are looking for a balance of fair prices vs. product performance. Accordingly, continuous reduction of raw material costs, reducing costs in manufacturing, and along the supply chain are the driving factors in maintaining our cost competitive position.
Companies are not just judged on their products’ technical performance and service. In today’s market, pigment suppliers are judged on their ability to supply product along with regulatory support, their overall company health, safety and environmental record and making wise sustainability decisions.
Sun Chemical: Sun Chemical uses a tailor-made approach to provide products and services focused on helping the customer deliver unique performance that helps them succeed.
The market is seeing advances in environmental improvements, new chromophores, increased color strength, and higher chroma. Sun Chemical is innovating in all these areas.
One of the most significant innovations has been the dramatic increase in transparency of new offerings. As one of Sun Chemical’s primary core abilities, we are at the front of the transparency trend in offering new products that include Perrindo Red 179, Palomar Blue 15:1 and Quindo Red 122 chemistries. The high transparency innovations started a color trend in the automotive sector with high chroma metallic finishes, and it is now influencing color trends for everything from nail lacquers to home appliances.
CW: Are there any specific technologies that R&D is focusing on?
Clariant: We clearly see an increasing demand in automotive coatings to follow the megatrend of transportation for more stylish color shades. At the 2019 European Coatings Show we will be releasing our 2021-2023 automotive color trends. Clariant’s global Automotive Styling Shades Trendbook presents the color areas that will play a role in the automotive industry in the future. The collection of automotive styling shades in the automotive trend book is based on Clariant’s color know-how and observations of social trends and industry developments. The trend book includes analyses of color popularity and offers innovative solutions based on Clariant’s organic pigments line.
Also, Clariant is the first pigment producer to develop high-performance quinacridone pigments based on bio-succinic acid and we are focused on developing high-performance pigments based on renewable raw materials.
DCC LANSCO: DCC LANSCO has invested in technology that has allowed us to launch several products that offer significant benefits for our customers – more value in use, expanded color gamut, and more!
We’ve focused our attention on our high-performance range of pigments, especially Indanthrone Blue and Bismuth Vanadate (BV) over the last year. DCC Blue A2RU (PB.60) was designed for high performance universal coatings systems (both waterborne and solventborne) as well as specialty ink applications where chemical resistance to bleaches and other reagents is required. This product is especially suitable for automotive due to its reduced red shade flop and excellent light and weatherfastness, as well as pool liners due to its exceptional chemical resistance. We also launched a series of “super strong” BV pigments that deliver significantly higher colour strength, creating better value in use, reduction in waste, as well as shipment costs. Furthermore, our new ‘alkali stable’ range of products provide greater flexibility when applying coatings to concrete, silicone-silicate plastics, high PVC architectural coatings and stucco applications (DCC Yellow 2GTAA, 3GMXA, RMXA). We also launched the cleanest inorganic orange pigment in the market, DCC Orange ORS (PO.86). It is the first pigment in its class and serves as an excellent starting base for orange colour matches in high-end plastics and coatings applications.
Heubach: There are a number of ongoing development projects, which can be roughly divided into new product development, new technology development and capacity increases. Heubach is working on new anti-corrosive technologies, improved processes for complex inorganic colored pigment manufacturing, resulting in more shades, and easy to disperse pigments.
As a leading producer of complex inorganic colored pigments (CICP), Heubach is able to manufacture customized grades of Chrome Rutile Yellows (PBr 24). A current area of R & D focus is an inorganic, non-toxic, brilliant red shade pigment. Heubach are also exploring value-added products in form of granulated, free-flowing, easy-dispersing, low-dusting pigments.
Sun Chemical: Innovation is part of our core philosophy at Sun Chemical and we’ll continue to invest in research in end markets and applications where it is justified. We heavily invest in research and development and use our significant investment to support specific customers’ needs for eco-friendly coatings technologies. Not only that, but we also drive trends and technologies with new innovations in high performance pigments, effects and functional pigments.
CW: Briefly provide a description of the latest products launched by your company.
Clariant: In an effort to meet the trends toward sustainability and eco-labels, this year Clariant introduced Hostaperm Violet RL special 01, a blue-shade violet 23 with outstanding weather fastness. No APEO or APEO-derivatives are added to this product, and therefore it can be used for the tinting of paints compliant with Eco-labels, such as the German "Blue Angel" label. Hostaperm Violet RL Special 01, is a drop in replacement for Hostaperm Violet RL Special and will fully replace the existing grade in the future.
DCC LANSCO: The latest technology that DCC LANSCO has to offer is the world’s strongest bismuth vanadate pigment, DCC Yellow RMXS. This bright lemon shade yellow pigment was designed to have the highest colour strength of any Bismuth Vanadate pigment in the market with outstanding hiding power. Because of these key features, this pigment offers maximum value in use requiring less pigment in formulations and providing a lower impact on the environment. It also has excellent weatherfastness and resistance properties.
Heubach: Three new (CICP) Chrome Rutile Yellow pigments with higher tinting strength than the current grades are in the final phase of standardization.
Heubach enjoyed a successful market introduction and launch of our new HeucoFit LR product line (inorganic/organic dry pigment preparations for standard industrial coatings). The line was expanded in 2018 by variants that were originally designed for the plastics industry, but are suitable for higher performing coatings as well e.g. due to their excellent heat stability.
Sun Chemical: Perrindo Maroon 179: Sun Chemical has expanded its color range of ultra-transparent Maroon 179 to include both mid-shade and blue shade products. U29-1479 and U29-1279 are being accepted in the marketplace as easy to formulate options to achieve new levels of chromaticity and strength for automotive refinish and trim.
Quindo Red 122: Suitable for water and solvent-borne systems, Quindo 228-3122 enables excellent styling for highly transparent and chromatic effect shades and has excellent durability and fastness properties for automotive and high-performance coatings. As Sun Chemical’s newest quinacridone pigment, its good rheology and broad compatibility provide easy formulating using one product for all systems, and it delivers highly pigmented bases in low-VOC, high-solid coatings.
Indofast Violet 23: Sun Chemical’s 235-1670, produced in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a versatile pigment for general purpose use across a wide range of coating technologies for industrial and architectural end uses that features high strength, easy dispersibility and improved opacity.
Palomar Blue 15:1: Sun Chemical, together with its parent company, the DIC Corporation, has strengthened its commitment in Phthalo chemistry and completed its expansion in Phthalo crudes. The expansion ensures uninterrupted supply of 248-4816, the industry standard for green flop organic pigments. Ideal for automotive OEM applications, Sun Chemical has expanded its range of non-flop phthalo blues with 248-4848. The patented technology produces the highly desirable green flop color spaces with added strength and chroma. Moreover, it allows formulators to replace their retiring Blue 15:1 pigments.