Merck research plays a crucial part in the development
of pigments that are based on metal oxide coated
substrates. In the 1960s, the successful breakthrough
was accomplished with the production of Iriodin®.
Since then, the number of color design possibilities
has increased exponentially in every area of application.
Merck’s effect pigments have become established
in industrial coating applications. Merck continuously
offers its customers new design ideas and design tools.
In close cooperation with processors and brand name manufacturers, Merck searches
continually for new effect possibilities in all markets. A primary focus lies in the
development of completely new types of pigments. Among the new developments
are the multi-color effect pigments Colorstream® and the high chroma crystal effect
pigments Xirallic® – two pigment generations with huge design potential.
Merck research is geared not only towards the development of unusual color effects,
but also towards the realization of functional properties, for example, weather
resistant pigments for outdoor applications, or conductivity with lightcolored,
semi-transparent pigments. The demands and areas of application for customers are
already taken into consideration during the product development. With its service
and documentation, the coatings business field at Merck has adapted itself especially
to the demands of the coating industry.
With its pigment ranges Iriodin®, Colorstream®, Xirallic®, Miraval®, Biflair®,
Minatec® and Solarflair®, Merck offers an innovative product portfolio and special
added value products in outstanding quality, as well as technical application
support and presence in the coremarkets of the world. Merck offers its customers
the opportunity to jointly develop innovative products and intelligent solutions
with the Merck product families. This opens up nearly unlimited effect possibilities
to the customer.
Pearl Luster and Interference
Pigments on the Basis of Mica
Iriodin® pearl luster pigments are consist of thin platelets of the natural mineral
mica, which are covered with a thin layer of metal oxides such as titanium
dioxide and/or iron oxide. Due to the interaction of light refraction and reflection
interference as well as unique luster and color effects appear.
Silver-white and colored pearl luster effects, as well as gold and metallic luster
effects, can be achieved with Iriodin®. The iridescent effects enable an angledependent
color design. Depending on the size of the Iriodin® pigment particles,
the effect varies from silky to glittery.
Through their transparent properties, Iriodin® pearl luster pigments can generate
individual designs of color impressions when applied on different undercoat
colors. Moreover, through the combination with colored pigments, a multitude of
styling possibilities arises for the formation of opaque color layers.
Powder Coatings –
Iriodin ® PC
In addition to our Iriodin® products, we offer special preparations
for use in powder coatings. Iriodin® PC pearl luster
pigments were developed expressly for the corona process,
which is mainly used for powder coating applications.
PC stands for Powder Coating.
Iriodin® PC pigments are offered for interior and exterior
applications. Special solutions are available for the dryblend
as well as the bonding process. The product program
deliberately focuses on the attractive color segment of silverwhite
and gold luster pigments.
High Chroma Crystal Effect
Pigments on the Basis of
Xirallic® pigments are based on a synthetic substrate, namely, aluminum
oxide (corundum) flakes. Through the employment of a new crystallization
process, it is possible to produce aluminum oxide platelets with a
perfectly planar surface and a tight particle size distribution. The substrate
is coated with highly refractive metal oxides.
Xirallic® demonstrates a very strong glitter effect with a distinct
shimmer behavior and distinguishes itself through strong and very pure
colors. The effect is increased by directed light (for example sunlight).
Analogous to the classical interference pigments, silver-white effect
pigments and gold, red, lilac, blue, green and turquoise interference
pigments can be generated by coating the aluminum oxide flakes with
titanium oxide. Coating the aluminum oxide flakes with iron(III) oxide
produces copper and red effect pigments.
Multi-Color Effect Pigments on
the Basis of Silicon Dioxide
The Colorstream® Multi-Color Effect Pigments consist, in contrast to the mica
based Iriodin® pigments, of synthetically produced silicon dioxide (SiO 2) material.
If these transparent SiO 2 platelets are coated with highly refractive metal oxides,
pigments with goniochromatic properties (also known as “Color Travel") arise:
the thickness of the SiO 2 substrate can be controlled in the preparation (a web
coating process), so that at the end a pigment with a true optical three-layersystem
The interference color of those systems is stronger than for the conventional
mica pigments for which the effect of the mica is “wiped out” by a broad thickness
Weather Resistant Pigments
The quality requirements on coatings for exterior applications are considerably
higher than for other applications. Therefore Merck has developed its own range
of weather resistant pigments, which also meets the high demands of the modern
There are weather resistant pigments for the Iriodin®, Xirallic® and Colorstream®
product families. Through an additional coating, an outstanding weather
resist ance is ensured for all external applications. In order also to be able to use
weatherproof pigments in automotive coatings, they must have two additional
properties that differentiate them from standard coatings for external applications.
Firstly they must have a smaller particle size distribution, whereby most
importantly the number of larger particles on the upper end of the particle size
distribution is reduced. This is especially important in order to ensure a problemfree
application of serial color tones for cars. Secondly they must have a tighter
coloristic tolerance. The consistent coloristic quality is especially important
for the use in the Intermix systems, which have a wide field of application, for
example, in repair coatings for the automotive industry.
Merck recommends the use of weather resistant pigments also for interior
applications when higher demands are placed, for example, to protect against
humidity or UV light. Typical examples for this are furniture or interiors in
sanitary rooms such as bathrooms and toilets, or in kitchens, as well as areas
with moisture and water.
Silky Silver Luster on the Basis
of Bismuth Oxychloride
Biflair® are unique effect pigments made
on the basis of bismuth oxychloride offered
The Biflair® bismuth oxychloride platelets distinguish themselves by their
silky metallic luster, high degree of whiteness, good hiding power covering
ability and narrow particle size distribution. Biflair® pigments are nontoxic
and offered as dispersion.
Biflair bismuth oxychloride dispersions allow many fascinating effects for
a wide spectrum of applications: for example silky silver luster effects for
products in entertainment electronics; for household, sport and high-tech
devices; cosmetic packaging and more.
Glitter Effects based
Miraval® effect pigments dazzle with their light and uniform purity of
colors, as well as their high transparency and intensive reflective power.
These effect pigments with their brilliant shimmer and radiating luster are
based on calcium-aluminum-borosilicate. Varying the concentration level
in the formulation can create fascinating effects ranging from individual
sparkle of luster to a metallic appearance. To retain a delicate glimmer or
luster, Miraval® pigments can be added to formulations with a concentration
of less than 1 % without creating a change in the color tone. Combining
Miraval® pigments with each other can open up an extraordinary variety of
The silver-white pigment Miraval® 5311 Scenic White and Miraval® 5411
Magic White differ from each other by their particle size distribution thus
sparkle. Both pigments can be used in different applications, like plastic
coatings and powder coatings. Miraval® interference pigments, based on the
same fraction of 20 to 200 µm as Miraval® Magic White, are available in the
color tones blue, red, green, gold, copper, turquoise and lilac.
With the Minatec® product family, Merck
provides the coating branch with functional
pigments for manufacturing light-colored
coatings with conductive or infrared absorbing
The conductive Pigments Minatec® 31 CM, Minatec® 40 CM and Minatec®
60 CM offer various possibilities to formulate coatings in light colors.
They are suitable for industrial applications that require a surface resistance
of 10 4 to 10 9 ohms. Minatec® pigments consist of substrates which
are coated with doped tin oxide.
The major industrial applications in which Minatec® pigments are used
include light-colored antistatic flooring and conductive primers. Primers
that contain Minatec® are used to give insulation materials an electrostatic
application (ESTA). An example of this industrial use is the manufacture
of light-colored undercoats for automotive parts made of plastic. Lightcolored
antistatic floor coverings that are formulated with Minatec® are
used for example in the production of electronic components that must
be protected from uncontrolled discharge. Further application areas for
antistatic floor coatings are production facilities, warehouses, clean rooms
The infrared-absorbing pigment Minatec® 230 A-IR supports the trend of
utilizing infrared radiation in the drying process of coatings. Minatec® 230
A-IR is a light gray-colored pigment, developed particularly to improve the
absorption capabilities of light-colored coatings. Its features allow shorter
drying times for coatings and correspondingly lead to increased production
capacities with smaller energy costs.
Functional Pigments for
Under the brand name Solarflair® Merck offers
functional pigments which allow the visible part
of sunlight to pass, but reflect the sun’s heat rays.
Solarflair® 870 and Solarflair® 875 unfold their unique features in transparent
systems in architecture and horticulture. Whether in skylights,
greenhouse canopy tops or glass winter garden elements, Solarflair® pigments
absorb only a small portion of visible light, while heat radiation is
considerably reduced. Depending on the individual application conditions,
the room temperature in spaces “protected” by Solarflair® is decreased by
up to 15 degrees Celsius. With Solarflair® rooms stay light and pleasantly
cool at the same time – even under direct solar radiation.
Solarflair® 870 and Solarflair® 875 are also available in weather
Our Services for
Merck places the highest standards of quality on
its products and services. The customer’s desire is
always at the forefront. This is one of the reasons
why Merck is present in the core markets around
the world. The global presence enables Merck to
support its international customers with competent
consulting, outstanding service and the
necessary technical applications on location.
Technical Application Consulting and Customer Care
The technical application consultants offer support on location, and
with their consultation, make sure that the customer’s effect coating
is a complete success. They take into consideration the interests of the
market during the development of new products and provide customers
with innovative know-how to help them attain decisive competitive
Merck has technical application laboratories at its disposal, which are
specially geared towards the production, application and testing of coatings.
The laboratories make it possible to work out technical solutions
and to provide customers with demonstration materials and formulation
The color suggestions are also developed on the basis of trend research
and information. The effects are visualized in brochures, color cards,
design and styling tools.
With its control processes, Merck delivers the highest quality, and with a
Certificate of Analysis, it documents that the parameters laid down in the
specification are checked and maintained. In addition, datasheets give
information about further product details. Our plants in Darmstadt and
Gernsheim, Germany are certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001 and also
In numerous market regions of the world, Merck has at its disposal a sales
representative specialized in the coating industry in order to be able to
adapt optimally and quickly to the interests of the customers. Only a clear
understanding of the customer’s situation on site guarantees the best
Merck’s Regulatory Affairs department is responsible for the observance
of the legal and safety-relevant interests regarding the development of
effect pigments for coating applications.
Merck offers worldwide customer service, product development that is
oriented toward regional demands, and guarantees worldwide supply with
its products. Merck has research and production locations in Gernsheim,
Germany, Onahama, Japan as well as Savannah, Georgia in the USA. In
addition, the company has at its disposal subsidiaries and/or commercial
agencies in most countries of the world.