Merck Effect pigments

Merck Effect pigments


Effect pigments

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.

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Preparations for

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

Aluminum Oxide

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.

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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

is obtained.

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

for Exteriors

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

automotive coatings.

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.

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Silky Silver Luster on the Basis

of Bismuth Oxychloride

Biflair® are unique effect pigments made

on the basis of bismuth oxychloride offered

as dispersion.

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

on Calcium-Aluminum-


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

styling possibilities.

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.

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Functional Pigments

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

or hospitals.

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

Translucent Systems

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

resistant grades.

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Our Services for

Your Success

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

ISO 14001.

Field service

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


Regulatory Affairs

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.

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