Organic Pigments

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  • Natural organic pigments were a significant part of historical pigments before the modern era, particularly for bodily ornamentation, cosmetics and textile dyeing.
  • Organic pigments are substances which consist of solid particles and are insoluble in the application medium, as described in the definitions of standard DIN EN 55943. Thus they are differentiated from dyestuffs which also consist of solid particles but are soluble in the end application medium.
  • Organic pigments provide strong, translucent or transparent colour, and have smaller average particle size than inorganics. Classical organic pigments have thermal stability lower than that of average inorganic pigment, and some can cause part warpage.
  • Organic pigments are generally manufactured by a “bottom-up” process though there are a few “top-down” processes in use.
  • The production of organic pigments takes place in industrial-scale plants, where all aspects of occupational health and safety and environmental protection are reliably met. All pigments which are used in paints and coatings systems have various particle sizes and specific surfaces due to their chemical structure and in order to achieve the desired optical and application properties. This means that different dispersant types and various amounts are needed in order to guarantee a complete covering of the pigment surface with the dispersing agent.
  • Optically variable pigment technologies for markings and inks have increased in use as overt protection methods for document and product security. These technologies use optical reflective effects including interference technologies that create angular dependent color changes.
  • Colorants for plastics include dyes, organic pigments, and inorganic pigments, typically added to plastics as dry, freelowing solids or sometimes as liquids.
  • Organic pigments are not new. They have been on the market now for several decades – and as what we now call nanosize particles. The experience over this time has given no indication of any adverse effects that can be attributed solely to their very small size and it would appear that the current regulatory regimes are capable of handling these substances and that the handling measures currently in place are adequate.
  • Several hundred companies globally produce organic pigments in synthetic processes. Around 90% of these businesses are small and mid-sized enterprises. With roughly more than 100,000 staff they achieve sales of 10 billion Euros.
  • The migration of the pigments business to Asia, particularly China and India, continues. Since the mid-1990s, production in China and India has rapidly increased; China is now the world's largest organic color pigment producer, especially for commodity-type pigments.
  • The outlook for the pigments business appears strong in the light of the improving growth prospects for the paints and inks industry in the domestic as well as the global context.

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