Pigments in the Coatings Industry: A Fundamental Overview


Pigments in the Coatings Industry

If you were painting your house, you’d probably be more concerned with the color than with whether the paint was organic or biodegradable, right? That’s because your primary concern would be the pigment – that is, the chemical or compound that gives color to the paint. You wouldn’t be concerned about whether it was environmentally friendly or even what kind of solvent or binder was used in making it; you just want to know what shade of blue, red, yellow, etc., it could make possible so you can decide if you like it and then pick an appropriate brand of paint.

Iron Oxide Red

If you are reading up on pigments for coating purposes, one of your most likely priorities is to choose a color that’s bright and vibrant. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand why certain reds are better than others when it comes to coatings; after all, red is red, right? Well, not quite. Iron oxide pigment – which produces some of today’s most popular red hues – actually has different effects on color depending on its particle size. To figure out how big your particles should be – and how that will affect your end product – keep reading! It turns out that iron oxide is responsible for producing a lot of pigment products available today. Pigment Green 7.

Iron Oxide Yellow

Pigment powders are often lumped into families of related colors, and iron oxide yellows are usually combined with iron oxide reds. They’re both commonly used to color glass, plastic, paper, and paint. The most common is Iron Oxide Yellow (PY 34), but others cover a wide range of hues from an acidic lemon yellow to a greenish-yellow. As always, it’s important to consider other factors when deciding which yellow pigment to use for your project. For example, some may have higher chromaticity or offer improved hiding power. Some can also be sourced more ethically than others! But for sheer versatility and range—from light cream yellows to intense sunflower hues—iron oxide yellows reign supreme.


Yellow Ochre

When it comes to pigments, few are as essential as yellow ochre. It’s a calcium hydroxide pigment, which gives it a bright hue that’s unique in shades of paint. Yellow ochre is used on its own and mixed with other paints to make specific hues; for example, yellow ochre mixed with lead white makes a better grey paint than when pure lead white is used. And if you mix it with burnt umber and grind up small amounts of these two together, you get terra verte—an earthy green color that works wonders for an apartment or workroom.

Brown iron oxide

Often referred to as brown iron oxide, FeO, or rust, these pigments are often used for earth tones and can provide a more lifelike appearance to a coatings project than single-hue versions. Brown iron oxide isn’t commonly used on its own. When combined with other materials (such as kaolin clay) it can help create rich and complex hues that represent natural objects such as rocks or soil. Brown iron oxide is also widely used with titanium dioxide (TiO2) to create an opaque white color. Because of its purity, titanium dioxide is also used in many pharmaceuticals and toothpaste; its anti-microbial properties make it a great option for products that come into contact with food.

Earth Black

One of the most fundamental pigments used by coatings manufacturers is known as black oxide. As an inorganic pigment, it’s comprised of iron oxide with a small percentage of impurities. This produces a black color that’s well-suited for high-temperature applications or where weathering or corrosion is an issue. From aesthetic value to performance benefits, black oxide has long been a staple pigment used by coatings manufacturers worldwide. Choose Pigment Green 7 Manufacturer.

Molybdate Orange

The use of molybdate orange is not a common practice within traditional paints and coatings, but it is a very prevalent pigment when it comes to protective coatings. You see, molybdate orange has excellent anti-corrosive properties that are ideal for protection against corrosive elements such as sulfur dioxide, sulfur trioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. In addition to being compatible with water-based systems while being fast drying and nonflammable, you will find molybdate orange used in practically every area of application where paint or protective coating is applied. It should be noted that its efficiency varies depending on humidity; the lower humidity is, the better result you will have from molybdate orange.

Lead Chromate

Though lead chromate’s toxicity has been an ongoing health concern, its cheapness and stability make it a significant component of many yellow pigments. However, lead chromate’s history is one of danger, requiring strict environmental controls to minimize exposure during production. The best use for lead chromate today is in bright yellow tinting compounds and pigmented coatings.


Looking to go green? The coatings industry has many products and processes that help you do just that. Paint is one of those examples, as its main components—plastics, solvents, pigments—are all recyclable. There are also water-based alternatives for some coatings which makes them even more environmentally friendly; for example, an aqueous-based coating system that requires less energy to produce since fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are used. Also, look into powder coating which uses water-based resins with zero VOCs. With so many ways to paint responsibly and sustainably, why wouldn’t you?

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