Supply chains have become increasingly slower and unreliable over the past three years. Several global events have resulted in some cases in complete stoppages or greatly extended ocean shipments of supplies from Asia. Container transportation costs have risen dramatically and capacity is severely limited. Port loading capacities are also a limiting factor.
It is therefore not surprising that the search for alternative raw materials has become an ongoing issue for many companies in the coatings industry. The effort required to do this by conventional means places a considerable burden on the companies’ employees. Using the example of alternative pigments, we would like to illustrate how liquid color measurement can support and accelerate this process. Overall, the effort required is then reduced, relieving the burden on laboratory and production personnel.
In this context, liquid paint color measurement with the Q-Chain® LCM-Mono (single-angle instrument with 45°:0° geometry) or the Q-Chain® LCM-Gonio (3-angle instrument with 15°/45°/75° geometry) has considerable advantages because it can be used very early in the laboratory and in the production process and provides reliable results. The amount of material required for one measurement is about 30 ml and can therefore be easily generated for screening with laboratory dispersion methods.
For a comparison of different pigment types, for example, it is possible to carry out laboratory dispersions in a jar with beads and a laboratory shaker (for example Olbrich rm501sps). The pastes obtained from this do not correspond exactly to the dispersions from a bead mill. However, if the procedure remains the same, the values are readily comparable. The amount obtained is sufficient for a full tone measurement and a color strength determination.
The laboratory method can be used for rapid screening of various pigment alternatives. This can already considerably narrow down the selection of candidates. For the further steps, the behavior of the pigment under production conditions can already be learned during predispersion in production. In this way, an alternative pigment can be adapted to the original pigment in terms of color locus and color strength at a very early stage by adjusting the processing parameters or the recipe components.
“We don’t have time to deal with the method!”. This argument is often the reason to continue with the established procedure, although the amount of work is much higher. Especially for comparative measurements, such as the search for a replacement pigment, liquid paint color measurement can be a very fast and efficient means to better overcome the challenges.
A measurement needs just 3 to 4 minutes inclusive. The material amount needed for the test is approx.. 30 ml. The results with Q-Chain® LCM are repeatable and in many cases color strength value is better correlating with pigment concentration. So it is an enable to speed up your efforts of making your companies process more stable with alternative pigments.
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