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What is Pigment
Types of Pigment

CLC Pigments

DPP Pigments

Effect Pigments

Fluorescent Pigments

Inorganic Pigments

Natural Pigments

Mixed Metal Oxide Pigment

Carbon Black

Natural Iron Oxide Pigments

Organic Pigments

Organic vs Inorganic Pigments

Phthalocyanine Pigments



Pigment Intermediates

Quinacridone Pigments

Synthetic Iron Oxide Pigments

Titanium Dioxide

Ultramarine Pigments

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Types of Pigment

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In today's world, there is a large number of Pigments available. In fact after the advent of Synthetic Pigments there has evolved various classes of pigments that are suited to particular types of Industries.

Inorganic Pigments

Inorganic pigments are created through chemical manufacturing rather than by grinding and washing clays or minerals taken directly from the earth. The preparation process is also simple and consists of the steps of washing drying, pulverizing and mixing into a formulation. They are metallic oxides or synthetics. The following table shows the refractive index of some of the very popular class of inorganic pigments.
Pigment Refractive Index
TiO2 (rutile) 2.71
TiO2 (Anatase) 2.55
Antimony Oxide 2.20
Zinc Oxide 2.01
Calcium Carbonate 1.65
Fumed Silica 1.45

Few Examples of inorganic pigments: lead oxide, cobalt blue, chromium oxide, cadmium yellow, molybdate orange, and nickel titanate. As new environmental laws are very strict about toxicity a few of these heavy metal pigments are no longer in use.

Organic Pigments-
Organic Pigments are chemically synthesized, as they are not found in nature. They contain carbon and comes with relatively low levels of toxicity, not providing any major environmental concern. Raw materials can include coal tar and petroleum distillates that are transformed into insoluble precipitates. They are used as mass colorants and are popular in plastics, synthetic fibres and as surface coatings-paints and inks. In recent years the organic pigments are used for hi-tech applications that includes photo-reprographics, opto-electronic displays and optical data storage.

Categories of Organic Pigments
Organic pigments are generally categorized into six types :

Key features and characteristics of Organic Pigments

Metallic Pigments

Metallic Pigments give bright effects, due to this they are widely used and are a very popular category of pigments.

Metallic pigments, can be of two types aluminum and zinc.
Aluminium Pigments:
Glittering silver effects are achieved in the widest variety of different applications by the use of various forms of aluminium pigments. They are further divided into two categories namely leafing grade and non-leafing grade. The aluminum pigments are produced from aluminium that has purity in the range of 99.3-99.97%. The particle has lamellar shape with 0.1-2 um in thickness and diameter of 0.5-200 um. These pigments founds use in automotive topcoats.

Some of the preferred applications of Aluminium Pigments are the following:
Zinc Pigments:
The anti-corrosive properties of zinc have been well-known for decades. Zinc pigments represent an almost ideal combination of the active anti-corrosive properties of the metal itself with the protective barrier effect of leaf-shaped pigments.

Zinc Pigments come in two forms of powder and dust. Usually the zinc dust is finer as compared to powder and is spherical in shape. The dust also has a light coating of zinc oxide.

The following table cites some popular Zinc Pigments along with their applications.
Zinc Pigments Application
Zinc dust Chemical applications Metallurgical applications
Zinc phosphate Active ingredient in domestic cleaning products
Zinc oxide Agricultural applications
Rubber industry
Brick kilns

Industrial Pigments

A few popular pigments have been given below that have very wide uses:
  • CLC Pigments
  • DPP Pigments
  • Ultramarine Pigments
  • Effect Pigments
  • Pearlescent
  • Fluorescent Pigments
  • Inorganic Pigments
  • Natural Pigments
  • Carbon Black
  • Organic Pigments
  • Organic vs Inorganic Pigments
  • Mixed Metal Oxide Pigment
  • Phosphorescent
  • Pigment Intermediates
  • Synthetic Iron Oxide Pigments
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Natural Iron Oxide Pigments

Refractive index and Classification of pigments

Refractive index and Classification of pigmentsPigments are used to give color and protect the substrate. To provide color to a material pigment should create an opacity. There is a particular limit to the concentration of pigment particles in a coating determined by the pigment volume concentration (PVC). This is the reason for having pigment particles with a high refractive index.

Based on such refractive index, pigments can be divided into two categories of hiding and extender pigments.

Hiding pigments:
These pigments possess generally refractive index values that are greater than 1.5. Examples: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, lithophone etc.

Extender pigments:
These pigments have refractive index values that are close to 1.5. Examples: calcium carbonate, silica, alkali and alkaline earth metal silicates etc.

Selection of Pigment and Binder Stability

If you are considering pigmentation of a system, that is inherently unstable, for example an unstable binder that is to be pigmented with Titania, the selection of the pigment is then for both coloration and function. While formulating a colored coating, the pigment's role should be as an UV absorber or reflector. Thus blocking UV transmission through the binder, where degradation takes place.

Performance Criteria for commercial organic pigments

The commercial performance of organic pigments are guided by the following capabilities:
Types of PigmentsHigh performance organic pigments have high color strength, outstanding fastness and weatherability properties. They find usage in specialty applications.

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