The Best Approach to Technical Support When Evaluating Fluorescent Pigment
Achieving fluorescent color in a product is challenging. Coatings and objects compounded with daylight fluorescent pigments appear intensely luminous, emitting as much as four times more light than that reflected from conventional pigments, but that vibrance comes at a cost -- their use is more complex. Selecting the right fluorescent pigment for a given application is critical to its success.
Producing a range of products in a set of standard colors that does not vary from batch to batch is a demanding task in any pigment production process. It is doubly demanding with daylight fluorescent pigments.
How to Make Sure Your Evaluation is Successful
A supplier with technical expertise can help by making sure that the correct grade is selected at the start of the evaluation process. In addition, they can recommend appropriate additives or further adjust the product, helping to find a balance across desired characteristics and streamlining lab time for formulating.
1) Get Help to Select the Right Product
Fluorescent colors generally cannot be blended from across the spectrum to achieve a different color (yellow and red do not necessarily make orange!). Based on your application, a technically-savvy supplier can help determine the best balance of solvent resistance, migration resistance, heat stability, lightfastness, particle size, etc.
Additives may be required to improve dispersibility, fully develop color strength, maximize cleanliness, and improve the heat resistance and/or light fastness in your application
2) Work With a Supplier that Understands Your Application & Production Environment
Because conditions in lab testing may not reflect those found in a production environment, or in longer term application, it may be necessary to alter your product evaluation approach. Quickly understanding issues that arise during testing can result in getting the right new product in your hands in a timely manner to keep your evaluation timeline on track (vs. cycling through multiple rounds of unsuccessfully trying to resolve an issue).
Case in Point
We recently worked with a customer testing one of our products who was not achieving a color strength equal to our product’s capability. We identified that the test process in the lab would not allow the pigment to fully melt in. When we learned that the ultimate production would involve a masterbatch process (fully melting in the pigment), we recommended testing a modified product, with smaller particle size, in the lab to more accurately predict the production characteristics that the standard product would achieve.
When evaluating a fluorescent pigment, be sure that you will have access to a skilled technical team early and throughout in order to achieve a thorough but speedy product evaluation.