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Intelligent Pigments Heat, Clean, Save

Thursday, March 12, 2015

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Pigments are getting smarter, enabling a new generation of coatings, concrete and plastics with greater potential than ever to store heat, fight corrosion, self-clean and stop fungi.

Many of these developments are coming from a research alliance in Spain, as part of the Nanopigmy project, which is harnessing nanotechnology to create multifunctional ceramic pigments.

IK4-TEKNIKER
IK4-TEKNIKER

IK4, which is spearheading the intelligent pigment research, is a private and independent alliance of nine research and development centers in the Basque Country.

Such high-performance pigments could cut costs and improve energy efficiency in construction and the automotive industry, say officials of the European Commission-backed initiative.

Multitasking

In the Spanish project, the Basque Country research alliance called IK4-TEKNIKER is incorporating molecules and nanocoatings into pigments to achieve a variety of functions, including:

  • Preventing corrosion;
  • Repelling bacteria;
  • Stopping the proliferation of fungi;
  • Creating self-cleaning properties for façades; and
  • Storing heat and functioning as a thermal regulator.

IK4-TEKNIKER is made up of the TEKNIKER technological center and several R&D organizations in the region.

'Very Positive' Results

The Nanopigmy initiative, funded by the EU's Seventh Framework Programme, is supporting the development of a range of innovative products that do not exist on the market, officials say.

TEKNIKER
tekniker.es/en / nanopigmy.eu

The Nanopigmy project has transformed inorganic ceramic pigments into high-performance pigments, thanks to a combination of material absorption techniques and the application of nanocoatings.

The project has transformed low-cost inorganic ceramic pigments into high-performance pigments, thanks to a combination of material absorption techniques and the application of nanocoatings, researchers say.

The new pigments have been tested across a range of applications in the automotive and construction sectors and can be incorporated into plastics, cements or paints, according to Miren Blanco, an IK4-TEKNIKER researcher.

"We have proven that the use of these pigments with a self-cleaning and heat storage capacity on the façades of buildings leads to significant savings in maintenance and energy consumption that more than offsets the cost of the product," Blanco said.

nanopigmy.eu

The new pigments have been tested across a range of applications in the automotive and construction sectors and can be incorporated into plastics, cements or paints, according to one researcher.

Blanco added that the results of the project have been "very positive."

Project Partners

The project kicked off in 2012 with a budget of €4.6 million ($4.86 million USD) and ended Feb. 28.

The project was led by company Nubiola Pigmentos and has had participation from:

  • The Fiat Research Centre;
  • Dutch tinting company CPS Color;
  • The Polish Adama Mickiewicza University;
  • Spanish construction company Acciona Infraestructuras;
  • Performance Masterbatches Limited, a developer of plastic concentrates; and
  • The BSRIA firm of consultants in the UK.

   

Tagged categories: Antibacterial coatings; Pigments; Research; Thermal emittance

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