YInMn Blue Pigment Released to Market


The Shepherd Color Company recently announced that a completely new shade of shade of blue, known as YInMn Blue, is ready for commercial sale.

Licensed from Oregon State University, the new color technology has also gone on to inspire Crayola’s new “Bluetiful” crayon color. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued Shepherd Color a Low Volume Exemption, which will allow for it to be used in industrial coatings and plastics.

Blue Revolution

Other than the color’s vibrant shade, what makes it stand out is that it's an addition to the range of colors that stay cooler when exposed to the sun, which allows building material manufacturers to adhere to regulations and save energy.

Earlier this year, as part of its “Cool Roofs Initiative,” Shepherd tested YinMn Blue’s infrared reflective properties at its Laboratory for Advanced Innovative Research, near Denver.

Using two house models, researchers used a standard dark blue—made with high durability pigments—for one small, metal-paneled roof, and a coating of YInMn Blue on another. Both models were placed outside on a sunny, warm day.

Using an infrared imager to test each roof, it was revealed that the standard roof was much hotter than the YInMn Blue model. The imager’s temperature-sensing function showed the standard blue roof was 191 degrees Fahrenheit; the YInMn Blue roof was 168 degrees Fahrenheit.

Production and Testing

According to Shepherd, YInMn’s high temperature calcination production process makes the color technology highly inert, meaning that it can be used in a variety of coatings and plastics while retaining weathering properties. YinMn Blue is infrared-reflective, but is also extremely opaque in the UV and visible parts of the solar spectrum, according to the company.

Even though the EPA recently granted Shepherd the right to use the coating in industrial coatings and plastics, companies are still testing the new pigment in order to validate complete coating performance. Otherwise, YInMn can be used in plastics for coloring polymers, due to its high temperature stability, color and high opacity.

Other than the EPA-approved options for the pigment, the doors to the world of artistic materials temporarily remain shut, but the company seeks to rectify this by submitting a pre-manufacturing notice to get YInMn on the Toxic Substances Control Act inventory and therefore approved for all uses.


Tagged categories: Coating chemistry; Coatings; Colleges and Universities; Color + Design; Color + Design; Infrared-reflective pigments; North America

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