Shepherd Color R&D Looks at New IR Black
High-performance pigment manufacturer The Shepherd Color Company recently announced that it has released a new infrared reflecting black pigment that it says will aid in the recycling of black plastic.
The company says that its research and development team wanted to create something for both the coatings and plastics industries to not just bring value to customers, but to add sustainability to the environment.
Shepherd maintains that a solution was needed because, in general, recycled items that are coated in black pigment are coated in a carbon black, which actually absorbs the light from emitters used in recycling/sorting centers.
This absorption can prevent the sensor from identifying the polymer used in the product, making the machine reject the material instead of recycling it.
The new IR black, Arctic Black 10P925, reflects the wavelengths in the facilities so that the product can be recycled.
According to the company, the pigment is non-magnetic and a single pigment solution that is listed on chemical registries for global supply.
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At the end of May, Shepherd announced that the pigment known as “YInMn Blue” had been added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Substance Control Act Registry, which means the blue hue is now fully approved for commercial and artistic use.
Besides the tone’s artistic use because of its pigment, YInMn Blue is also valued for its durability and IR reflectivity.
YInMn Blue, named so because of its elemental makeup, which includes yttrium, indium and manganese, was first discovered by accident by Oregon State chemist Mas Subramanian in 2009. Besides the color’s vibrant hue, its reflectivity—which could help keep structures cool and energy-efficient—is being touted.
According to Sheperd, 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.