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EFFECT PIGMENTS ARE “TYPICALLY” DEFINED as flake or platy structures that impart a directional light reflectance, scattering, absorption, or optically variable appearance to the substrate in or on which they are applied. It will be shown that effect pigments are no longer limited in composition to inorganic materials and in fact can have alternative geometries. The mechanisms, however, by which all effect materials manipulate light, and thus color, still revolve around three basic optical principles, “reflection,” “interference,” and “diffraction.” It should be noted that while metallic flake pigments can also be considered effect materials, the article will focus on structures that manipulate light primarily through selective interference, and more recently diffraction, rather than “specular” reflection only. It should be emphasized, however, that reflection is still an integral parameter in the most recent technologies developed.
Nowak, Paul J.
Marketing Manager, Wacker Chemical Corporation, Adrian, MI