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Pigments are coloured, organic or inorganic compounds that are used for colouring in numerous critical industries. Pigments are known to give a full and vibrant range of colours. This section delves on the various facets of the pigments to give a better understanding.
What is Pigment
Pigments are generally coloured, organic or inorganic solid powder, and usually are insoluble. They are not affected physically or chemically in the substrate in which they are incorporated. Pigments can give a full range of colours. Pigments have a variety of applications that includes plastics, ink, and coating applications.

Features of the Pigments

The pigments are versatile coloring agents that comes with all round features to give credence to its suitability in a variety of mediums. Some of the striking features are given here:
  • Excellent light and weather fastness
  • A good baking stability that makes them suitable for automotive and other industrial paints
  • High tinting strength
  • Good over spray fastness when applied in paints
  • Gives heat stability of around 300° C in the case of Polyolefins Plastics
  • Excellent solvent resistance properties
  • Easily dispersible
  • Consistency and uniqueness of shades
Factors that go in selecting the right Pigment

While choosing a pigment depends on application, following broad factors can be taken as a guide:
  • Hiding efficiency
  • Colour
  • pH value
  • Bulking value
  • Density
  • Refractive index
  • Hardness
  • Oil absorption
The following table gives a good comparison among various classes of Pigments

Comparison of Pigment Families

Property
Behaviour
Inorganic
Pigments
Classical
Organic Pigments
Specialty
Organic Pigments
Organic
Dyestuffs
Opacity Usually high Translucent to Transport Very Transparent
Colour Strength Low to moderate Considerably stronger than Inorganic Pigments Strongest
Dispersability Usually Good: Often Abrasive Adequate Poor to good Not required; Soluble
Heat Resistant Usually 5000 F; Some 2000 C 1500 C-3000 C 2000 C- 3000 C 2500 C- 3500 C
Migration resistance Excellent Moderate -Good Good - Outstanding Very Poor - good
Light Fastness (on a Blue scale 6 to 8 2 to 6 6 to 8 2 to 7
Weather resistance Outstanding for selection Insufficient Excellent for Selection Good for selection
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