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Keeping on the white track: Optimising the efficiency of titanium dioxide in architectural paints

Tech Paper | Supplied by Chemours

Keeping on the White Track: Optimising the Efficiency of Titanium Dioxide in Architectural Paints - Article by Johan Rommens, originally published in the European Coatings Journal (ECJ), issue 3/2015

Keeping on the White Track: Optimising the Efficiency of Titanium Dioxide in Architectural Paints

Article by Johan Rommens, originally published in the European Coatings Journal (ECJ), issue 3/2015 

Optimisation of the scattering efficiency of titanium dioxide can produce considerable cost savings. Ways to measure the efficiency of use of TiO2 and to improve it are described. What is referred to as ‘highly treated’ TiO2 can further improve opacity. This in turn can result in lower paint minimising environmental impacts.

One of the main functions of architectural paint is to hide a surface and improve its appearance. Hiding can be obtained either by scattering visible light or by absorbing it. For white paints, absorption is minimised, so that hiding in thin paint films can only be obtained by light scattering. Because of its high refractive index (RI), titanium dioxide (TiO2) is the most efficient pigment for scattering visible light and its lack of absorption in the visible light range makes it the best white pigment available. Since light scattering is the key parameter controlling hiding in white paint or whitening strength in tinted paints, more efficient use of TiO2 can lead to improved hiding.

This can reduce the number of paint layers needed for full coverage and hence speed up painting. Fewer paint layers saves costs and raw materials and hence reduces
the environmental impact of the paint. This paper describes how TiO2 efficiency can be assessed and how that knowledge can be used to prioritise hiding optimisation programmes.

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