Architects memo no.
84: September 2006
really strong colours
Tinting systems are a marketer's delight and the paint chemists'
The benefits to the marketing fraternity are obvious - from a minimum
number of stock units a full range of colours can be produced on demand.
The concept of being 'out' of a colour and having to wait - sometimes
several weeks - until the factory could schedule manufacture, are almost
To make a colour from base pigments is a somewhat tricky and messy
procedure but the paint produced from a relatively simple mixture of
pigment and binder is often at an optimum for film properties.
Tinters, on the other hand, are intermediate products in which the
pigments are dispersed into high levels of wetting agents; dispersing
agents; stabilisers; humectants and water. These excipient materials
are necessary to achieve stability of the pigment paste (tinter) and
to achieve compatibility into the various paints they are added to but
they play no useful role whatsoever in the final paint film. Indeed,
they can be harmful, detracting from water and weather resistance.
To exacerbate the problem, many tinters are locked into old technology
where dispersing techniques (especially for bright organic pigments)
were not so well developed as they could be. This has meant that most
of the well established tinters on the market have low levels of pigment
and high levels of excipients. This further means that in order to achieve
strong, bright shades, inordinate levels of tinter have to be added.
Many times the shade cannot be reached without a significant compromise
in hiding power.
Resene recognised this inherent weakness in typical tinting systems
and decided to look 'outside the square' at what was available.
The first step was the world first concept of coloured tones which
lead to a hybrid between factory made and fully tinted paints. Even
this dramatic improvement was not considered enough and the search for
new technologies went on. The underlying drive was to achieve higher
and higher strength tinters so that less had to be added to achieve
the desired shade and that the film properties could more closely approach
the 'pure', factory manufactured shade.
Although the widely cast net landed a 'grab bag' of different technologies,
they all delivered the desired higher strength. As Resene has taken
over the design and manufacture of its own tinters, a continuous streamlining
and improvement of technology has been put in place.
The other decision that Resene took was to look outside the typical
offering of decorative pigments towards the higher performing automotive
grades. Whilst both pigment lines can produce the same shades, tremendous
differences in performance become very obvious on exposure to weathering.
This is particularly obvious in the area of bright yellows, oranges
New pigment developments are occurring all the time as are new pigment
dispersants. These are constantly evaluated for utility in the tinting
system. These may result in the improved performance of existing shades
or, sometimes, the ability to enter a new colour space.
Resene has undertaken to advance its leadership in this area in the
knowledge that, unless a competitor can produce a match to a Resene
shade using the same strength colourants and exactly the same pigments,then
really it is no match at all.