Cool Pigments for plastics
Lumogen, Sicopal, Sicotan and Meteor Plus
BASF’s “cool pigment” technologies with specialized spectral behavior make it possible to formulate dark colors that reduce the heat build-up effect of sunlight by reflecting the near infrared (NIR) portion of the spectrum. Lumogen NIR transparent pigments as well as Sicopal, Sicotan and Meteor Plus NIR reflective pigments reduce surface heat build-up in plastics.
All dark surfaces exposed to sunlight will absorb incident light converting the energy, normally IR light, into heat energy. The process is commonly referred to as heat build-up.
A tool to energy savings and sustainability
In contrast to carbon black which reflects less than 5% of the total incident solar energy, Lumogen Black and Sicopal Black pigments achieve total solar reflectance (TSR) values of 30 to 35%. By substituting these pigments for carbon black, heat build-up can be reduced. This is particularly relevant to small and military aircraft as their cockpits will remain much cooler during ground standby when exposed to high air temperatures and radiation loads, protecting instrumentation and helping pilots avoid fatigue. Lower heat builds also enhance substrate lifetimes by reducing temperature-triggered degradation.
In many cases, both NIR transparent and reflecting pigments are used in the same formulation. Most Black NIR reflecting pigments tend to be brownish in shade and may need to be color corrected. Since carbon black can not be used due to its propensity to absorb NIR energy, it is replaced by Lumogen Black. The resulting color achieved by combining technologies resembles a true jet black with synergistic improvements in heat management.
Software tool to calculate total solar reflectance of pigment compositions
BASF offers its customers a special service in the form of its “CoolSim” computer tool. This simulation program allows BASF experts to engineer the optimal pigment composition with the highest possible TSR for each desired color shade – an enormous advantage for users who then don’t have to conduct their own experiments.
*Contact your Aerospace Sales Representative for a full line of ‘Cool’ Pigments for Plastic Applications.