March 7, 2009
Various technologies exist for making paints that change color. Thermochromic paints and coatings contain materials that change conformation when heat is applied, and so they change color. Liquid crystals have been used in such paints, such as in the thermometer strips and tapes used in aquaria. Photochromic paints and coatings contain dyes that change conformation when the film is exposed to UV light, and so they change color. These materials are used to make eyeglasses.
Color changing paints can also be made by adding halochrome compounds or other organic pigments. One patent cites use of these indicators for wall coating applications for light colored paints. When the paint is wet it is pink in color but upon drying it regains its original white color. As cited in patent, this property of the paint enabled two or multiple coats to be applied on a wall properly and evenly. The previous coat/s having dried would be white whereas the new wet coat would be distinctly pink. Ashland Inc. introduced foundry refractory coatings with similar principle in 2005 for use in foundries.
Electrochromic paints change color in response to an applied electric current. Car manufacturer Nissan has been reportedly working on an electrochromic paint, based on particles of paramagnetic iron oxide. When subjected to an electromagnetic field the paramagnetic particles change spacing, modifying their color and reflective properties. The electromagnetic field would be formed using the conductive metal of the car body. Electrochromic paints can be applied to plastic substrates as well, using a different coating chemistry. The technology involves using special dyes that change conformation when an electric current is applied across the film itself. Recently, this new technology has been used to achieve glare protection at the touch of a button in passenger airplane windows.
March 7, 2009
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, is converted to a solid film. It is most commonly used to protect, color or provide texture to objects.
In 2011, South African archeologists reported finding a 100,000 year old human-made ochre-based mixture which could have been used like paint. Cave paintings drawn with red or yellow ochre, hematite, manganese oxide, and charcoal may have been made by early Homo sapiens as long as 40,000 years ago.
Ancient colored walls at Dendera, Egypt, which were exposed for years to the elements, still possess their brilliant color, as vivid as when they were painted about 2,000 years ago. The Egyptians mixed their colors with a gummy substance, and applied them separate from each other without any blending or mixture. They appeared to have used six colors: white, black, blue, red, yellow, and green. They first covered the area entirely with white then traced the design in black, leaving out the lights of the ground color. They used minium for red, and generally of a dark tinge.
Pliny mentions some painted ceilings in his day in the town of Ardea, which had been done prior to the foundation of Rome. He expresses great surprise and admiration at their freshness, after the lapse of so many centuries.
Paint was made with the yolk of eggs and therefore, the substance would harden and adhere to the surface it is applied to. Pigment was made from plants, sand, and different soils. Most paints used either oil or water as a base.
A still extant example of 17th century house oil painting is Ham House in Surrey, England, where a primer was used along with several undercoats and an elaborate decorative overcoat; the pigment and oil mixture would have been pounded into a paste with a mortar and pestle. The process was done by hand by the painter and exposed them to lead poisoning due to the white-lead powder.
In 1718, Marshall Smith invented a “Machine or Engine for the Grinding of Colours” in England. Although we don’t know precisely how it operated, it was a device that increased the efficiency of pigment grinding dramatically.