Once the product of inexact experimentation, the pigments in today’s industrial painting and commercial painting applications are precisely formulated to deliver the greatest amount of color with the least amount of solid material.
Titanium dioxide compounds are most commonly used as pigment in white paint. Other common pigment choices include zinc phosphate, a pigment which also offers good outdoor durability, and zinc borate, a pigment that exhibits decent flame retardant and anti-corrosive properties.
Chromium oxide green is one of the most widely used modern pigments to produce the color green. This pigment is one of the first modern pigments, in that it was chemically extracted from lead chromate rather than taken from an organic source.
As chemical knowledge expanded, so did the ability to create new pigments. Rich blues were often difficult and expensive to create in the past. Chemistry brought the ability to react copper salts and produce phthalocyanine, which can be combined with other metals such as copper, cobalt and nickel to create various shades of blue.
Today’s pigments push the performance envelope with acid-resistance, wind resistance and other qualities. An example of a truly modern pigment is a DPP pigment. DPP stands for diketopyrrolopyrrole, a chemical structure that contains a carboxylic acid group. DPP pigments produce shades of red, and are often used in industrial applications and in powder coating.