Black and white pigments are key components of many coatings formulations. Over the past few years, black and white pigments makers have seen their fair share of down time, but manufacturers Coatings World spoke with reported some small gains.
Pigment Carbon Black are used in formulations to help absorb UV light and impart durability to a coating. They are used in a wide variety of applications including automotive, decorative and industrial coatings.
Carbon blacks are used for many reasons in coatings. The most common use is for pigmentation, which can be split into masstone and tinting. In masstone applications, the end product is a jet black coating. Black automotive basecoats are a good example here. For all other non-black applications, carbon black is used as a tinting aid.
Carbon black is also added to coatings to make them more conductive. In plastic primers applied to automotive bumpers, the function of the carbon black is to make the coating slightly conductive, so that subsequent layers of coating can be deposited via electrodeposition. Carbon black also helps with the dissipation of static in the concrete floor coatings applied to the floors of electronics fabrication facilities. Carbon black is also used for its inherent opacity. It is added to the backside of the coverglass in touch-screen devices to black light.
Demand for specialty carbon black has been flat for the past year with some slight gains expected. Because use of carbon black pigments in coatings is a relatively small segment, there are availability and supply issues.
Raw material prices are also another key issue for carbon black manufacturers. Changes in oil prices have been a fact of life.