Shepherd Color Pigments Share 50 Years of Successful Weathering with Kynar 500® Resin

October 2017 marked a truly amazing milestone in coatings technology. Weathering test panels of coatings made with Kynar 500® PVDF resin (Arkema Inc.) and Shepherd Color Company CICP’s (Complex Inorganic Color Pigments) have achieved an amazing 50 years of successful weathering. The actual weathering test panels are shown in the photograph below. The top portion of each panel was shielded from weathering, while the remaining portion was exposed to rigorous South 45 degree weathering in South Florida.

Hard to see the difference isn’t it?

The combination of Kynar 500® PVDF with Shepherd Color CICP pigments is truly complementary since either one without the other by itself would not be able to achieve these remarkable results. The mixed metal oxide pigments are capable of fade-free long-term performance, but PVDF resin is needed to achieve results such as these, since lesser polymer binder systems would deteriorate long before this.

Similarly, with a Kynar 500® PVDF resin-based coating made using less durable pigments in place of CICP’s (for example many organic pigments), the PVDF polymer binder will continue to defy weather and ultraviolet rays, but the organic pigment will degrade and color fade.

Below is a picture of the exposure site in South Florida where the test panels were exposed to the South at a 45o angle to the sun, which is perhaps the most rigorous natural weathering / fade resistance test known.

South Florida S-45o Exposure Fence

The next generation of this powerful combination of technologies is already underway with water-based Kynar Aquatec® PVDF emulsion polymer and Shepherd Color Company’s revolutionary Dynamix® CICP easy dispersing “Stir-In” color pigment technology. The Kynar Aquatec® technology allows formulators to meet demanding new VOC emission rules without sacrificing performance. The Dynamix® pigment technology allows coating manufacture using a standard high speed disperser – no media milling required – also with no sacrifice in performance.

Kynar 500® and Kynar Aquatec® are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc.

Shepherd Color announces new YInMn Blue Pigment

The Shepherd Color Co. is excited to announce the groundbreaking “YInMn Blue” technology, licensed from Oregon State University, and inspiring the new “Bluetiful” crayon color from Crayola, is ready for commercial sale. The US EPA granted Shepherd Color a Low Volume Exemption (LVE) so this new pigment, commercially known as Blue 10G513, can be used in industrial coatings and plastics. The new Blue is revolutionary because it is a new pigment chemistry that expands the range of colors available that stay cooler when exposed to the sun, allowing building material manufacturers to meet regulatory requirements and potentially save energy.

The high temperature calcination production process makes the Blue 10G513 highly inert. While it is highly IR-reflective, it is extremely opaque in the visible and UV parts of the solar spectrum. The inertness means that it can be used in a wide range of coatings and plastics and have excellent weathering properties. The world’s largest and most sophisticated coatings companies are testing Blue 10G513, where it is showing promising results. Due to the multiple decade warranties common with pre-painted coil-coated building products and the newness of this pigment, the extensive testing needed to validate the complete coating performance hasn’t been validated yet. Blue 10G513 can also be used in plastics where its high temperature stability, high opacity, and color make it a unique pigment for coloring polymers.

While the EPA has given us the approval for use in industrial coatings and plastics, at this time they have not been granted approval for use in artist color materials in the US. We are filing a full PMN (Pre-Manufacturing Notice) to get Blue 10G513 on the TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) inventory and approved for all applications. Please contact your local Shepherd Color representative for local market availability.

Blue 10G513 represents one example of Shepherd Color’s dedication to providing new and impactful pigment chemistries to the coatings, plastics and other materials markets. The new YInMn Blue 10G513 follows our one-of-a-kind NTP Yellow- a chromatic, bright, and opaque mid-shade yellow, and RTZ Orange- which together push the edge of the durable color envelope. Our Arctic IR-reflective pigments give class leading properties in Total Solar Reflectance (TSR), masstone jetness, and tint strength. These highly useful pigments are also available in our easily-dispersed Dynamix product line that allows the rapid development of new coatings and their effortless scale-up in production. With ongoing advances in color and technology, rely on Shepherd Color to Brighten Your Life with quality products and the latest innovation. Please contact your Shepherd Color representative or Mark Ryan, Marketing Manager, at (513) 874-0714 for more information.

Shepherd Color Exhibiting at the European Coatings Show Hall 7 Stand 7-314

Shepherd Color is exhibiting at the European Coatings Show April 4-6, 2017 in Nuremberg, Germany.  The Booth (Hall 7 Stand 7-314) will feature Dynamix and Arctic pigments.

Just stir in Dynamix! Achieve 100% Pure Color Dispersions with Dynamix!
Get Pure Profitability, Pure Convenience, and Pure Consistency with Dynamix Stir-in Pigments!

How cool are you? Get there with Arctic Infrared Reflective Pigments.
Mitigate solar induced heat build-up with Infrared Reflecting pigments. Durable. Color. Cooler.


Dispersant Guide For Shepherd Pigments In Coatings


The selection of a dispersant package for a coating formulation is not a simple proposition and can require a substantial amount of laboratory work using experimental design to determine the optimal choice. The selection process needs to consider many factors including the following: is the coating solvent based or water based, if it is solvent based then is the solvent polar, non-polar, etc., what is the resin system, what other pigments and extenders are present, are reactive pigments such as zinc oxide being used, what quantities of pigment(s) / extenders are being used, what are the surface areas of the pigments, what are the oil absorptions of the pigments, what are the ζ-potentials of the pigments, density of the pigments, are HEUR rheology modifiers used, what other additives are being used (particularly defoamers), and are there special requirements for the dispersants such as APEO-free, solvent free, ammonia free, etc. etc. There are even more considerations than these but for the purpose of this paper we will stop here. The number of possible permutations is endless making specific recommendations for the exact dispersant and dosage level for a customer to use in their particular coating formulation impossible. Having said that, dozens of dispersants from several manufacturers have been pre-screened and the field narrowed in order to provide a more manageable list of dispersant candidates for customers to evaluate in their formulations with Shepherd CICP pigments. The dispersants that have demonstrated the most positive results in the screening studies are shown in FIGURE 1 below. A guide to determining usage levels can be found in the “Discussion” section below. Please note that this list is not intended to represent the only dispersants on the market that may be suitable.


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Zeta Potential, Isoelectric Point, and Dispersion Stability


Technical publications about pigments and dispersions often make references to the terms “Zeta Potential” and “Isoelectric Point”. Some formulators may not be familiar with these concepts. This paper is intended to help explain what these terms mean and how they affect pigment dispersion stability in the simplest terms possible. It also will discuss the Shepherd Color Company’s Dynamix® “Stir-In” grade pigments and how Zeta Potential and Isoelectric Point are different with this technology versus conventional pigments.


The three basic states of matter are solids, liquids and gases. If one of these, a solid, is very finely divided within a liquid it may be called a “dispersion”. In the case of waterborne coatings or color concentrates, the solid material is pigment (and also possibly polymer particles) suspended in a liquid which is water. The pigment particles may be inorganic, organic, or combinations of both. The preparation of coatings or color concentrates involves dry powder pigments being introduced into liquid water under mechanical shear in order to wet them out completely. With standard pigments this is generally not possible without the addition of a chemical dispersant to aid in the wetting and de-aerating of the powder. Milling through a high energy media mill is then routinely needed to achieve the optimum particle size. Ideally, the chemical dispersant selected will also provide inter-particle repulsion of the pigments so that the dispersed particles do not re-agglomerate to any extent. Often this is not the case and combinations of dispersant(s) with other surface active ingredients are needed to obtain a stable formulation.

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Beauty Is Beyond The Eye Of The Beholder…

The YInMn (Yttrium, Indium and Manganese) Blue was developed out of research in the labs of Oregon State University’s chemist Mas Subramanian for inorganic materials with electronics applications properties. 1 A graduate student, and former Shepherd Color R&D chemist, Andrew Smith, noticed that one of the compositions produced a vibrant blue color, but not the expected electronic properties. Luckily, the color was striking enough to warrant its own research.

When OSU started working with Shepherd Color on the commercial possibilities of the pigment, we appreciated the color of the pigment, but our sights were set beyond the visual properties. From our decades-long relationships in the building products market, we knew that a need existed for dark-blue shade colors that reflect more of the sun’s infrared energy. These types of pigments that absorb selectively in the visible part of the spectrum for deep colors while reflecting the near-infrared, form the core of our Arctic IR reflective pigments. The sun’s energy extends from 295 to 2500nm, of which we only can see the wavelengths between 400 to 700nm. However, roughly half of the sun’s energy is in the invisible near-IR wavelengths from 700 to 2500nm.2 The ability of a pigment to reflect the sun’s energy across this whole range is called its Total Solar Reflectance (TSR) with higher numbers leading to cooler surfaces. This technology is used to meet requirements in USGBC LEED, Energy Star, California Title 24 and other regulations, building codes and rebate programs.


The reflectance properties for coatings formulated with two different blue pigments can be seen in the graph below. The horizontal axis shows the wavelengths in nanometers and the vertical axis quantifies how much each pigment reflects at those wavelengths. The data table underneath provides color values for these masstone (100% Blue) pigmented coatings. Use of the YInMn Blue pigment yields a darker (negative DL* value) and redder (positive Da* value) coating, with similar blueness (negative b* values), compared to the standard Cobalt Blue. Beyond the color properties, the issue with current high-durability Cobalt Blue pigments is that they have an absorption band in the near IR from about 1100 to1600nm. This reduces the TSR of the pigment when used in coatings. Since the YInMn Blue does not contain cobalt, the typical cobalt absorption band is not present, resulting in a higher TSR.3



L* a* b* DL* Da* Db* DE* % TSR
Blue 385 Cobalt Blue 36.3 6.3 -45.4 26.0
YInMn Blue 34.9 11.6 -45.5 -1.3 5.4 -0.1 5.5 32.6

While that is an improvement, the key isn’t just that it has a higher TSR. The real impact of not having the cobalt absorption band is more important when you start to blend pigments together to make other colors, especially dark blues and cool-toned blacks.­

The graph above can illustrate the issue. As in the graphs before you can see the Cobalt Blue and YInMn Blue reflectance curves. We have also added the most common durable IR Reflective Black, here the Shepherd Color Arctic Black 10C912. You can see that where the IR black is starting to reflect the most IR light coincides with the Cobalt Blue’s absorption band. This in contrast to the YInMn Blue, which keeps a higher degree of reflection over a broad range of wavelengths.


In the graph below you can see the reflectance curves for a paint based on a blend of 50% blue pigment and 50% of the IR Black. This makes a very dark blue color, as can be seen from the L*a*b* color values below the graph. While both blends made dark blue colors, the one based on YInMn Blue has a significantly higher TSR.4 The reason for the TSR difference can be seen from the reflectance curves. The blend with Cobalt Blue yields lower reflectance in the 1100 to 1600nm range.

PVDF/acrylic L* a* b* % TSR
50% BK10C912 & 50% Blue 385 25.7 0.9 -4.4 15.8
50% BK10C912 & 50% YInMn Blue 26.5 1.1 -7.5 25.2


While dark-blue colors are one way to take advantage of the YInMn Blue reflectance properties, the blue can also be used another way. Most IR Blacks have a slightly warm (reddish) tone to them due to the increase in reflectivity in the 700nm area transition between the visible and near-IR. Shifting colors bluer is difficult when trying to maximize TSR because the standard pigment that would be used is Cobalt Blue. Even small amounts of Cobalt Blue added to coatings containing IR Blacks will lead to a decrease in TSR. The graph and data below shows how making a paint with 75% IR Black and 25% blue reduces the redness (a* value) and increases the blueness (increasingly negative b* value) from the paint made with 100% IR black.

PVDF/acrylic L* a* b* DL* Da* Db* DE* % TSR
Black 10C912 24.8 1.9 0.8 24.5
75% BK10C912 & 25% Blue 385 25.1 1.4 -1.1 0.3 -0.5 -1.9 2.0 18.1
75% BK10C912 & 25% YInMn Blue 25.4 1.5 -2.3 0.6 -0.4 -3.1 3.2 24.7
 While addition of either blue results in more jet shades of black, the paint made with the YInMn Blue retains a higher TSR value. This ability to have more neutral toned IR reflective black shades is a great tool to have in your Arctic IR Reflective pigment toolbox. The graph below shows the complete range of 100% IR Black with 0% Blue on the left hand side to 100% Blue pigment with 0% IR Black on the right. You can see that the line representing the Cobalt Blue blends with IR Black shows a significant dip caused by the cobalt absorption band in the infrared. The blends of IR Black and YInMn Blue are much closer to a theoretical blend of the two pigments’ masstone TSR’s because there is less antagonistic absorption between the two pigments.


The YInMn Blue is an interesting pigment not just for its visible properties, but also because of its invisible IR properties. It allows paint and coatings manufactures to improve sustainability by bringing cooler, more aesthetically pleasing colors to you that meet stringent building envelope requirements in codes, regulations and rebate programs. Most of the largest coatings companies in the world have YInMn Blue samples in testing for these types of applications. More information is available at

The beauty of the pigment extends past its color.

    1. Another way to describe these pigments is as ceramic materials. They are also to one degree or another semiconductors. They are most commonly referred to as CICPs (Complex Inorganic Color Pigments).
    2. The exact solar spectrum is dependent on the latitude, time of day, the season, particulates in the air and cloud cover. A rough approximation is that half of the sun’s energy is in the visible, half in the near-IR and the a few percent in the UV. Further research to define the solar spectrum for modeling heat build-up in building products applications can be found in papers written by Ronnen Levinson (et al.) of LBNL. (SOURCE).
    3. Total Solar reflectance values were done in a typical pre-painted metal (coil coating) PVDF/Acrylic coating system over chromated primer and a Galvalume substrate. The coatings are fairly thin at about 20 microns, and the substrate has an effect on TSR readings. A thicker (or more highly pigmented) coating and/or over a white (IR reflective) substrate can give higher TSR readings. The relative differences between panels will still be similar. This testing is indicative of the performance in a potential commercial use for the pigment.
    4. The shades of dark blue are not exactly the same, with the YInMn Blue being a bit lighter but also bluer. We wanted to show the effect of blending the pigments without trying to add the complexity of getting exact color matches to each other.

Real World Application of YInMn Blue

The recent blog post Beauty is Beyond the Eye of the Beholder used data to show the advantage of making dark blue colors that have improved IR reflectance. This blog post looks at the real world application of that technology.

Cool Roofs1 are one way to reduce the energy needed to air condition buildings. One of the hardest colors to make cool is dark blues. To show what YInMn can do to make roofs cooler we prepared two metal panels painted in the same shade of dark blue and placed them on model houses. The roof on the left is made with standard high durability pigments2 while the roof on the right based on YInMn Blue3 discovered by Oregon State’s chemist Mas Subramanian. The two house models were then placed outside on a sunny, calm, warm day4 at Shepherd Color’s mountain LAIR (Laboratory for Advanced Innovative Research) in the Denver, Colorado area.

When you look at the houses, you can see that they are the same visual color- a nice dark blue compared to the white houses and the dark gray platform.

The difference between the two roofs, after being exposed to the sun and allowed to stabilize in temperature, is invisible to the naked eye, but can be seen if we use an instrument that is sensitive to the far-IR wavelengths such as a FLIR® imager5. This imager turns the temperature of an object into visual information with hotter items being brighter with white being the hottest. We can even isolate the roof from the rest of the picture. As you can see, the standard version of the blue roof is getting hotter than the YInMn Blue version of the same color.

Besides this qualitative difference, we can use the FLIR® imager to quantitatively tell the difference is temperature. By looking at a composite picture in the red ‘hottest’ mode and using the imager’s temperature sensing function, we can see that that standard blue roof is 191F(88C) while the YInMn blue roof is 168F(75C).


The temperature difference between the roofs can be explained by examining them with another instrument- a spectrophotometer in our laboratory that reports the reflectance from the visible and also the invisible near-infrared (n-IR) and ultraviolet (UV). While only a few percent of the sun’s energy is in the damaging UV, roughly half of the sun’s energy is in the visible part of the spectrum we use to see color, while the other half is in the invisible n-IR.

You can see that the reflectance curves are very similar in the visible (400-700nm) section of the graph since the roofs are the same color. Where they differ is in the invisible n-IR area past 700nm. Here, the standard blue and black pigments combine to make the standard dark blue have very low reflectance. Total Solar Reflectance (TSR) is used to describe how much of the sun’s energy an object reflects. The higher the TSR, the more energy reflects and less energy absorbed, the cooler an object can stay. You can see that the standard dark blue has a TSR of 8 while the YInMn based blue has a TSR of 28. This 20 percent difference in TSR is what allows the YInMn Blue to stay cooler when exposed to the sun.

This concept of having lower absorption of the sun’s energy (reflecting more of it away) is the idea behind the ‘cool roof’ programs that has been part of the EPA’s Energy Star roofing program, the USGBC LEED program, California’s Title 24 building codes and other codes, programs, rebates and tax incentives around the world. If roofs stay cooler, the building heats up less and less energy (and peak energy usage in the afternoon) is needed to cool a building. The YInMn Blue pigment is one part of Shepherd Color’s range of Arctic® IR reflective pigments. At the core of the technology is our ‘Black Rainbow’ of IR reflective black pigments. Depending on your particular application there is an optimized product to help you make the coolest paint, coating, plastic, concrete or plaster for a wide range of building products.

1. A large part of the heat that enters a building comes from the roof. Adding insulation below the roof deck or venting an attic are ways to deal with this heat before it enters the living space and raises temperatures or has to be dealt with my air conditioning. To prevent the heat from ever entering the house, the roof can be made to reflect the sun’s energy. This is the concept behind the move towards ‘Cool Roofs’. The easiest way to do this is paint the roof white, but that is not the preferred aesthetic for steep slope roofs that are visible from ground level. People tend to like darker colored roofs. The hard part is making a dark colored roof that reflects away the heat created by the sun. The new YInMn blue makes dark blue shades possible that are highly durable and stay cooler than standard dark blue roofs.
2. Standard blue is formulated with Shepherd Color Blue 10C595 (PBl28) and a Shepherd Color Black 430 (PBk28).
3. YInMn dark blue is made with Shepherd Blue 10G513 (YInMn Blue) and Shepherd Color 30C941 (PBr29).
4. 850watt per square meter sunlight at about 85F/30C air temperature.
5. FLIR One imager for iPhone5.

Black 10C912 is also a new CI Pigment Brown 29 for use in the coatings industry.

It has a mean particle size of 1.6 microns and a TRS of 25%. Black 10C912 has a bluer masstone versus other IR-reflecting pigments.

High IR reflectance enables colored materials, even dark colors, to stay cool. This new black also meets numerous regulations.

Shepherd Color introduces Dynamix Black 30C941, a CI Pigment Brown 29 with a 29% Total Solar Reflectance.

It is also part of the Arctic range for coatings and can be used widely in color matches to maximize TSR. Black 30C941 has a mean particle size of 1.3 microns and is approved for various regulatory requirements. This is the ultimate blue-shade IR black for coatings. It has roughly the same color as 30C940 and has about 3-4% higher TSR. It is a higher ratio of Fe:Cr, which increases the blueness of the masstone, but with a slightly higher masstone L value.

The net effect is that it looks like a more neutral black and with a higher TSR.

This new black meets numerous regulations governing packaging, food contact, recycling and toys.

Just stir in Dynamix! Achieve 100% Pure Color Dispersions with Dynamix!

Get Pure Profitability, Pure Convenience, and Pure Consistency with Dynamix Stir-in Pigments! Typical applications include coil coatings, powder coatings, waterborne & solventborne coatings, and silicate & masonry coatings. Everyone benefits from Dynamix®!

From the CEO to the Plant Manager, from the Technical Manager to the Chemist, there is something to be gained by all.

Benefits include:

• Reduce total costs by over 20%
• Shorten dispersion cycle times from days to minutes
• Slash energy costs by more than 90%
• Make the same color every time
• Batch size, from the lab to plant, yields the same results
• Move production to any location in the world
• Speed up development time
• Can be added at any stage
• Stronger tint strengths & improved paint properties
• Reduce waste and cleanup

For more information see our new website