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The Shepherd Color Company
4539 Dues Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45246
Phone: 513-874-0714

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Most questions are much more technical or specific then we can address here. Please complete the contact us form with as much information as possible to help us address your inquiry.

Who is The Shepherd Color Company?

The Shepherd Color Company is a privately held producer of inorganic pigments, specifically, Complex Inorganic Colored Pigments. These pigments, due to their extreme stability, are used in high performance coatings, plastics, glass enamels, and high heat coatings. We are headquartered in Cincinnati, OH with offices in Belgium, Australia and Japan.

What is an inorganic pigment?

Typically, inorganic pigments are crystals of metal oxides. This structure is extremely stable, and sets it apart from organic pigments, which are generally composed of carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen. Shepherd Color produces mixed metal oxides that include more than one type of metal atom along with the oxygen to make the pigment.

What is a mixed metal oxide (MMO)?

A mixed metal oxide is an inorganic pigment that contains more than one metal ion type in its oxide crystal structure. Iron oxides have only one metal, while Shepherd Color pigments have more than one.

What is a CICP?

CICP stands for Complex Inorganic Colored Pigment. This term is often used interchangeably with MMO, but CICP designates that the pigment is colored.

What type of dispersion equipment do I need to use?

For paints and liquid systems, Shepherd Color pigments are usually added to a mill base which is mixed with a high-speed blade-type dispersor, and then passed through a media mill. The media mill is used to ensure full dispersion and color development. In plastics, Shepherd pigments are known for their ease of dispersion. They can be dispersed into plastics with kneaders, twin or single screws extruders, and even in rotational molding equipment, depending on the application and polymer. In ceramic glazes, slips and bodies they can be dispersed with high-speed mixersor ball-mills.

Are Shepherd Color pigments FDA approved?

For food contact applications, the FDA provides approval of pigments based on their color index number. Shepherd Color produces the following pigment types that can be used: C.I. Pigment Black 28, C.I. Pigment Brown 24, C.I. Pigment Blue 28, C.I. Pigment Green 50, C.I. Pigment Yellow 53, and C.I. Pigment Black 12. With these pigments, a wide range of colors can be produced. Please contact Shepherd Color for the best pigment for your application.

Are Shepherd Color pigments NFA approved?

NFA does not specifically approve pigments, but whole parts for water systems. We can provide you with documents that will allow parts containing select Shepherd Color pigments to meet NFA requirements.

How are Shepherd Color pigments produced?

While details of our production are closely held secrets, some general statements can be made. Our pigments are produced by the high temperature calcination of high grade metal oxides in a kiln according to strict time and temperature profiles. The resulting mixed metal oxide is milled using a variety of high-energy techniques in order to reduce the particle size. The products receive a final QA check and are stored for shipping.

How temperature stable are Shepherd Color pigments?

Shepherd Color pigments are some of the most heat resistant colorants known and find use in glass enamels, high heat coatings, and engineering plastics. They are stable in most systems up to their calcination temperature (>1400F/800C). Please review our technical data sheets for each pigment’s heat stability or contact a Technical Representative to discuss your specific application.

How conductive are Shepherd Color pigments?

As mixed metal oxides, Shepherd Color pigments are technically semi-conductors. At most temperatures they have high resistance to current, in fact higher than most other inorganic or organic pigments.

Do Shepherd Color pigments contain heavy metals?

The definition of ‘heavy metal’ varies from company to company, organization to organization, and regulation to regulation. Shepherd CICPs, due to their high calcination temperatures and inorganic crystalline structure, have extremely low bio-availability. In fact, for most products, the LD50 (a measure of non-toxicity) is higher than table salt! Any impurities are present in trace amounts only, less than the levels mandated by most food-contact regulations worldwide.

What kind of dispersion aids should I use?

A wide range of additives can be used to facilitate the dispersion, grinding, and processing of Shepherd Color pigments. The correct choice depends on the resin system, solvent, processing techniques, pigment loading, and the final dispersion requirements. Because of the sheer number of formulation variations, some trial and error is often required. For both plastics and coatings, a useful rule of thumb is to start with the additive that works best (in a particular system) for simple oxides, like iron oxide or chrome oxide.

Can I use Shepherd Color in fiber filled materials?

Shepherd Color pigments can be used in fiber filled materials, but care must be taken. The abrasive nature of mixed metal oxides can often break fibers during processing. Mixing of the pigments and fibers should be kept to a minimum.

How acid and alkali stable are Shepherd Color pigments?

All but three Shepherd Color pigments are stable in highly acidic or basic solutions. Our Violet 11 is not stable in alkali or basic solutions (pH over 7). Our Violet 92 is not stable in acidic (pH under 7) solutions. Violet 102 is not stable in any aqueous solutions.

How can I reduce heat build-up by using Shepherd Color pigments?

Most Shepherd Color pigments reflect the portion of sun’s energy called the near infrared (700-2500nm). These wavelengths are not visible to the human eye, yet they constitute 45% of the sun’s radiation that reaches the earth’s surface. Since our pigments reflect this energy, while others absorb, two objects of the same color can have different heat build-ups. Vinyl siding was one of the first applications where the reflective property of these type pigments was promoted, since the PVC can deform at elevated temperatures. A recent application of this property is in roof coatings that help reduce energy consumption. We call this money-saving environmentally-friendly technology Arctic Infrared Pigments.

What are some of the uses for Shepherd Color pigments?

Shepherd Color pigments typically find use in demanding applications where temperature, chemical, and weathering resistance are critical. Customers depend on Shepherd Color pigments in such diverse applications as coil coatings (weatherability and color consistency), engineering plastics (temperature stability and dispersability), and glass enamels (temperature stability).

How weatherable are Shepherd Color pigments?

Shepherd Color pigments are among the most durable materials known to man. They are extremely resistant to chemicals, solar radiation, and heat. For this reason, they are used in products that are warranted to maintain their color outdoors for 25+ years. Specific weathering data is available upon request.

What are Arctic® pigments?

Arctic® is the brand name of our line of infrared reflecting pigments.

What are Dynamix® pigments?

Dynamix® is the brand name of our line stir-in pigments.

What are Classic Pigments?

The Shepherd Color’s Classic pigments are our legacy complex inorganic color pigments.

What are StarLight® Pigments?

StarLight ® is brand name of our silver-coated class flake special effect pigment.

How do I get Tech Data Sheets and MSDSs for pigments not listed on your website or in a different language?

We can not list every pigment that we have ever produced on our website. If you need a Tech Data Sheet or Material Safety Data Sheet for a product not listed please contact us through the Expert Answer option on the website and we will send you the information.

Do your pigments have REACH approval?

Reach is a European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use. It deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances. The law entered into force on June 1, 2007. The Shepherd Color Company is doing everything to comply with REACH registration of our pigments. Currently, our pigments have been preregistered and are on the proper timeline to be registered. REACH provisions will be phased-in over the next 11 years.