Special effect pigments are synthetic or natural pigments characterized by their iridescent color phenomena, high luster, and brilliance from optically thin ?lms. Their visual imprints find their origin in the refraction and re?ection of light with single and multiple layers. Special effect pigments are eye-catching and react to heat or light to create a comprehensive range of visual effects.
Based on type, special effect pigments are categorized into the fluorescent, phosphorescent, photochromic, and thermochromic varieties. Some materials undergo the process of converting energy into light under certain special circumstances known as fluorescence. Fluorescent colors are trending in fashion, safety markings, and advertising. They find wide application in plastics processing, textile printing, printing ink, paper coating, and paints & lacquers. Phosphorescence and fluorescence follow the same basic principle of emitting photons but with a difference in emission time. In fluorescence, the emission stops once the excitation source is removed; however, in phosphorescence, it continues even after the removal, which is also termed as the “after glow” effect. Phosphorescent pigments are used for illuminating the dials of instruments, watches, clocks for night viewing in military applications, and also in novelties, toys, and textile printing. Photochromic pigments change color when exposed to ultraviolet light and are nearly invisible when not exposed to UV light. They are colorless indoors and acquire an effervescent color outside. These pigments are mostly applied in textiles, ceramics, glassware, and plastics. Thermochromic pigments are heat-sensitive. They change color when cooled or heated and are applied in aeronautics, construction, food & beverages, packaging & printing, textiles, and novelties. This segment is projected to expand rapidly due its wide applications.
Based on end-user application, the special effect pigments market is segregated into the following groups: coatings & paints, inks & printing, cosmetics & personal care, and plastics. These pigments are applied as coatings & paints in the automotive, powder coatings, construction, and as well as industrial safety markings industries. They are employed in inks & printing in the food packaging, textile printing, offset printing, screen printing, novelty printing, and decorative printing sectors. The cosmetic & personal care sector makes use of special effect pigments in color cosmetics for the eye, lips, face, nails, and hair. Plastic applications of these pigments include agriculture, electrics & electronics, and novelties. The coatings & paints segment holds a major share in the market due to its versatile applications.
In terms of region, the special effect pigments market is distributed over Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is considered a major market. The growing demand for the product is driven by its use in food & beverages packing, textiles, industries, automotive, railways, cosmetics, and decoration & novelty goods. The special effect pigment market is performing better in the U.S. due to increased home and automotive sales. The increased popularity of chromatic colors and the shifting trend toward SUVs and trucks elevated the automotive sector. VOC regulations from governments is a major restraint faced by the special effect pigment market.
Key players operating in this market include Merck (U.S.), Sun Chemical (U.S.), GBC Speciality Chemicals (U.K.), RPM International Inc. (U.S.), Clariant (Switzerland), BASF SE (Germany), Brilliant Group, Inc. (U.S.), Zhejiang Coloray Technology Development Co. Ltd. (China), Glassflake Ltd (U.K), Toyal Group (Japan), QCR Solutions Corp (U.S.), Yipin Pigments Inc. (U.S.), LCR Hallcrest (U.K.) Matsui International Co. Inc. (U.S.), Olikrom (France), and United Mineral & Chemical Corporation (U.S.).
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