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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a fluorescent color ?

‘Fluorescent’ refers to a pigment that absorbs and reflects more light than conventional colors, resulting in brighter and more powerful shades.

The color spectrum moves from invisible, low-energy infrared to high-energy ultraviolet rays. The ‘invisible light spectrum’or the colors that we see, are actually in the middle of the range. Normal color absorbs and re-emits a portion of the visible spectrum that matches its principle wavelength, while the remaining colors are absorbed and dissipated as heat.

Fluorescent colors use a larger amount of both the visible spectrum and the lower wavelengths compared to conventional colors. They not only absorb and convert light energy of the dominant wavelength of ultraviolet rays and other colors lower in the visible spectrum. As a result, your eye perceives a far more intense color.

What is a phosphorescent pigment ?

Phosphorescent pigments are commonly referred to as glow-in-the dark pigments. They have the ability to absorb energy and store it. Once the light source is removed, they begin to give up that stored energy in the form of light. The most common glow is the yellow-green shade that we all know.

What is the difference between fluorescent and phosphorescent pigment ?

Fluorescent color converts light to a dominant wavelength or color. Without a light source, there is no color. Phosphorescent colorants store energy and re-emit it when the light source is removed. They are, therefore visible in the dark for some period of time.

Do you have a fluorescent white and/or black ?

We do not offer fluorescent white or black products. Black products would not fluoresce. We do offer invisible pigments that will fluoresce in blue-white color, but they need to be incorporated into inks and coatings by the company that purchases the material.

Do these materials respond to blacklight ?

Most of our materials respond to blacklight (UV light). However, it is usually not a quality control specification. In general, fluorescent materials respond to blacklight.

Which pigment should I use in plastics ?

Choosing the best pigment for plastic applications can be challenging. Typically the type of plastic to be molded will determine the particular product. If you cannot determine the best candidate from the website information, please submit a technical request with as many details as possible and our technical or marketing staff will respond promptly.

Are your products hazardous ?

Our products are safe for use in a wide and varied range of applications. Recently, Radiant Color introduced a new product line, Radglo RPCF, which can be used in packaging that comes into direct contact with food/and or beverages.

How long will these products last outdoors ?

There are many factors that influence outdoor durability. This includes film thickness, time of the year, exposure directions, etc. In general, an ink or coating film of 1-3 mm will perform well for at least 30 days under average exposure . The closer to the equator, the shorter the time will be and the farther away, the longer. The use of an overcoat containing an UV absorber will extend that time.

How do I maximize the lightfastness of fluorescent pigments ?

The use of an overcoat containing an UV absorber will maximize the lightfastness of a fluorescent pigment. Mixing it with a small amount of non-fluorescent pigment (<1%) can also enhance the lightfastness. Printing or painting over an conventional color of similar shade will also add perceived longevity of the pigment. Additional information for your particular application can be requested from our technical or marketing teams.

Can I download complete technical bulletins from your website ?

Our standard technical bulletins are now available on our website. They can be downloaded in .pdf format.

How do I request shelf life data on Radiant Color COA’s ?

As an ISO9001-2008 registered company, we have determined a shelf life for our products beyond which we will not sell them without first re-testing to make sure they still meet our quality control specifications. Our customer service can provide information if required.

Fluorescent pigments: how do they work?

Fluorescent pigments do not only absorb and reflect visible light, they even absorb photons in the ultraviolet region (invisible for the eye) and re-emit photons in the visible region. Fluorescent pigments are based on fluorescent dyes and polymeric materials. The dye is encapsulated within the polymer, allowing it to be used in the manner of a traditional pigment.

In the dark, a fluorescent dye molecule is at its lowest state of energy possible – the ground state. Light can bring the dye molecule in its excited state by absorbing a photon (energy). This excited state is an unstable situation. The excited electrons will lose their energy to go back to the ground state by instantaneously re-emitting the light. The emitted wavelength is always longer than the one they have absorbed, so the color of fluorescence is always a bit red shifted.

Simply described, daylight fluorescent pigments convert energy from the ultraviolet spectrum and transform them into longer wavelengths that are visible to the human eye. As a result, your eye perceives a far more intense color. Where a clean, bright conventional color is able to reflect a maximum of 90% of a color present in the spectrum, a fluorescent color can reflect as much as 200% or even higher.

Do fluorescent pigments have a good light fastness?

All pigments and dyes fade into direct sunlight, some of them are more sensitive to it.
A dye molecule becomes energetically unstable by absorption of light (photons). A fluorescent dye will lose a lot of its energy by the emission of light but this is mostly only a fraction of the energy that is absorbed. The excess of energy can also be used to produce warmth or destroy itself, by producing radicals or by reacting with radicals of the surrounding media.

Fluorescent colors are, generally, more fugitive than conventional colors. The relative degree of light stability would be rather low compared to conventional pigments. The degree and effect of degradation is dependent on the color, the intended end usage, the pigment and dye loading and other important factors, including:
* Type of vehicle/binder system.
* Type of plastic.
* The thickness of the pigmented coating or wall thickness of the plastic.
* The pigment concentration/loading. In general, the higher the loading, the better the light fastness.

Light fastness can be improved somewhat by the use of ultraviolet absorbers in the pigmented formulation and clear protecting layers containing ultraviolet absorbers. These systems should be tested to assure satisfactory results.

 

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