The history and state of the art use of pigments known as transparent titanium dioxides in automotive coatings is described. This pigment, also known as microfine TiO2, produces a unique and patented color effect in combination with Al flake pigments via Rayleigh light scattering. The potential for styling new “effect colors” has been investigated extensivley at BASF Corporation. Early feasibility and durability problems have been resolved with a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for color effect and film degradation in sun light.
Florida exposure data in both solventborne and waterborne coatings systems has shown this pigment to be very durable when used within certain formulating guide lines. Critical is the choice of pigment particle size and encapsulation chemistry.
First used in 1989 in a color styled for the Ford Motor Company, production colors have expanded to other US and Japanese car manufacturers.