CoatingsPro Magazine

MAR 2018

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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50 MARCH 2018 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Science Behind It The Creative Chemistry of Custom Color Floors By Maura Doyle, Manager of Content Development at Dur-A-Flex, Inc. W hat turned out to be an 100,000-square- foot (9,290.3 m²) project at Royal Farms Arena started as a small flooring project dependent on a color match. e facility's management hoped they could match the look of the existing terrazzo floor with an epoxy system. To meet the request, they would need to utilize a color-match process. The Color-Match Process To begin the color-match process, the facility turned to Dur-A-Flex and their in-house Dur-A-Flex Innovation Response Team (DIRT). DIRT uses a color spectrophotometer for the color- match process. is equipment is unique in that it operates in a non-contact mode, allowing it to measure samples for color from a distance without being affected by ambient light. e spectrophotometer utilizes the CMC (Color Measurement Committee) tolerancing method of color perception, based on the CIE L*a*b* color space. CIE stands for the Commission Internationale de l 'Eclairage, which is an international organization that sets the standard for all illumination including colorimetry. e CIE L*a*b* system specifically orders colors based on the opponent process theory of color vision. According to Datacolor, a manufacturer of color management solutions, the opponent theory proposes that colors cannot be perceived as both red and green nor yellow and blue at the same time. Instead, the theory states that a color can be perceived as a combination of red and yellow, red and blue, green and yellow, or green and blue, respectively. T he CIE L*a*b* color space utilizes color coordinates in a rectangular coordinate system w ith color space measured as distance between the color locations. For example, compared to a standard, the color differences are the distances in any direction, and because of this, generally tolerances are set for the distance to note how colors may differ. T his accepted variance is generally only show n via the spectrophotometer and not visible to the eye. T he CMC calculation mathematically defines an ellipsoid around a standard color in the color space. T his ellipsoid consists of a semi-a xis that corresponds to the attributes of hue, chroma, and value, according to X R ite, the parent ow ner of the Pantone color brand. e spectrophotometer measures the physical sample and then provides several formulas that could be used to produce the needed color. e Dur-A-Flex technician then chooses the best formula option based on his or her training in the science and instrumentation of color to know what will work best. e technicians are trained to recognize appropriate pigment loads and ensure that no formulation over-utilizes a certain pigment. T he Dur-A-Flex technician then produces a sma l l batch of the for mu lation and applies a sma l l amount to a draw dow n card. T he draw dow n card is specif ica l ly desig ned for this process and of fers an opacit y char t, meaning the card itself has both a black and white area. Accord ing to Leneta, the paint industr y's oldest supplier of paint test char ts, the black and white areas on the draw dow n card are large enough for w ide aper ture ref lectance instr uments to read (such as the spectrophotometer) as wel l as helpf u l for v isua l opacit y and color obser vation. Simply put, these areas a l low for the DIRT technician to v iew the wet mater ia l on the card and see if the backg round is v isible. Neither backg round color shou ld be seen through the mater ia l as the goa l is for a l l color- matched products to be completely opaque. W hile still wet, the draw down card is placed into the spectrophotometer and read for color accuracy. In general, if there is a variance greater than 0.99 DE (Delta-E, which is the number that represents the distance between two colors) the Dur-A-Flex technician employs corrective options. If the color read is spot-on, the formulation and already-produced small amount of material is provided to the Dur-A-Flex Design Center. Once accepted, the Design Center creates a sample of the requested floor system to the specification, including thickness and texture. ey complete a visual second-check process to ensure that the sample created in the Design Center matches the physical sample originally provided to DIRT. With the Royal Farms Arena project, the sample was checked against the existing terrazzo floor, and the match was spot-on. A ll parties signed off and moved on to the next phase of work: installing the floor! It's Science ere is a reason "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" isn't uttered in a laboratory setting. Our eyes are subjective, and other factors, such as lighting, can play a huge part in provid- ing variance to the color-match process. To get an accurate color match, it is necessary to turn to the science behind it! CP

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