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What are the classifications of inorganic pigments?

Inorganic pigments are a type of pigment made from inorganic compounds such as oxides of natural minerals or non-ferrous metals and insoluble metal salts. Inorganic pigments are mainly divided into natural metal mineral inorganic pigments and artificial synthetic compound inorganic pigments. The following is a detailed introduction to the classification of inorganic pigments:

Colored inorganic pigments powder

Natural inorganic pigments

Natural inorganic pigments are derived from natural mineral resources. Since ancient times, humans have used colored soil and natural minerals (such as naturally occurring cinnabar, realgar, red clay, etc.) for painting and decoration. Natural inorganic pigments have the following characteristics:

  • Less chromatographic range: Due to limitations of natural resources, the chromatographic range of natural pigments is relatively limited.
  • Poor color purity: The color purity of natural pigments is greatly affected by natural conditions, and there are differences in color purity between batches.
  • Low cost: Compared to synthetic pigments, natural inorganic pigments are relatively inexpensive.

What are the classifications of natural inorganic pigments?

The following are some common natural inorganic pigments:

  • Cinnabar: Cinnabar is a bright red inorganic pigment whose main component is mercury oxide and often contains small amounts of sulfur and impurities. Commonly used in painting, decoration and restoration of cultural relics.
  • Orpiment and realgar: The main component of realgar is arsenic tetrasulfide; the main component of orpiment is arsenic trisulfide. They are both classic mineral pigments with a bright yellow color used in painting and decoration.
  • Gypsum: Gypsum is a calcium sulfate mineral, a common white powder used in paintings, murals, and architectural decoration.
  • Ocher: Ocher is a clay mineral containing iron oxide and other minerals. It usually appears reddish-brown to brown-red in color and is commonly used in painting, decoration and other purposes.
  • Black soil: Black soil is formed from soil that contains high concentrations of organic matter and minerals. In painting and art, black soil is often used as a pigment to create works such as oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings.
  • Kaolin, also known as China clay, after being finely processed and purified, is used as a white pigment with excellent covering power and glossiness in art painting such as oil and watercolor, for the white parts.
  • Laterite: Laterite is a type of soil containing iron oxides, typically exhibiting a brownish-red color, commonly used in ceramic glazes and architectural decoration.

Although natural inorganic pigments are gradually being replaced by synthetic inorganic pigments in modern industry, they still have their unique application value and advantages in specific fields and specific needs.

Natural cinnabar inorganic pigment powder

Synthetic inorganic pigments

Synthetic inorganic pigments are a type of inorganic pigments artificially synthesized through chemical reactions. Synthetic inorganic pigments are generally complex mixtures in which the metal component is an important part of the molecular structure. Synthetic inorganic pigments offer the following advantages:

  • Complete chromatogram: can produce a variety of pigments to meet different needs.
  • High color fastness: Synthetic inorganic pigments can maintain color stability for a long time, are not easily affected by the external environment, and are suitable for various outdoor and indoor scenes.
  • High chemical stability: Synthetic inorganic pigments are not prone to chemical reactions or changes, are compatible with other substances, and are widely used in various industrial production and processing processes.
  • High color consistency: The color purity and brightness of synthetic pigments are high, and the color consistency between batches is good.

What are the classifications of synthetic inorganic pigments?

Common synthetic inorganic pigments include:

  • Titanium dioxide: The main component is Tio2, which has excellent whiteness and hiding power. It is widely used in coatings, plastics, papermaking, cosmetics and other industries.
  • Carbon black: A black pigment whose main component is carbon. It has excellent hiding power and tinting power and is widely used in industrial fields such as paint, plastics, and rubber.
  • Iron oxide pigments: such as iron red, iron yellow, iron black, iron brown, etc., have high weather resistance and stability, and are cheap.
  • Titanium yellow, chrome yellow, cadmium yellow, cadmium red: bright color and high stability.
  • Cobalt blue, cobalt green: blue and green inorganic pigments with pure colors and extremely high temperature resistance.
  • Copper chrome black, nickel titanium yellow, titanium chrome brown: high color fastness, used for specific color requirements.
Chrome yellow inorganic pigment powder

Other categories

Inorganic pigments can also be subdivided into the following categories based on their chemical composition:

  • Metallic pigments: such as aluminum powder, copper powder, etc., mainly used for metallic luster effects.
  • Metal oxide pigments: such as iron oxide, titanium oxide, etc., are widely used in various coatings and plastics.
  • Metal oxide mixed pigments: Mixed from a variety of metal oxides, with various colors.
  • Carbonate pigments: such as calcium carbonate, are mainly used as fillers and extenders and are widely used in coatings, rubber and plastics.
  • Silicate pigments: such as zinc silicate, used in specialty coatings.
  • Chromate pigments: such as chrome yellow, have strong light resistance.
  • Sulfide pigments: such as cadmium sulfide and zinc sulfide, which have bright colors.

To sum up, there are many types of inorganic pigments, each with its own characteristics. Natural inorganic pigments and synthetic inorganic pigments each have their own advantages. Synthetic inorganic pigments make up for the shortcomings of natural mineral pigments and meet the diverse needs for color in modern industry and life. When choosing to use inorganic pigments, choosing the appropriate type according to specific needs can achieve the best application results.

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