What color is the most difficult to match?

Lime green, maybe, or turquoise? Surprisingly, it’s that universal symbol of purity: white.

For any color, there are hundreds of different shades of tints which can be achieved but, our eyes do not have the same sensitivity to all colors. Electronic measuring devices perceive color differences across the spectrum similarly, but our eyes are particularly sensitive to variations in white which means that color matching in this space is very difficult.

Color in coatings is created by adding combinations of chemical pigments (which mimic the world’s natural color pallet) to the base formulation at the start of the powder manufacturing process. A computer works out the combinations and concentrations of different pigments needed to produce specific colors. It can predict colors to a high degree of accuracy over a very wide range. If we’re matching a new color, we can choose the nearest approximation and then fine-tune it as required. A final visual assessment is always made by one of our experienced technicians, in a light cabinet, before approving a match.

Colors can be tailor made for customers, often working from samples the customer has brought in. These can vary from liquid paint samples, to colored paper, even to bits of bicycle. Some colors take longer than others to match. Very strong colors, such as bright yellows, purples and reds, are difficult because the pigments used can impact on other properties or the coating. Our team must find a way of achieving the color without losing performance characteristics such as durability, flow and temperature resistance.

Special effects paints, such as metallic or sparkles, are also tricky. As they’re not solid colors, the appearance can change dramatically depending on what angle you’re looking from.

We continue to push back the boundaries of where powder coating can be used, this in turn requires development of the color matching process. Additionally, new pigments and techniques lead to new effects which increase the size of our pallet.

Whatever your color needs are, however difficult or unusual, ask us. We are always interested in new challenges!