Devin Schmitt began his career in 2013 as a Principle Investigator at the DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington, DE, where he led projects focusing on solid-state refrigeration, photovoltaics, and thermal management. He then worked several years at Cabot Microelectronics as a Research Manager developing theoretical frameworks for the chemical mechanical planarization process which drove new product development. Devin joined Eckart America Corporation in 2019 as Head of R&D, where he currently leads research and development of vacuum metallized pigments. Devin holds a PhD in Solid State Chemistry from Louisiana State University.

Breaking the Pigment-to-Binder Ratio Paradigm of Metallic Pigments: Concomitantly Promoting Pigment-Binder Bonding and Metallic Pigment Orientation

Devin Schmitt and Christopher Hilbrich, Eckart America Corporation

Aluminum PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) effect pigments afford highly reflective surfaces, combined with large surface area, resulting in an excellent optical performance in many applications with low binder content. In applications requiring high mechanical performance, higher binder content is typically utilized out of necessity, resulting in degraded optical characteristics (gloss, clarity, etc.). Good mechanical performance in high binder systems is a result of strong binder cohesion and increased binder intercalation. Pigment orientation is also paramount to improving optical characteristics. Our focus is a modification of the PVD pigment to promote both orientation and strong pigment-binder bonding, effectively reducing the necessity for binder intercalation. This allows the use of a higher pigment-to-binder ratio, improving optical characteristics while maintaining good mechanical performance. We show that pigments can be uniquely modified per binder system class (urethanes, acrylics, etc.)to provide their best optical and mechanical performance.Additionally, less binder may be utilized during the ink deposition, potentially reducing material costs.