Source: Rockwood Pigments, Princeton, N.J.
A new generation of iron oxide color pigment fused with functional properties that respond to sunlight to enable concrete surfaces to self-clean, reduce air pollutants and inhibit microbial growth is scheduled for launch by Rockwood Pigments at this week's Bauma trade fair in Munich. The new pigment, called Solarox (patent-pending), is the first colored pigment with photocatalytic properties, according to Rockwood, a business unit of Rockwood Holdings Inc.
In collaboration with the University of Turin, known for its expertise in the field of photocatalysis, the company has developed a manufacturing process that merges the coloring power of iron oxide pigments with the photocatalytic properties of titanium dioxide. The resulting pigment is available in the complete range of yellow, red and black iron oxide color shades that can be blended to create a spectrum of brown, gold, tan and buff color combinations.
Solarox pigments demonstrate the same durability, fade-resistance and wide application of standard iron oxides. Tests have confirmed the photocatalytic properties of Solarox and its suitability for use in construction materials, such as concrete masonry, pavers, plaster, stucco, roofing materials, wall renderings and decorative concrete. Interest in photocatalytic properties in construction materials is increasing in response to the desire for environmentally compatible construction materials for greenfield projects, refurbishments, renovations and green buildings construction.
Solaro represents a completely new approach in color pigment development as we combine the aesthetic appeal of color with the functional power of photocatalysis, powered by natural light, said Rockwood Pigment President Andrew Ross. We believe [this development] will accelerate the interest in and consumption of construction products with photocatalytic properties.