The Vision and Color Research Group of the University of Alicante (UA) has developed a novel procedure to obtain natural hybrid nanopigments capable of conferring the best optical, thermal and mechanical properties to the composite materials in which they are applied.
With these new nanopigments, different parameters such as the amount of dye adsorbed, the degradation temperature of thecolorant or final composite material, resistance to bending and degradation by ultraviolet light, as well as transparency and coloring power, among other properties.
To do this, experts use completely natural nanoclays that are harmless to human health, such as montmorillonite used in cosmetics or hydrotalcite used in medicines as a scavenger of stomach acid, which are obtained from minerals.
"Depending on the property of the material to be reinforced, both nanoclays and the most suitable additives are selected for their synthesis as well as the order of incorporation", explain researchers Bàrbara Micó and Francisco M. Martínez-Verdú from the UA.
Nanoclay with dye
The innovation, already patented, presents a revolution for different industrial sectors since it allows obtaining materials with high properties and resistance to physical agents such as solar radiation, temperature, rubbing on garments, etc. Likewise, it achieves a cost reduction as it is a synthesis or mixing process that is carried out at room temperature, with basically two ingredients:a colorant and a nanoclay, both natural.
"Depending on the property of the material to be reinforced, both nanoclays and the most suitable additives are selected for their synthesis, as well as the order of incorporation", explain researchers Bàrbara Micó and Francisco M. Martínez-Verdú from the UA.
In this sense, the nanopigments obtained are capable of providing greater optical, thermal and mechanical resistance in a multitude of products such as printing inks, paints,bioplastics staining functional by 3D printing for car interiors, synthetic or natural fibers, ceramics, paper, toys, footwear, cosmetics and food packaging, as well as for materials related to the construction, textile, wood and furniture or stone and marble sectors.
"These nanopigments achieve, for example, a greaterfurniture color fastness or construction materials located in outdoor areas exposed directly to natural light ”, explains Micó. In the case of cosmetics such as makeup or lipstick, "in addition to greater durability, the range of colors available can be expanded if they are mixed with other pigments", highlights Martínez-Verdú.
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