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716

FUNDAMENTALS OF PIGMENTED COATINGS

particle is obtained from its crystal form, it can be modified by the type and
amount of grinding. In general, the water-ground pigments tend to have
smoother or rounder edges than those pioduced by dry grinding. The
micronized pigments also have smooth contours, and the particle size is quite
small. Differences in smoothness and hardness of pigment particles will be
reflected in their abrasiveness and corresponding wear on paint manufacturing
equipment.
Specific Gravity and Bulking Value. The specific gravity of pigments may
be determined by the pycnometer method as given in ASTM Designation
D153-39. For calibration the pycnometer is filled with kerosene and weighed.
Then a known weight of pigment is added to the clean, dry pycnometer and
kerosene added to cover the pigment completely. The pycnometer is then
placed in a vacuum desiccator, and a vacuum is applied to remove the absorbed
air from the surface of ihe pigment. Complete removal is indicated when no
further air bubbles leave the pigment. The pycnometer then is refilled with
kerosene and brought to 15.6 C before weighing. The specific gravity is
calculated as follows:

K = weight of pycnometer filled with kerosene only


P = weight of pigment used
F = final weight of pycnometer with pigment and kerosene
S = specific gravity of kerosene used
The method shows the presence of adsorbed air on the pigment surface and
the necessity to remove it before making the determination. The specific
gravity is the ratio of weight of pigment to that of water occupying an equal
volume. Therefore the volume, or bulking value, of a unit weight of pigment
may be calculated from the specific gravity relationship as follows: -

For example, if the specific gravity of a pigment is equal to 2.00, it would


weigh 16.66 lb per solid gallon, and 100 lb of the pigment would bulk 6 gal.
It is important to know the bulking value, or the volume occupied by a given
weight of pigment when calculating the ingredients necessary for a required
volume of paint. Two_pjgments may have equal cost per pound but, if one has
a higher bulking value than the other, it will produce more

717
ULTIMATE SIZE OF PIGMENTS
volume of paint for a given weight of pigment, therefore it will be more
economical than the pigment having the lower bulking value. The bulking
value often is expressed a% the number of gallons occupied by one pound of
pigment, but this gives a decimal for the number of gallons. It is more
convenient to express bulking value as the gallons occupied by 100 lb of
pigment.
OIL ABSORPTION OF PIGMENTS
When a pigment is properly dispersed in a coating," the surface of the
pigment particles is wetted with the vehicle, and the voids between particles are
filled with vehicle. This ideal state of dispersion may not be obtained if the
vehicle, is a "poor wetter" or the nature of the surface of the particles is such
that it strongly resists wetting by the vehicle. Consequently, the minimum
amount af vehicle required to wet a given weight of pigment may vary
somewhat with the type of vehicle, the nature of the pigment surface, and the
amount of work employed in dispersing the pigment. The standard test to
determine this minimum amount of vehicle is known as the oil absorption test,
because linseed oil is used as the standard vehicle.
The oil absorption test specifies that linseed oil be added dropwise to a
weighed amount of pigment until the mixture forms a pasty mass by mixing
with a spatula (spatula method) or by stirring with a glass rod in a roundbottom jar (Gardner-Coleman method). The test is covered by ASTM
Designation D281-31, and Federal Specification TT-P-141b. Method 419.2,
and several modifications are described by Gardner (3).
As indicated previously, the oil absorption value is affected by the time
required for mixing, the pressure applied during mixing, and to a lesser extent
by the nature of the vehicle and pigment surface. However, consistent results
may be obtained by an experienced operator, and the test may be used as an
indication of uniformity among pigment batches or shipments. Since the test
uses linseed oil instead of the usual paint vehicles, and there is less work done
in dispersing the pigment than is obtained with regular grinding equipment,
the oil absorption values do not necessarily correspond to the amount of
vehicle required to wet the pigment in the production of paints.
Marsden (97) discusses oil absorption results obtained by the British
Standards Specifications.
CRITICAL PIGMENT VOLUME CONCENTRATION
The term PVC (concentration of pigment by volume in the paint film) was
mentioned previously. An important concept was developed by Van

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