Architectural Color and Design: Why Can’t I Get Bright Red Anymore?

redbuildingBright, dramatic colors have always been an influential part of the color palette in architectural design. A striking paint coating to the aluminum components of a structure can serve several purposes; it can match a buildings exotic surroundings or contrast with its peaceful serene environment. The colors can match a school’s color scheme or complement a company’s logo.

In the architectural coatings industry it takes certain pigments to get bright and exotic colors such as reds, oranges and yellows. The most commonly known pigments to achieve these colors are the minerals lead and cadmium.

There are many minerals which are considered nutrients and are vital to proper functioning of the body. Equally, there are a number of minerals that are toxic to the human body and interfere with its functioning and undermine health. The group of most concern are knows as heavy metals and include lead and cadmium.

Over the years, environmental and health concerns have spurred increasingly stringent regulatory requirements for the use and disposal of both lead and cadmium pigments.  As a result, environmentally conscious manufacturers and applicators have refrained from using these pigments in their coating systems.

The raw materials used in the paint manufacturing process include pigments, solvents, and resins. The chemical composition of paint varies depending on the desired paint properties. Pigments provide the coating with color, opacity, and a degree of durability.

Valspar, and other paint manufacturers, now formulate all paint coatings with Orangeenvironmentally friendly organic pigments replacing lead and cadmium.  These new pigments were derived from the automotive industry that has been using them successfully for years.  The exterior performance is equal to that of the old cadmium-based pigment product.  You will see no performance loss due to this new formulation.

More than ninety percent of the colors that were previously formulated with cadmium-based pigments can be made to match the same color using the less harmful pigments. Chi-Red The color difference in the remaining ten percent will generally be undetectable by the human eye –the exception may be with the bright red, yellow, and oranges.

Linetec works hard both internally and with the manufacturers to create the closest match possible without the use of lead or cadmium. In some cases, however, the matches will not have the same color characteristics as when lead or cadmium is used.

For the health and safety of our employees, our customers, and our environment it is
Linetec’s position not to apply paint coatings containing lead or cadmium. It is our desire that customers will choose to support our effort in eliminating the use of all heavy-metal paints.

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