Pigments Market – Snapshot
Pigments is a group of compounds that are intensely colored and are employed to impart color to other materials. They absorb the light of selective wavelength and then emit various colors through the process of reflection or transmission. Pigments are used to improve the appearance of a substrate on which they are used or impart color to the medium in which they are used. Pigments can be organic or inorganic. Organic pigments are based on carbon chains and carbon rings. However, they can also contain metallic elements that help stabilize properties of the organic component. Inorganic pigments are usually metallic salts precipitated from solutions.
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The particle size of inorganic pigments is larger than that of organic pigments. Pigments can impart a versatile range of colors to paints, coatings, plastics, inks, etc. while improving their aesthetic properties. These help enhance properties such as opacity, hiding power, light and weather fastness, heat stability, and tinting strength.
Based on product, the pigments market has been classified into inorganic, organic, and specialty. Inorganic pigments are the most commercially used pigments. Inorganic pigments are usually extracted from minerals or petrochemical sources. Largely used inorganic pigments are titanium dioxide, iron oxide, carbon black, and chromium compounds. Titanium dioxide is the most used inorganic pigment. Titanium dioxide is in the form of fine white powder. It is used in paints and coatings to attain maximum whiteness. It provides the paint with high hiding power i.e. ability to mask or hide the substrate underneath.
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Hiding power of titanium dioxide is higher than any other white pigment. Currently, titanium dioxide is by far the most important pigment used in the paints industry for attaining whiteness. Organic pigments that are most commonly used are azo compounds, quinacridone, and phthalocyanine. Organic pigments have brighter colors such as blue, green, yellow, red, and orange; higher color strength; and little toxicity. Organic pigments can be extracted from organic compounds such as succinic acid, aniline, and phthalonitrile. Specialty pigments such as metallic, high-performance organic, fluorescent, phosphorescent, and luminescent pigments offer vibrant color intensity, glossy effect, and durability.
The specialty pigments segment is expected to be driven by rising investments in infrastructure and increasing need for long-lasting pigments that can resist harsh weather. Specialty pigments are used by high-end automobile companies and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Specialty pigments are in high demand as they increase the functionality by binding the substrate and paint together and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the substrate. Growing need for protection of buildings from dampness, fungi, and corrosion is also boosting the specialty pigments segment.
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Paints & coatings is the dominant end-user segment of the pigments market. Pigments are used extensively in the formulation of paints. Pigments impart color and a glossy effect as well as improve aesthetic appeal of paints and coatings. Usage of pigments helps impart brightness, heat stability, and light stability to the paint. The architectural paints & coatings industry has grown considerably owing to rise in infrastructure development and construction activities in developing economies. Furthermore, growth of automotive and consumer goods sectors has boosted the decorative paints & coatings industry. The paints & coatings industry in developed countries witnesses higher per capita consumption, but sluggish growth. The per capita consumption of paints in developing countries is lower than that in developed countries in Western Europe.
The per capita consumption of paints in India, China, Singapore, South Korea, and countries in ASEAN and GCC is likely to increase significantly in the near future, due to the economic growth. Thus, growth of the paints & coatings industry is likely to be a key driver of the pigments market during the forecast period.