Optical Properties of Pearl Pigments

You can use pearl pigments to create different visual effects on your jewelry, car, or any other surface. They have specific optical properties that allow to shine and shimmer when light falls on them. These optical properties are made possible by reflection and refraction.

Reflection by Pearl Pigments

Normal paint tends to absorb light instead of reflecting it. That’s why it appears dull and bland as compared to pearl pigment paint. Pearl pigments reflect light in the same way that a mirror does. You’ll notice that the brighter the day, the brighter a pearl pigment painted surface is.

Reflection is mainly responsible for the shiny appearance of pearl pigment paint. Pearl pigments get a lot more exciting when you start playing with different colors. Many people often wonder how pearl-pigment-painted surfaces canchange color. The color effects are brought along by refraction.

Refraction by Pearl Pigments

Refraction occurs when light passes through the boundary of two surfaces that have different refractive indexes. The substrates used to make pearl pigments are usually crystalline. They are layered, and each layer has a slightly different refractive index. A coating of a metal oxide is then added to the substrates. This layer enhances the colors you observe as a result of refraction.

Refraction causes the colors observed to change along the light spectrum. The painted surface exhibits different colors of the rainbow depending on the angle on which the light is falling on it. The colors are richer when the refractive indexes are precise and the substrates are impurity-free. That is why synthetic pearl pigments have better colors and luster. Pearl pigment manufacturers such as KP Pigmentscan ensure that the synthetic substrates they produce are pure and transparent.

Mixing Pearl Pigments

You can mix different pearl pigments to achieve a particular optical effect. If you cannot find one type of pearl pigment power that can give you the color or effect you want, mixing up several of them might get you there.

Pearl pigment paints that change color do not necessarily contain differently colored pearl pigments. As mentioned earlier, some of the pearl pigments will exhibit different colors at different angles of refraction. It is easier to achieve the chameleon effect by mixing pearl pigments of different colors though.

The world of pearl pigments is quite exciting. When you start exploring pearl pigments, you are going to discover new things about their appearance and the way they react to light every day.