Creating colourful and functional architectural finishes using Lanxess
Colour pigments are becoming increasingly popular across a broad spectrum of products in the built environment where colour is required for enhanced aesthetic appeal. Applications are diverse and include the precast industry, roof tile manufacturers, civils contractors and construction companies.
“More architects around the world have lost their fear of coloured concrete and there is a definite local trend towards greater acceptance of coloured concrete. Interestingly, the use of pigment always has a correlation to the developmental stage of a particular country. We have observed that when people reach a certain income status, they seek out beauty in addition to functionality. This often takes the form of using appealing and consistently high quality colours,” says Thomas Pfeiffer, vice president marketing and sales EMEA Lanxess Inorganic Pigments, on a recent visit to South Africa.
As the distributor for the past eight years of Lanxess pigments for the construction industry in South Africa, Chryso Southern Africa is geared up to accommodate the growing trend towards colour adoption in buildings and infrastructure. “Coloured concrete products have, in fact, been available for several decades. Simply consider the use of coloured roof tiles and concrete paving blocks. It’s the way that colour is used that is significant. Notably, South Africa at present echoes the trend towards black, variations of black shades and red that is so apparent in countries like Germany,” Pfeiffer points out.
An in-depth understanding of the application of pigments with chemical solutions is important to achieve the desire effect. Ideally, communications with a company such as Chryso Southern Africa should begin at the initial design stage and should direct the advantages and options of pigment usage to architects, engineers and developers.
The starting point is generally where the architect chooses a specific colour to express something in particular. Pfeiffer cites a number of examples, including the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg where earthy tones were chosen to connect to local history. Another interesting example is the red used for the hotel situated in the desert in Chile (seen in a James Bond movie). With the blazing sun shining on the red exterior, an illusion is created of the hotel disappearing.
When using pigments to enhance buildings and infrastructural features, it is important to devise a customised solution that will allow the blend to be optimised. Chryso Southern Africa conducts trials in its laboratories to ensure the quality and the consistency of a blend across the project’s duration.
Chryso Southern Africa’s success in brand development can be attributed to a combination of high quality product and the technical expertise incumbent in its team.
“It is critical to optimise the dosages and to ensure that the colour pigment is dispersed correctly in the concrete matrix, to provide enhanced colour brightness. Being an admixture and concrete additive OEM provides Chryso with the ability to maximise the use of pigments. The in-depth technical understanding resident in Chryso means that expertise and knowledge can be readily translated into customer application requirements,” says Pfeiffer.
The use of a quality pigment is essential and the determining factor for specifiers would therefore be the high colour consistency and colour strength attributed to reputed products such as Lanxess’ Bayferrox® pigments, which makes colour matching much easier. Extensive research led to the development of these inorganic iron oxide pigments, which have demonstrated that they have superior light-fastness properties when exposed to different climatic elements over extended periods of time.
Pfeiffer says that if pigments are manufactured incorrectly they can negatively impact the surrounding environment. “Lanxess is renowned for its environmental stewardship and is ISO 14001 accredited. The company is also the only the globally certified manufacturer that has an SCS certification, an acknowledgement given to manufacturers that use a substantial amount of recycled products.”
“Bayferrox® enjoys strong brand recognition as a superior quality product and it is important that this reputation is maintained through the local representation. We anticipate a brighter and more colourful future for building structures throughout Southern Africa through the adoption of colour pigments. We are currently investing in capacity expansion to ensure that market demands can be met,” Pfeiffer concludes.
As a leading player in the manufacture, supply and distribution of admixtures and cement additives, and with a strong geographical footprint, Chryso Southern Africa is well positioned to expand the market share for Lanxess pigments in this region.
More information from Kirsten Kelly, Tel: +27(0)11 395 9700/www.chryso.com