A new generation of smart pigments and coatings

The result of an acquired and patented know-how

OliKrom is the leader in custom smart coatings.

Every day, we design and produce custom smart pigments and dyes, and formulate inks and paints.

This breakthrough innovation is the result of more than 15 years of fundamental and applied research.

Why are OliKrom's smart pigments and coatings unique?

Unique smart materials

Our team of doctors, engineers and operators, experts in intelligence of color, masters the most advanced scientific concepts in Materials Science, Thermodynamic, Photochemistry, Formulation, Chemical and Industrial Engineering...

This unique expertise allows us to structure and chisel matter by molecular engineering to give it smart properties. Like a mason or a goldsmith, we build the hybrid architecture by selecting the right elementary bricks (organic/inorganic).

This allows us to control the change of color and/or emission depending on the desired external perturbation (temperature, light,...).

This generation of smart pigments and coatings is the result of an acquired and patented know-how. We own more than ten patent and trademark portfolios, and have several exclusive licenses.

We tailor smart property to your specifications

We have at our disposal a set of elementary bricks allowing us to adapt the reactivity of the pigments and coatings according to your project.

We can program the reactivity of the pigment by molecular engineering to induce a change of the optical properties according to the project:

This unique know-how allows our teams to intervene and transform "concepts" into "products", some of which are already commercialized.

 

The art of selecting the right building blocks

Optimize the triggering threshold

optimize-the-trigger-threshold

 

The first and most important step for smart coatings is to define the process responsible for the change in property: temperature, light, pressure... Then comes the most delicate part: adjusting the triggering threshold and maintaining this property until the finished coating.

For a thermochromic coatings, this may mean changing color at 25°C, for a photochromic material it may mean controlling the speed of writing and erasing under light, or even for a chemochromic material it may mean adjusting the reactivity and selectivity to a gas...

The role of our chemists in our Research Department is to select the most suitable physical process for your project. We have at our disposal a wide variety of smart pigments and our internal research is continuously leading us to enrich this alphabet by exploiting structural modification mechanisms of isomerization, cyclization (or ring opening), electron transfer, proton transfer, hydrogen atoms and/or spin state...

Program reversibility or irreversibility

programmer-le-caractere-reversible

 

To obtain an optimal smart property, it is quite a balance to find. A simple modification of the structure can lead to a reversible or irreversible property.

Today, there is a multitude of pigments and dyes which are transformed by the contribution of an external energy and obey the laws of the phenomena of phase transition.

Some are accompanied by a complete disruption of the chemical structure with the passage of a solid form to a liquid form, for example an ice cube that turns into water around 0°C. Others present much more subtle modifications like the change of coordination from an octahedral site to a tetrahedral site, a displacement of the plane of the atoms in the structure, etc.

To generate an irreversible effect, the strategy is to select a physical process (responsible for the modulation of the color) which will be accompanied by a very strong structural constraint to avoid any reversibility. On the other hand, to obtain a reversible property, it is necessary to select mechanisms with very low structural constraints at the molecular level.

For our teams, everything is in the adjustment of the chemical architecture to design smart coatings.

Controlling the fatigability of the process

Controlling-process-fatigability

 

During their operation, some smart coatings show a phenomenon of fatigability: the process does not return to the initial state.
As an illustration, let us take the case of a coating which changes color from blue (initial state) to white (final state).  The presence of a fatigability phenomenon is observed when the coating starts to show an intermediate bluish color during the ON/OFF modification cycles. In fact, certain molecular entities do not have any more the capacity to change state. They remain blocked in their initial state. We end up with a mixture of blue beads able to change into white and others blocked in their blue form.

This phenomenon of fatigability during the cycles of modification ON/OFF is the consequence of a bad definition of the material. It resides a too strong structural constraint which generates little by little a degradation. This can come from the pigment and/or the matrix itself.

For some industrial applications, this phenomenon of fatigability is sought. Our teams exploit this property to create customized fatigue indicators with a cumulative effect. Their uses are notably deployed in the field of predictive maintenance, or even for the expiration of an article in the health, food, industrial fields...

Each request of smart coatings has its specificities

We have a wide range of smarts pigments and coatings at our disposal and we don't have a catalog on the shelf.

Because your expectations, your industrial process, your matrix are specific, it is impossible to provide a sample before designing it for you.

At OliKrom, each Smart Coating (paint, ink, masterbatch, etc.) is designed and produced to meet the precise specifications of our industrial partners.

We have the basic elements to design a custom solution, then we integrate each of your constraints (Technical, Economic, Regulatory, etc.) to produce the right material.

Our teams are at your disposal and we will adjust :

  • The nature of the colors (wavelengths) involved,
  • The reversible and/or irreversible character,
  • The switching speed and the fatigability issues,
  • The insertion of the smart pigments in a formulation (paint, ink, masterbatch...) without altering the properties,
  • Industrial scale production of smart coatings: inks and paints.

 

OliKrom industrial leader in color intelligence

For more information

Smart materials: a societal evolution

Our societies have always adapted and perfected themselves. The first civilizations were built with natural materials such as wood, stone, leather, bone, horn, linen or hemp. We then experienced the emergence of plastics and composites with implications all around us, in the building, automotive, aeronautical, sports and military sectors.

Today, we are entering the third generation of multifunctional materials, capable of adapting to their environment. This is the world of intelligent materials. This is a real revolution for the 21st century, just as important as the revolution in communication or biotechnology.