Piezochromic pigment, ink, paint


Are you looking for a material that changes color under pressure?

OliKrom has acquired unique expertise in the field of piezochromic materials, which change color under the effect of pressure, shock or deformation.

This is a very little explored scientific field. However, the field of applications in the industrial and predictive maintenance fields are very important.

The two main families of piezochromes

A piezochromic coating (from the Greek piezô “to squeeze, press” and chromos “color”) consists of a pigment/colorant whose optical properties change according to macroscopic mechanical stimuli (pressure).

OliKrom develops piezochromic coatings and materials based on 2 patented technologies:

Reversible piezochromism

Change of color following the application of pressure, and return to the initial color when the stress returns to its original level. Possibility to adjust the color change and the percentage of deformation, elongation.

Irreversible Piezochromism

Definitive color change above a defined pressure threshold (of a shock). Possibility to adapt the threshold (energy) of triggering, the color of the initial/final state.

OliKrom, producer of piezochromic materials

A unique scientific expertise adapted to your needs

From experience, we know that there is still a significant gap between market expectations and the technological maturity of piezochromic pigments.

Our team masters the most advanced concepts in materials science to produce piezochromic pigments. The physical phenomenon responsible for the piezochrome property is associated with a change in chemical or physical structures at the molecular level.

We have developed examples from the chemistry of organic compounds, organometallic complexes, polymers and polymer composites. The mechanisms involved are mainly molecular reorganization within a solid, modification of structures containing an open/closed form, cyclization, E/Z double bond isomerization process.

Depending on your specifications, we will select the most suitable solution. Each family has its advantages and disadvantages. According to the specificities of your request, our teams program the piezochromic material. By chemical modification, we adjust the color modification threshold according to the pressure. We modulate the optical properties in the Ultraviolet, Visible and/or Infrared regions.

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Secure production of piezochromic coatings

For all application fields, we ensure a recurrent and reliable production.

All of the technologies currently in production are the result of successful development with an industrial partner. There is no off-the-shelf piezochrome solution. Each request is unique with regard to the expected functional specificities, technical, regulatory and economic requirements.

For this reason, we produce our own pigments but only deliver the final formulation in the form of :

  • piezosensitive inks (UV, solvent) adapted to printing techniques (screen printing, pad printing, …)
  • piezochromic paints (acrylic, polyurethane, …)
  • piezochromic plastics (polyethylene, polypropylene, …)


Each production (inks, paints, masterbatches) is identified, traced and accompanied by a performance certificate co-constructed with our industrial partner.

Piezosensitive materials: some examples of applications

Aeronautics, space and defense

In the aeronautics, space and defense fields, the use of piezochromic coatings is studied to control the health of composite structures.

During the last decades, the adoption of composite materials has been increasing (aircrafts, helicopters, engines, missiles). This craze can be explained by the advantages of composite materials over metallic materials: their high stiffness and specificity, which allow for lighter and more efficient structures, great flexibility in design, and fatigue resistance.

One of the fundamental issues is the health control of structures and the early detection of damage. This is generally done either by visual inspection or by various non-destructive testing methods such as ultrasonic, eddy current, etc.

The use of piezochromic coating on the surface of a composite allows to associate to the damage a change of color (and/or according to the request the emission of a luminescence signal). This first level of monitoring allows a controller to quickly detect an anomaly.

Industrial maintenance

In the field of industrial maintenance (energy, petrochemical, nuclear,…), the use of piezochromic materials is also of great interest for the visual detection of potential shocks or deformations of some industrial parts.

Among the potential sectors, we can mention the oil industry (pipelines, tubes, bars, welds, tanks); the naval industry (control of hulls); the automotive industry (control of engine blocks); the steel industry; boiler making and piping in manufacturing; the energy industry: nuclear reactors, boilers, piping, turbines, etc. (maintenance of installations); railway manufacturing and maintenance, particularly for safety components (axles, wheels, bogies); civil engineering and construction, etc.

Scientific experts at your side

To accompany you “from the first idea to the final product”, the experts of our three departments are at your disposal at each stage of your project: research and development, pre-industrialization and industrialization.

The Materials Department,
scientific excellence

This research and development unit develops the piezochromic pigment adapted to your specifications: pressure threshold, reversible/irreversible character, switching speed, choice of colors, etc.

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The Process Department,
the expertise of the formulation

This process unit is in charge of integrating the pigment into the desired matrix (ink, paint, etc.) while preserving the targeted piezochromic property with regard to your technical, economic and regulatory constraints.

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Industrial production,
from the kilogram to the ton

This unit ensures the industrial production of piezochromic inks and piezochromic paints in compliance with OliKrom Inside quality requirements (ISO 9001 certification) the security of supplies and compliance with deadlines

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Do you have a project? Need to produce a piezochrome ink or paint?

Our chemists and experts in color intelligence are at your side to study your idea, your innovative project. Send us a message, we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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