ChromaFlair

ChromaFlair

ChromaFlair is the registered trademark for a pigment created by JDS Uniphase Flex Products Group in Santa Rosa, California. It is used in paint systems, for example those of Du Pont and PPG, and when the paint is applied, it changes colour depending on the light source and viewing angle.

The paint system (and competing versions made by other companies) are known by a vast variety of proprietary names, including Chameleon Colors, ChromaLusion, ChromaPremier, ColourShift, Exclusive Line, Extreme Colors, Harlequin Color, IllusionColor, Kameleon Kolors, Maziora, MultiTones, MystiChrome and Paradis Spectrashine.

The effect is achieved by interfering with the reflection and refraction of light from the painted object's surface. The paint contains tiny synthetic flakes about one micrometre thick. The flakes are constructed of aluminium coated with glass-like magnesium fluoride embedded in semi-translucent chromium. The aluminium and chrome gives the paint a vibrant metallic sparkle, while the glass-like coating acts like a refracting prism, changing the apparent colour of the surface as the observer moves around. Interestingly, ChromaFlair paints contain no conventional absorbing pigments, rather it is a "light interference pigment": the colour we observe is created entirely by the refractive properties of the flakes (analogous to how we perceive rainbow colours in oil slicks).

The ChromaFlair pigment is available in thousands of different colour variations. It is usually applied to items whose visual appeal is considered important — such as motor vehicles, electric guitars and computer case mods.

In addition to paint, it can applied as a coating (for example on synthetic polyurethane leather), or dispersed in a resin for injection molding.

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