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When color is crucial: the Gonio-Vision-Box™ improves the assessment of effect pigments

When Color is Crucial: the Gonio-Vision-Box™ Improves the Assessment of Effect Pigments

"There was nothing like it on the market, so we had to create it ourselves!" Norbert Mezger, Physics Group in the Coatings Division

As the world market leader in innovative effect pigments, Merck is always searching for new methods to improve customer service. The Gonio-Vision-Box™ is one of our latest developments. It allows the results of instrumental color measurement to be reproduced visually under exactly the same conditions used by the most important multi-angle color measurement devices. For example, the Gonio-Vision-Box™ can be set to various lighting and observation angles. Further options include direct or indirect lighting, simulated sunlight or special artificial light.

The aim: a homogeneous appearance
With effect pigments from Merck, the coating industry and its customers can design almost any color and many surface effects (textures). But the process doesn't stop there, since the optical perception of effect pigment varies according to the light situation and application medium. For example, the same automotive coating can look very different in sunlight or on a cloudy day; on the metal body or on a plastic bumper. To guarantee a homogeneous appearance, processors or manufacturers carry out elaborate measurements as well as visual assessments of color stability and color matches under different conditions. However, often the results do not match: People see differences that cannot be confirmed in the measurements, or the instruments measure differences that cannot be seen.

The human eye is still an important standard for comparison
Thanks to decades of experience with effect pigments and comprehensive color expertise, the experts at Merck have found a solution to this problem: the Gonio-Vision-Box™. It meets all the requirements for defining modern colors and their effects with certainty. In addition, it makes it possible to check the color measurements from a range of multi-angle color measurement devices optically with the relevant measurement geometries and thus to make them reproducible.

Easy handling, diverse benefits
The Gonio-Vision-Box™ is extremely easy to handle. One or more samples – coated metal sheets or plastic parts or color cards – are fixed on the sample holder within the box. The sample holder can then be rotated around different axes into many positions in and out of the illumination plane. Eight different light sources – three for direct and five for diffused illuminations – simulate different lighting conditions, such as various levels of irradiance and/or color temperatures.

An observation window makes it possible to view the samples and take pictures without changing the geometry of the experiment structure. These images are used to define the light density, for example. And most importantly: Every lighting and observation geometry can be set for reproducibility, allowing very different samples to be compared one after the other under identical conditions.

The technical options of the Gonio-Vision-Box™ were constructed in such a way as to meet the individual usage expectations of the customers. The box is useful anywhere effect pigments are evaluated optically: in the development of new pigments, for the evaluation of color matches and in customer presentations. At the same time, it meets the requirements of Merck's new generations of effect pigments, with their special color shifts and/or innovative sparkle effects – such as Colorstream®, Xirallic® and Miraval®. Needless to say, it is also ideally suited to the optical evaluation of Pyrisma® and Iriodin®.

Also available in a handy small version – the Portable Gonio-Vision-Box™
Check the measurement results of the common multi-angle color measurement devices with little effort – thanks to the Portable Gonio-Vision-Box™. The hollow aluminum body is a quarter sphere with a diameter of 25 centimeters. It has 13 drilled holes, through which the observer can see into the center or into which he can place the flashlight. Holes that are not in use are closed with plugs to improve observation.

Engraved geometric information with arrows for lighting and observation make the Portable Gonio-Vision-Box™ easier to use. Alongside the standard geometries, interference geometries can also be set, as defined by the ASTM international as "standard practice". Both the "out of plane" geometries of the X-Rite MA98 and the texture geometries of the BYK-mac can be set.

The Portable Gonio-Vision-Box™ can also be used as a teaching aid. Its simple structure allows anyone to reproduce the wide range of measurement geometries systematically.