The word pigment comes from the Latin word 'pigmentum', which means 'paint'. Pigment itself is usually a powder and only becomes a paint when it is mixed with a binder such as water or oil. Generally you can say that pigment is a substance that gives colour.
There are many different types of pigments. We can classify them by origin (synthetic or natural pigment) or on the basis of the composition (inorganic and organic pigments).
Natural pigments may have an organic origin, but are also often obtained as a mineral. In order to be suitable as a pigment for a certain application, it is necessary that there is a stable connection which can not be affeted by binders or other pigments. Nor should the pigment show oxidation under the influence of oxygen in the air. Finally, the color must be lightfast and should not fade under the influence of sunlight.
Most of the pigments are synthesized based on minerals or organic substances. The main mineral pigments are iron oxides, chromium, cobalt, titanium, etc.
Pigments get their colour through obsorbtion of certain wavelengths of the light. Not all pigments absorb the same wavelengths.
Depending on the absorbed wavelengths there will be a certain color reflected. That is, reflected back to our eye. Some pigments absorb light of all wavelengths. That gives the colour black. Others pigments for example only absorb light with wavelengths corresponding with red, yellow or green light. This creates a green- blueish colour. The absorbed light is obscured to us, the reflected light we observe as the colour of the pigment.
Pigments occur naturally in minerals and in the cells of plants and animals. In their origin two types of pigments are classified:
The natural pigments Ventraco Colour has in it's range are extracted from the mines in Spain. The products are very suitable for the sustainable and environmentally friendly colouring of e.g. concrete.