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Prussian Blue introduction
Iron Blue Pigments
The term iron blue pigment as defined in ISO 2495 has largely replaced a great
number of older names (e.g. Paris blue, Prussian blue, Berlin blue, Milori blue,
Turnbull’s blue, toning blue, and nonbronze blue). These names usually stood for
insoluble pigments based on microcrystalline Fe(II)Fe(III) cyano complexes; many
were associated with specific hues. A standardized naming system has been demanded
by users and welcomed by manufacturers, and has led to a reduction in the
number of varieties [3.169].
Iron blue [14038-43-8], C.I. Pigment Blue 27:77510 (soluble blue is C.I. Pigment
Blue 27:77520), was discovered in 1704 by Diesbach in Berlin by a precipitation
reaction, and can be regarded as the oldest synthetic coordination compound. Milori
was the first to produce it as a pigment on an industrial scale in the early nineteenth
century [3.170].
Properties
Hue, relative tinting strength, dispersibility, and rheological behavior are the properties
of iron blue pigments with the most practical significance. Other important
properties are the volatiles content at 100 °C, the water-soluble fraction, and acidity
(ISO 2495). Pure blue pigments are mostly used in their pure form (e.g. in printing
inks) and do not need any additives to improve them. Finely divided iron blue
pigments impart a pure black tone to printing ink.
Due to their small particle size iron blue pigments are very difficult to disperse
(Table 3.6, Figures 3.20 and 3.21). A graph of cumulative particle size distribution is
given in Figure 3.22 for a commercial quality iron blue and for a micronized grade with
similar primary particle size. The micronized grade gives greater tinting strength in
dry mixtures than the blues obtained from standard grinding. The average size of
the aggregates in the micronized material is ca. 5 ìm compared with ca. 35 ìm for
the normal quality product.
Uses
in Europe and USA is the printing ink industry. The second largest use in Europe,
especially of micronized iron blue pigments, is for coloring fungicides. Use in the
paint industry is insignificant
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