As the world market leader in innovative effect pigments, Merck is continuously striving to broaden its expertise and develop new methods to improve quality and customer service. One of its latest innovations is the brand-new Gonio-Vision-Box™ for improved visual assessment of colored and textured objects.

The Gonio-Vision-Box is an automated, motor-driven apparatus for the visual assessment and measurement of effect pigments under well-defined and reproducible conditions – e. g., different lighting and observation angles (the Greek ‘gonia’ means ‘angle’), direct or diffused illumination, and simulated sunlight or special artificial light. For the first time ever, the Gonio-Vision-Box makes it possible to evaluate and interpret results obtained by visual and instrumental color and texture evaluation under exactly the same geometries.

Matching Visual Perception and Instrumental Analysis

With Merck effect pigments, virtually every desired color tone and surface effect can be designed – but this is not yet the end of the process. The visual perception of effect pigments, for example in automotive coatings, varies with both lighting conditions and base materials. The same coating might look very different depending on sunshine or rainy weather, or whether it sits on the metal car 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. Often, however, measurements do not match visual perceptions – people can see differences that cannot be confirmed in the measurements, or the instruments measure differences that cannot be seen. A solution was needed to interpret color measurements in relation to visual perceptions.

Merck's Color Expertise Leads to New Solutions

With decades of experience in effect pigments, Merck can help customers with these problems like no other. We use our comprehensive color expertise to develop new methods for measuring and validating our effect pigments and improve our quality control processes. The Gonio-Vision-Box is but the latest example of Merck’s constant aspiration to innovation, improvement, and customer orientation.

“There was nothing like this on the market – so we had to build it ourselves,“ says Norbert Mezger from the Physics Group at Merck’s Coatings Department. Using the Gonio-Vision-Box, samples can 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, help to simulate different lighting conditions (irradiance, color temperatures, etc.). Every lighting situation can be exactly adjusted, measured and precisely reproduced for other samples.

The Gonio-Vision-Box is designed to meet the requirements of the special color travel and sparkle effects of Merck’s new effect pigment generations like Colorstream®, Xirallic®, or Miraval® (and, of course, also of Pyrisma™ and Iriodin®) as well as the individual demands of customers. The box can be of use everywhere where effect pigments have to be visually assessed – in the development of new pigments, for estimating the quality of color matches, or for pigment marketing at customer presentations.

At the moment, Merck does not intend to distribute the Gonio-Vision-Box.