At the recent wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London, Bayferrox 130 C iron oxide red pigment from LANXESS played a part in adding color and radiance to the proceedings. In the run-up to the wedding, the roads and footpaths in the area around Buckingham Palace were resurfaced with stone mastic asphalt colored with the pigment. “We were the only local pigment supplier able to deliver the right shade in the required quality. We were also able to provide exactly the packaging the customer wanted,” said Simon Kentesber, Sales Manager Inorganic Pigments at LANXESS Ltd., based in Branston near Birmingham, U.K. The asphalt was supplied by Eurovia Roadstone Ltd., a subsidiary of Eurovia (SA), which is a world-leading asphalt manufacturer headquartered in Rueil-Malmaison near Paris.
The asphalt on the roads and footpaths outside Buckingham Palace are subjected to enormous stress from millions of tourists and hundreds of thousands of vehicles every year. This wear and tear takes its toll, resulting in cracking, crazing and sometimes even potholes. The specifications on the quality of the new surfacing were correspondingly strict. Eurovia Roadstone was able to comply with the requirements in terms of durability and quality of finish and also flexibility and speed of laying. The company supplied two different qualities of surfacing to distinguish between the footpaths and the roads, but also ensured that the two surfaces blended in with one another. One particular challenge was the very tight timing of the construction work. It had to be carried out with maximum precision as quickly as possible and at night to minimize disruption to the “official” operations at Buckingham Palace, such as the regular Changing of the Guard and the daily flow of visitors.
Bayferrox 130 C is a synthetic red iron oxide marketed as a compact pigment, which means it has excellent free-flowing and low-dusting characteristics. It is produced in Krefeld-Uerdingen using the Laux process, a unique manufacturing technology that has been used exclusively by LANXESS for 85 years. “Thanks to continual investment and development over the years, the Laux process has become the state-of-the-art production process for iron oxide color pigments. It is this that is responsible for the outstanding quality of our black and red shades,” said Jörg Hellwig, head of the Inorganic Pigments business unit at LANXESS AG.
The success of the Buckingham Palace project has brought LANXESS Ltd. many new pigment contracts for the coloring of asphalt in London and further around the U.K. “What swayed it for us was the high color consistency and color strength of our pigments, which makes color matching with asphalt very much easier. This property is critical, particularly in high-profile areas,” explained Kentesber. Another important advantage of LANXESS color pigments is their high long-term color stability. “This durability will ensure that the roads and paths around Buckingham Palace will still be looking good next year when the eyes of the world turn there once again when London hosts the 2012 Olympic Games,” said Kentesber.