UV reactive materials

photochromic pigments from mindsets

photochromic pigments from mindsets

UV reactive materials, which initially have an off-white appearance, change to bright colors when exposed to UV rays (sunlight or a UV lamp) and revert to their original pale color when away from UV light. The basis for these materials are photochromic pigments which can be mixed with an acrylic base and then applied as normal paint. The more dilute the pigment, the less dramatic the color change.

acrylic base to orange photochromic pigment ratio tests ran by a student of the Aix-en-Provence (France) Art School

acrylic base to orange photochromic pigment ratio tests ran by a student of the Aix-en-Provence (France) Art School

Besides pigments, which can be used to make color-changing paints, photochromic materials are also available in the shapes of sewing and embroidering thread, plastic goods such as beads and buttons, and nail polish. Naturally it’s also possible to produce photochromic fabrics, but I haven’t been able to find them as raw materials in retail shops.

photochromic thread and beads (indoors and outdoors)

photochromic thread and beads (indoors and outdoors)

What is it exactly?
According to Wikipedia:

Photochromism does not have a rigorous definition, but is usually used to describe compounds that undergo a reversible photochemical reaction where an absorption band in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum changes dramatically in strength or wavelength. In many cases, an absorbance band is present in only one form. The degree of change required for a photochemical reaction to be dubbed “photochromic” is that which appears dramatic by eye, but in essence there is no dividing line between photochromic reactions and other photochemistry.

Suppliers
:: Mindsets (UK): photochromic pigments and sewing thread
:: Solar Active (USA): UV reactive sewing and embroidering thread, plastic goods (beads, buttons, etc.), nail polish

Share your knowledge
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>> about the materials 101 series.



2 responses to “UV reactive materials”

  1. catarina says:

    Thank you Grossy for pointing that out. The link has been updated.

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