The History of Luminescent Pigments
|The evolution of luminescent pigments has passed through four stages. Discovery and Initial Applications: Luminescent material was discovered in 1936. The negative radioactive material Radium was used to yield phosphorescent material. Tritium replaced radium by 1943 due to improved toxicity. Yet the toxicity remained a concerned and commercialization was limited to small quantity applications, primarily watch facings.||
combined with a zinc sulfide yielded second-generation luminescent material. Yet the luminescent effect weak, brightness low, and duration weak. The pigment still
contained radioactive material and toxicity concerned a limitation.
In 1994, Philips patented a non-radioactive rare earth luminescent material. The rare earth material could only
be found in China. Due to increasing national interest,
Chinese research resources were focused upon developing additional 3rd generation non radioactive and non toxic luminescent products.
3rd generation luminescent pigments had drastically improved
performance characteristics. Light absorption in 20-40 minutes (fully
charged) delivered light emissions for more than 10 hours. The brightness
was 30-50 times stronger than the 2nd generation phosphorous
based materials. The afterglow can typically be recharged multiple times
for 30 years.
While 3rd generation luminescent pigments are a significant improvement on previous generations, there remained significant application issues. The 3rd generation pigments degenerate when exposed to moisture, water, oxygen, strong acids or other harsh chemicals used in today’s production methods.
4th Generation NLP® New Luminescent Pigment was invented in 2005, yielding improved
performance without many of the application problems of prior materials.
NLP® is based on alkaline earth aluminates materials group that use europium as
an activator. The NLP® pigments are processed under state of the art conditions and technology
that significantly increase the luminescent characteristic.
The pigment can be fully charged in 40 seconds and give luminescent
afterglow up to 16-24 hours. For perspective, the NLP®
pigments deliver a brightness that is 150 times stronger than the 2nd
generation luminescent pigments.
By controlling the molding activities, an enhanced crystalline structure and
tighter particle size distribution delivers increased the brightness of
the luminescent pigment. Incorporating modern bondering technology and
coatings into the molding process protects the NLP pigment to establishing
NLP® pigments as truly 4th generation luminescent technology.
NLP® pigments can be used in various production methods.
Careful selection of production method can yield a pigment |
that can endure temperatures up to 900 C before losing its key performance characteristic.
Exposure to water, moisture, oxygen, strong acids or heat will not harm the NLP® pigments..
With the 3rd generation luminescent pigments, production processes
needed to be adapted and changed, due to the
Next Generation B.V. has created a protective layer for specific production
methods. It has become possible to use NLP©
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