Success Story

Enhancing Colour and Performance with Carbon Black Pigment Concentrates

A person wearing blue gloves scooping vibrant black powder from a transparent jar in a laboratory setting.

Carbon black pigment concentrates have long been a popular choice in the coatings industry. However, in the last years alternatives to conventional carbon black pigments are becoming more common. Recently our laboratory team in Vienna, Austria was approached to find the best solution for an alternative to traditional carbon black pigments for a customer.  


The goal was to find a solution for replacing conventional carbon clack in the customer’s pigment concentrate, so our team started with a screening of different Raven grades by Birla Carbon. It was also tested if another Wetting & Dispersing Agent could increase the performance in the Pigment concentrate.  

Through measuring the rub-out, the LAB values to identify the colour space, the overall difference compared to conventional carbon black (∆E) and colour strength in a white base paint, which was tinted with the different pigment concentrates, our team could gain critical insights into the quality and performance of the pigments. 

The ultimate outcome demonstrated that “Raven 450 Powder” in connection with “Disperbyk 2010” has the best performance compared to conventional concentrates measured in 0.1% of the pigment within the white base paint.

Sascha Hirmann, Coatings Technologist in our Coatings & Construction laboratory in Vienna, adds:Replacing one pigment with another can be challenging due to variations in particle sizes. In many cases, this change also requires adjusting the wetting and dispersing agent used

We now know which Raven Grade in combination with Disperbyk 2010 we should use to replace traditional carbon black. Additionally, we saw that Byk 1640 is working very well in pigment concentrates together with Disperbyk 2010 and ‘Raven 450 Powder’ which will be important for the future”.

What does this mean for our customers? 

For our customers, this achievement represents a significant shift in their formulations. The new alternative to conventional carbon black pigment concentrates offers improved performance and functionality, allowing them to enhance the quality and aesthetics of their final products.  

Customers can now replace the traditional carbon black product with hardly any adjustments to their systems. With the formulation done by our team it is now possible to change the pigment concentrate while keeping the same or similar colour properties.  

How is this a success? 

This breakthrough in carbon black pigment concentrates that has now been achieved with “Disperbyk 2010” is deemed a success for several reasons:

  • It faces the challenges associated with conventional carbon black, such as poor dispersibility, stability, and compatibility issues. Now IMCD’s customers can keep the same colour properties even if they change the used carbon black pigment. 

  • The systems required for the use of this alternative carbon black pigment do not need to be changed.

  • With new possibilities in colouration, our customers can now create innovative products and stay ahead on the market. 

If you want to know more about carbon black pigment concentrates and how to use them,
please contact your local IMCD representative. 

Sascha Hirmann

Coatings Technologist, Coatings & Construction