The Lanxess Corp. Inorganic Pigments (IPG) business unit recently hosted its annual Bayferrox Color Workshop in Pittsburgh for North American concrete producers. Now in its 26th consecutive year, the course is an intensive educational and laboratory training program designed to help participants learn how to better use iron oxide pigments to produce colored concrete products more consistently and economically. Over the course of 2.5 days, participants receive comprehensive classroom education from Lanxess color experts, followed by hands-on laboratory exercises at the IPG North American Competence Center in Burgettstown, Pa.
The exercises outline step-by-step procedures designed to explore color theory, pigments and pigment loadings, techniques for matching existing colors and creating new ones, variables that can affect the final color of a concrete product, and the various types of pigment metering systems available in the marketplace. Participants also learn proper laboratory techniques to apply at their own manufacturing sites and receive recommendations for laboratory equipment.
“Lanxess has been working with various concrete products industries for decades and our technical presenters have more than 65 combined years of experience working with inorganic pigments in the construction industry,” said IPG Americas Region Vice President Hans-Peter Baldus. “We are obliged to share our specialized knowledge with the users of our products as a leader in our industry and a quality-driven supplier.”
Concurrent with the Bayferrox Color Workshop, parent company Lanxess AG announced global production capacity expansion. In Krefeld-Uerdingen, Germany, site of the world’s largest synthetic iron oxide pigment plant, production capacities for red and black pigments will be gradually increased by around 23,000 metric tons, from the current 280,000 metric tons, by 2019. Furthermore, by means of modernization, Lanxess is also expanding annual yellow pigment capacities by another 2,000 metric tons at its site in Porto Feliz, Brazil. The moves follow the early-2016 startup of a Ningo, China, synthetic iron oxide production facilities, designed for annual output of 25,000 metric tons of red pigment. It uses the Ningbo Process, whose patented technology enables the eco-friendly production of yellow-cast red pigments and fulfills the very high Chinese environmental standards. The projects position Lanxess to increase global production capacity to 400,000 metric tons by 2019, up from the present 375,000 metric tons.
The company expects global demand for iron oxide pigments to grow by an average of 3 percent per year beyond 2018. Demand for iron oxide pigments will rise significantly due to strong growth in countries like India and the continued recovery of the building industry in North America and parts of Europe. China will also contribute to this development with growth rates remaining at a high level.
Although China is by far the largest producer of synthetic iron oxides, with more than 50 percent of total global supply, the number of production locations for synthetic iron oxide pigments has dropped in half since 2008—particularly affecting red pigment supplies. This is a result of the consistent implementation of environmental regulations by both pigment manufacturers and the pigment processing industry. The number of production locations has dropped by half since 2008, resulting in a reduction in supply, particularly in the segment for red pigments.