The Science Behind Color-Changing Paint

It sounds like something out of an action thriller—athief steals a million-dollar something, jumps into a bright red, high-endsports car waiting outside and takes off. The police tear after the seeminglyconspicuous automobile, but suddenly it’s nowhere to be seen—the thief haschanged the paint color! 

Color-changing paint may sound futuristic, but believe itor not, the technology is already here.

Beyond Heat and Duo-chrome

There are twobasic methods of achieving a color-changing effect:

  • Duo-chrome

Duo-chrome works by reflecting light. What color you see depends on theangle at which the light hits and reflected off the pigments.

  • Heat-sensitive

Thermochromic, or heat-sensitive, paint changes color based thetemperature of an area (think mood rings from the 70s and 80s).

While thesecolor-changing technologies are available, today’s color-changing paint is evenmore sophisticated.

The Technology of Modern Color-Changing Paint

Like duo-chrome,the technology behind today’s color-changing paint is based on the way light isreflected and the way our eyes perceive color. Unlike duo-chrome, however,today’s color-changing paint works by using magnetic pulses to adjust thecrystals within the paint.

Tiny crystalsthat make up part of the paint’s chemical structure are mixed in with the basicpaint color, creating an inductive topcoat. Using the principle ofelectroluminescence, a signal from the driver sends an electrical current intothe topcoat. The electromagnetic current manipulates the crystals into an orderthat changes the way the light is reflected and refracted so that your eyesperceived a new color.

Unlike duo-chromeand thermochromic paint that have a limited range of color changes, today’scolor-changing paint can cover the full spectrum. It can change from blues toreds to purples to oranges and yellows and greens (and back again).  

Color-changingpaint introduces new difficulties for the auto body repair industry. Painting atraditional car is challenging enough. Covering a vehicle with anelectroluminescent topcoat requires specially calibrated devices to analyze thepaint itself as well as ensure the non-changing color is correct after itcures. Although the science is here, the money to getcolor-changing paint for your car may not be. Color-changing paint is veryexpensive. However, if you’ve got the bankroll, we’ve got the skill. ContactQuanz AutoCare for a free estimate.