Darmstadt, March 21, 2014 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is set to launch Xirallic® NXT, one of a new generation of its acclaimed hi-tech effect pigments, at the beginning of April. For many years, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has maintained a position as market leader in pearlescent pigments. This is largely due to Xirallic®, the brand predominantly used in automotive finishes. Since it first started manufacturing Xirallic® in 2000, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the only company to deliver this specific, aluminum oxide-based technology. The new patented products in this range, like the existing ones, provide customers with an extra-special sparkle effect, superb styling potential and consistent quality.

“Xirallic continues to be the gold standard for eye-catching automotive finishes. The new generation of Xirallic pigments caters to our customers' demanding styling requirements. The automotive market continues to grow and we intend to tap its enormous potential with our top-quality, highly reliable effect pigments,” says Inese Lowenstein, Head of the Pigments & Cosmetics Business Unit.

Two new Color options for 2014
Xirallic® NXT Panthera Silver will be presented to the market for the first time at the American Coatings Show in Atlanta at the beginning of April. The first product in the new generation, which is named and styled after wild cats, is a dark grey. This option can be used to create a bluish metallic look and impresses with its vibrant sparkle combined with a pronounced shimmer. The clear, profound effect is eminently suitable for achromatic finishes such as noble black and grey tones as well as for metallic designs. The principal market is the automobile market, although exciting effects can also be achieved on plastics and industrial coatings as well as in wood treatments and leather finishes. A further color option in the Xirallic® NXT product line will follow before the end of 2014. More are being planned for the future.

Expansion of production capacity through new facilities

Production of the Xirallic® product line now takes place at two company sites – in Onahama (Japan) and in Gernsheim (Germany). In Gernsheim, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has enlarged its Xirallic® technical facilities with investments to date of around EUR 10 million. The two large-volume pigments Xirallic® Radiant Red and Xirallic® Galaxy Blue are already in production at the Gernsheim site. Newly launched Xirallic® NXT Panthera Silver is also being produced there.

Special technical features of Xirallic® pigments

Xirallic® pigments are aluminum oxide-based. A modern crystallization process enables aluminum oxide flakes to be produced with perfectly planar surfaces and a tight particle size distribution. The substrate is coated with high-refractive-index metal oxides. Xirallic® exhibits a very strong sparkle effect with a pronounced shimmer. Xirallic® pigments are characterized by their powerful and extremely pure interference colors. The effect is intensified by directional light such as sunlight.

Visitors to Stand 1549 at the American Coatings Show from April 8 to 10, 2014 in Atlanta can discover more about Xirallic® NXT.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of effect pigments for the coatings, plastics, printing, cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries. Effect pigments underscore the emotional impact of color and are an important design element when creating surfaces with special impressions or qualities. Application possibilities range from cars to packaging and high-tech products up to building facades. In addition to decorative effect pigments, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, offers pigments that also have functional applications such as heat-reflecting or anti-counterfeiting pigments. For the cosmetic industry Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, offers effect pigments for color cosmetics as well as a wide range of active ingredients used in skin care cosmetics, e.g. insect repellents or ingredients against UV radiation and premature aging. You can find more information on our products at www.emd-performance-materials.com.