Elevate your Paint with Sparkling Gold Flake

The history of metal flake paint:
        Metal flakes were based on powdered fish scales. The finish would fade quickly, requiring frequent paint changes. During the Great Depression, car sales plummeted and manufacturers began offering cars in a wider range of colors in an effort to boost sales. The most popular colors during this period were bright and cheerful shades like yellow and orange. By the time the 1930s rolled around, metallic paint was all the rage.
        Cruisers and hot-rodders have been adding special flakes to their colors for years, long before OEM car manufacturers offered them on production cars. But ever since OEMs determined that people like the flake effect and that their factories could produce it without the endless amount of labor hours the street rodder spent creating his, paint on production vehicles has gotten cooler and more attention.
       Flakes have been around for decades, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that Alcoa developed an aluminum flake for use in automotive paints. These flakes were brighter, larger and more similar in size to each other than the previous offerings. Stylists at Ditzler (now PPG) coined the term “poly-chromatic” to describe a color with many facets.
        The ’60s saw larger, more flamboyant, more vibrant vinyl flakes that required a higher-solids resin to suspend them within many coats. While many street rodders relished the opportunity to spend hours sanding and polishing, OEMs never put them on production vehicles because of the cost and production complexity.
         In the 1970s, Chrysler incorporated mica-based reflectants into their coatings. Aluminum flake is like a mirror, polished on two sides but dark on the edge. Mica, however, is like a prism — some light is reflected and some is transmitted. Coating a mica flake with titanium powder yields a pigment that mimics pearlescence.
          Improvements in clears played a huge part in making snazzy paint jobs available from OEMs. Once the solids level in clears went up sufficiently to support reflectants, the next step was to improve UV resistance. The real advances were made when we could create a clear clearcoat that would withstand the sun for years without degrading.
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