Photochromics change from clear when indoors to color when outdoors. Specifically, Photochromics change color in response to UV light, usually from the sun or a black light.
Photochromic behavior can be either Reversible or Irreversible.
Reversible Photochromics transform from clear to color by changing their chemical structure after absorbing UV light, usually from the sun or a UV light. The UV light causes the Photochromics to absorb color (like a dye), and then change back to clear when the UV source is removed. They can cycle thousands of times depending upon the application. They can also change from one color to a different color by combination with a permanent pigment. When the UV light source is removed, the dye changes back to clear. The number of cycles is dictated by the matrix embedding the photochromic dye. They can also change from one color to a different color by combination with a permanent color.
Standard SpotSee photochromic ink will change from clear to color when activated by UV light. We also have an irreversible solvent-based screen ink/label that permanently changes from clear to color after exposure to ultraviolet light.
The most famous reversible photochromic application is color-changing lenses for glasses, as found in Transitions® eyeglasses. Reversible PCs are also found in novelty applications such as tee shirts, toys, cosmetics, and industrial applications.
Reversible Photochromics are also found in novelty applications such as tee shirts, toys, cosmetics, and industrial applications.
Photochromics are available in the following formats:
- Dyes for direct use in materials able to solubilize them
- Slurries microencapsulated for use in aqueous systems
- Powders microencapsulated for use in non-aqueous systems where protection is required
- Inks for printing onto papers, plastics, and textiles
- Labels used on finished products
- Masterbatch for addition to plastic molding and extrusion
SpotSee Photochromic Inks have an ultraviolet color change response usually from the sun or a black light. The inks are effectively colorless indoors and turn into vibrant colors outdoors. When brought back inside, the inks become clear again. The inks become intensely colored after only 15 seconds in direct sunshine and return to clear after about 5 minutes indoors. Perfect for textiles and other applications where there is a period of exposure followed by non-exposure to UV light.
A wide range of Reversible PC Products, from raw materials to finished inks, powders, dyes and finished products is available. A PC material can be custom synthesized or formulated specifically for your application, including a color to color change. Please let us know if we can be of assistance in creating your custom product!