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Yin Min Blue Pigment

Intense blue pigment with higher infrared reflectivity. pigment

A new pigment has been made available in the raw materials market, currently referred to as Yin Min Blue.
As part of Derivan’s philosophy, primarily as traditional “colourmen” in the historical practice of artists paint manufacturing, we are currently developing this pigment into a new hue of blue artist acrylic, which will become part of and complement the current range of Matisse Artists Acrylics.

It will sit along side other synthetic inorganic pigments like Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue and Phthalo Blue. Whilst the pigment manufacturers believe this pigment to be extremely permanent – we are also undertaking further tests to ascertain this pigment’s lightfastness rate. It is important to remember this is a very new pigment, in whichever way discovered, and final classification and characteristics in artistic terms have to be allocated in the process of testing, developing and manufacturing.

Artists and colourmen historically have always been on the path of discovery, research and experimentation to arrive at new pigments to be used in painting and all forms of art making. Naturally occurring pigments have been used since prehistoric times and with the advent of the industrial revolution, a large expansion in the range of synthetic pigments available was brought forward.

"Yin Min" Blue (YlnMnBlue)

Not particularly developed for artistic purposes, the characteristics of this newly “found” inorganic pigment (quoted as the first new blue in over two centuries), “Yin Min Blue”, will certainly have art applications. This is not the first of pigments in this category to find a niche use in the art world.
Yin Min Blue is actually the result of a “happy “ accident in the research for new materials that could be used in electronic applications. In the course of the research (by an Oregon State University College of Science team lead by chemistry professor Mas Subramanian), manganese oxide was mixed with other compounds (hence the classification YlnMn which stands for Yttrium (Y), Indium (In) and Manganese (Mn) elements) and heated at high temperatures to test for structure. It was noticed that one of their samples turned out a very vivid brilliant blue colour.

wavelength blueOne of the most remarkable structural characteristics of this pigment is that absorbs red and green wavelengths of light and while at the same time only reflecting the blue wavelengths in the light spectrum. This new inorganic pigment has been described as an intense blue colour with high solar radiation (IR) reflecting properties. As it has been observed, the resulting vibrant blue appears to be very durable and its core compounds are said to be so stable that “the colour does not fade”.
So, considering these facts, the initial application and use intended for this pigment will be in a variety of commercial products, for example as paint coatings for buildings and roofs. The coat of paint would help to keep buildings cool by reflecting infrared light.

In artistic terms, Yin Min Blue (or YlnMnBlue, as it is quoted on research notations) has a brilliant, almost shimmering look with a, maybe, very slight red undertone. Research notes from evaluation testing of samples indicates a higher optical reflectance (vividness) than other blues in the colour spectrum, this is all due to the compounds in the structure of the pigment particles. Another very important factor to consider, and in direct relation to health and safety, is that none of this pigment’s compounds are toxic.

The brilliance of this pigment is reminiscent of Ives Klein Blue, (although not discovered but developed by him with his own mix and proportions of binder and pigment - ultramarine). Yin Min Blue would have just as a vivid look in appearance (or more) providing an alternative to Ultramarine Blue with the added benefits of refracting infrared wavelengths, making it highly lightfast (in archival terms) and, with no toxic compounds, making it a very safe pigment to use, in paint form or dry.


We will be revising, correcting and updating the information on the behaviour and characteristics of Yin Min Blue as more details come to light directly from the science team at the Oregon State University (USA), from its licensed commercial distributor, other science sources and from our continuing research and experiment to develop this pigment into an artist acrylic paint.


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"Oregon Blue" (YlnMnBlue)