CLEVER COLOR CHEMISTRY
More About Color.
As my readers know, I am fascinated, entranced, delighted, and wowed by color.
During the summer of 2018, we were lucky to be able to explore several national parks in Utah. Other than being a hellish over 100 degrees temperature during the day, it was a fantastic experience. When our friends and later our professional guide showed us around the awe-inspiring mountains, buttes, caves and deserts of the area, we were able to see many ancient petroglyphs and pictograms. I was fascinated by the color, and of course, by the stories these images conveyed. I wondered what they used for color that was so long-lasting that we can still see these images so clearly? I turned to my Dec. 3 issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) where I learned, thanks to James Mitchell Crow’s article “High Performance, Built In,” that they used iron oxide. Iron oxide creates colors of reds, yellows, and black. That’s what we saw in Utah! It turns out that iron oxide is still being used to color building materials like concrete. With the right artisan, concrete can be colored to denote zones for parking, bus lanes, cross walks and bicycle paths. Unlike paint, there is no required maintenance, adding economic appeal to its aesthetic appeal. I can attest to the longevity of the iron oxides found in the pictograms of the Utah desert. For a timeless design that considers economic and aesthetic challenges, please call us!