Huntsman Pigments & Additives has launched Altiris W400 pigment, a near infrared reflecting TiO2 pigment that can improve the thermal stability and durability of white, bright and light colored plastics used in exterior applications.These would include window and door profiles, sidings, decking, soffits and fascias.  The Altiris pigments portfolio is a family of products designed to deliver enhanced solar reflective properties across a broad color palette. Available for use in cool white, near-white, bright color and pastel shade plastics, Altiris W400 pigment is unique in terms of its combination of large crystal size, narrow particle distribution, high crystalline purity and dense silica coating. With a primary crystal size of 400nm, the product consists of a macro titanium dioxide (TiO2) core, dense silica shell and alumina outer coating with an organic treatment. This larger crystal size shifts the reflectance emphasis across the solar spectrum. This ensures that a greater proportion of near infrared light is reflected when compared to a typical grade of titanium dioxide produced for pigmentary use, while helping maintain substantial hiding power and tinting strength. Huntsman says tests show that, compared to ordinary TiO2, the spectra of Altiris W400 pigment can boost the solar reflectance of white and light colored plastics by as much as 25 percent. This in turn can enhance the thermal stability, weather resistance and durability of final products where the effects of light and heat exposure are known issues. Light colored plastics incorporating Altiris W400 pigments will typically deliver lower heat build up temperatures than plastics made using conventional TiO2 – a significant advantage in the exterior plastics market where every extra degree of heat protection counts. With greater heat resisting properties, plastics heat more slowly, reach lower maximum temperatures, show a smaller temperature difference through the substrate, and consequently experience lower temperature drops in the evening. Ultimately, that means less expansion and contraction, less product warp, and exterior plastic products that will last longer, particularly in hot, sunny climates. The launch of Altiris W400 pigment comes as interest in solar reflective solutions continues to grow across the plastics industry; new legislation – designed to improve the solar reflectance of construction materials and the overall energy efficiency and longevity of buildings – is driving demand. Russell Evans, business development director at Huntsman Pigments & Additives, added:  “Solar reflective pigments for exterior plastics applications have been around for some time and there has always been strong support for the concept of passive cooling. Yet until recently the technology was an optional item in the plastic formulation toolbox. That’s now starting to change. For example, in some countries, new building standards are coming into force and specifiers are now actively searching for solar reflecting pigments to build into their product ranges to improve performance and durability. As decision makers seek to maximise reductions in infrared, heat-related plastic warping, we are seeing a real need for a fully optimized reflective technology. As such, the launch of Altiris W400 pigment – a patented 400nm, dense, silica coated macro TiO2 product that can help improve the solar reflectance of even the most reflective plastics – is incredibly timely.” The pigment has an alumina coating and organic treatment, and is engineered to disperse quickly in plastic formulations. Used as a direct replacement for TiO2, Altiris W400 has the same processing and storage parameters.