BYK-Gardner has introduced a new instrument to objectively characterize the total color impression of effect coatings: the BYK-mac. Special effect coatings play a dominant role in automotive applications, but in contrast to conventional solid colors, metallic finishes change their appearance with viewing angles and lighting conditions. Dependent on the flake type, an additional sparkling effect is created, which can vary from sunlight to cloudy sky. According to BYK, these effects can no longer sufficiently be described with traditional multi-angle color measurement quantifying the diffused light reflections at 3 - 5 angles. The new BYK-mac is designed to objectively measure two parameters in one portable device: flake characterization by measuring with a camera the visual impression of sparkling and graininess, simulating effect changes under direct and diffuse lighting conditions; and multi-angle color measurement "before and behind the specular reflection" to give more information about the color travel of special effect finishes.
The instrument uses a patented illumination system that guarantees stable, long term and temperature-independent readings. In order to guarantee stable readings on flat and curved samples, the instrument is equipped with trigger pins on the bottom plate of the instrument. Measured data is saved in an Access database and transferred to standardized reports in Excel.