Possibility of Electrically Charging Pigments DIY?

  • Chemical/Paint
  • Thread starter I8Paint
  • Start date
  • #1
4
0

Main Question or Discussion Point

Sorry if this is an absurd question. I'm recently been playing with alcohol inks and noticed certain pigments seem to repel and apparently attract each other and create interesting patterns under the right conditions. e.g. non absorbent substrate with no 'tooth.'

So far this has worked best in an alcohol medium poured over a non absorbent plastic substrate. . Some have exploited the relative weights of various pigments to create patterns in acrylic paint.. I was wondering if its possible to electrically charge certain pigments positively and others negatively to see how they react when mixed. These could be pigments suspended in water (watercolor) or alcohol (alcohol inks) or even fluid acrylic inks.

Here's an example of pigments forming patterns on their own. This was done entirely by dripping alcohol inks and clear 91% isopropyl alcohol.I'm not sure of the exact pigments since they were not disclosed on the paint containers. Thank you in advance!

003.JPG


Thanks in advance!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
jim mcnamara
Mentor
3,708
1,971
Perfectly good question. :biggrin:

A partial answer - you are describing one method:

Electrostatically charged pigment powder coating which is used in finishing metal - like wrought iron fencing which is orange-ish after finishing.

https://www.powdercoating.org/page/WhatIsPC

I think, but do not know for sure, there are low end powder application systems that may meet your needs. You need to decide on your own.
 
  • #3
7,969
4,651
There's a whole field call "pour painting" that experiments with different paints, different media, different handling methods that produce those kinds of patterns. Alcohol is one mixing medium. Silicone oil is even more popular. Elmer's Glue a third. Experts in the field bring science in by finding out the differential densities of different pigments.

I doubt if electric charge is one of the methods because the charges would dissipate almost immediately when the colors are brought in contact with each other.

Try this search https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=pour+paint&page=&utm_source=opensearch

There are also numerous books and tutorials on the techniques.
 
  • #4
JBA
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,533
456
Seeing that makes me wonder what could be created by by mixing one or more pigment(s) with iron powder in alcohol (or silicone oil as mentioned above) on a plate and exposing them to magnets in different shaped arrays (and maybe even of different strengths) located below the plate; or, if this has already been done at some point.
Taking it bit further, using simple wire wound rods in a grid array as the magnets connected to a programmed controller that would vary the strengths (or even reversing the polarity) of the magnets according to different input patterns.
Obviously this could be done in monochrome with dry iron powder alone but the ability to vary the colors in different locations might be more interesting.
 
  • #5
4
0
Thanks everyone for your help.
Jim I 've heard of the powder or e coating used to paint car components. I was wondering if if its possible to do this diy with household items. I even have a tens unit. I remember learning the e coats are all negatively charged.
Anorlunda Im familiar with paint pouring. I ve been able to get the sought after cell and lace patterns with acrylics and silicone and pouring mediums. As far as I know no one is fooling around with electricity or magnetism as part of the process.
Jba thanks Great idea with the magnets. This is sort of what i'm striving towards. I never though of iron powder. I supposed iron powder could be dyed and still react to the magnets. What I liked about the alcohol ink experiments is once the alcohol evaporates the patterns remain fixed.

I have a tens unit, I don't if running electricity through a shallow wet bed of medium like alcohol would cause the pigments to react. Or can anyone think of a better medium than alcohol?

Would it be possible using everyday materials (i have a tens unit) to positively or negatively charge paint or wet pigments? Sorry for my ignorance.
 
  • #6
7,969
4,651
Re: @JBA's idea: You may not need to dye the iron filings. They might remain as black flecks i over a paint background, very nice.

But electrostatically charging the pigments does not sound promising. When they come in contact, the charges would dissipate rapidly without much movement the paint itself.
 
  • #7
4
0
But electrostatically charging the pigments does not sound promising. When they come in contact, the charges would dissipate rapidly without much movement the paint itself.
Thanks for your help. Do you think it would it be possible to run current thru a painting medium , modifying it to be conductive if necessary, then introducing pigments into the charged medium to see how they react, like in electrophoresis? Im guessing a TENs unit could be used to run current through a conductive painting medium already spread across the canvas? Thanks again.
 
  • #8
7,969
4,651
Yes you could run a current, but it may not cause much movement of the paint pigment particles. There may be some specialized liquids that flow when a current is applied, but I don't know what they are. Even a google search doesn't turn up much. It is common to allow currents to flow through water. I can't remember seeing any hint of movement in that water.

I think @JBA's idea is the best. Magnetic fields, not currents. Magnetized particles in the paint. Iron filings would be the best particles because of their elongated non-spherical shape.

The most readily available field you have is gravity.
 
  • #9
chemisttree
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
3,178
107
There might be something you could try with a pigment that formed a colored/colorless complex with a metal. Electrodeposition or electro-solution (anode vs cathode) would either bleach or form the pigment at the electrode.
 
  • #10
4
0
Thanks @anorlunda and @chemisttree for your suggestions. I just google image searched 'iron filings art' and learned its already been done and some of the results are interesting. There is even a science toy on the market with sealed filings in glass that can be manipulated. I never would have anticipated such a beautiful pattern : Sealed Filings
I have a two part epoxy resin i've used to paint 3 d gold fish layer by layer. . I wonder if the filings could be manipulated like as shown in the 'sealed filings' link i posted while suspended in the wet epoxy resin, so that they would be preserved in that configuration once the resin hardens? Ive seen people preserve delicate things like dandelion seed balls in resin.

Thanks chemistree for the idea with the electrode. Ill give that a try and will post if anything interesting happens. :)
 
Last edited:
  • #11
7,969
4,651
I wonder if the filings could be manipulated like as shown in the 'sealed filings' link i posted while suspended in the wet epoxy resin, so that they would be preserved in that configuration once the resin hardens?
Yes, that should be possible. Practice first with filings in water or alcohol or syrup, before the epoxy.
 

Related Threads for: Possibility of Electrically Charging Pigments DIY?

  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
21
Views
2K
Replies
6
Views
6K
Replies
13
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
854
Replies
8
Views
4K
Replies
19
Views
3K
Replies
4
Views
2K
Top