How to Make Glow in the Dark Things?

Techno Glow primarily utilizes acrylic latex paint medium for our glow in the dark paint. The following instructions focus around acrylic latex paint medium unless otherwise indicated.

  1. Choose the color and granularity of the glow in the dark powder appropriate to your project. Larger particle sizes generally glow longer, but the resulting paint will not have as smooth a finish as finer particles or smaller micron sizes. Protect the powder from moisture by storing in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. Clumping or yellowing can be indicators of the pigment powder being exposed to moisture. Continue to avoid exposure to moisture until the powder is mixed with the paint medium.
  2. Obtain the needed primer, clear medium, and possibly a clear top coat. Feel free to have your local hardware store contact us with any technical questions they might have. We also carry a wide variety of paint and other mediums that works very well with our products.
    • Primer – Choose the primer made for the substrate you will be painting. A white primer will facilitate the highest glow, while a dark primer will reduce or absorb the luminosity.
    • Paint Medium – Paint should be clear so that color pigment particles don’t interfere with the glow. Clear acrylic latex paints, polyurethane, solvents and resins are some of the best mediums, though other paint mediums may be used with success. Remember that more viscous mediums do a better job of holding the pigment in suspension without need for an anti-settling agent.
    • Top Coat – The purpose is to seal and protect the luminous paint layer, although not necessary most of the times. Top coats can be most anything clear (polyurethane or acrylic) to protect the finish without interfering with the glow. Avoid paint with high UV filters in order for light to penetrate through to charge and discharge the powder. A lot of paint mediums that do include UV filters works just fine.
  3. Prepare the surface you are going to paint. Be sure that the surface is clean and dry. Apply the primer to the surface and allow primer adequate time to fully cure before painting. Plan for the amount of glow in the dark powder and paint medium you plan to use. You should only mix as much as you plan to use immediately, because if left sitting, the medium can settle or set up and make using the paint difficult. It is important to not leave the paint open for long periods of time to avoid drying up.
  4. We recommend mix ratios between 15% to 33% powder to paint. In general, ratios with more than 33% powder to the mix don’t gain enough brighter glow to justify the cost of more glow powder. Examples:
    • 20% = 1:5 = 1 oz. Powder to 5 oz. Medium
    • 25% = 1:4 = 1 oz. Powder to 4 oz. Medium
    • 33% = 1:3 = 1 oz. Powder to 3 oz. Medium
    • 33% = 1:3 = 42 oz. Powder to 1 gallon (128 fl. oz.) Medium
    • Generally, the higher the ratio of glow in the dark powder to medium, the brighter the glow and potentially a longer glow. Testing different ratio's are recommended for commercial and manufacturing purposes. Multiple layers always enhance the glow. If possible, we suggest using plastic, ceramic, or glass mixing containers and utensils.
    • For resin and epoxy the 20% ratio works well. Pigment will settle to the bottom leaving you with a nice clear top that can be sanded and buffed to your liking.
  5. Carefully mix the glow in the dark powder with the paint or resin medium.
  6. You can either add powder to paint or paint to powder. If you place the powder in the mixing container first and then begin adding paint until you achieve the glow and consistency you need, you will have greater control. Starting with the paint in the mixing container and adding your estimate of the required pigment also works just fine. For small quantities, stir the pigment and the medium with a wood or plastic stir stick (coffee stir stick, chopstick, skewer, or the end of an artist’s paint brush). For larger quantities, using a power drill and a paint mixer available from a local hardware store. The power drill will allow for thorough mixing/stirring at higher speeds. Mixing two different colored pigments together does not usually get the desired result or work out well. Be careful not to grind the glow powder as it will cause the glow to be reduced, and may lead to the pigment deteriorating and not taking a charge. If the paint becomes too thick to apply, you can add a small amount of water or flow extender available from us or at a local building store.
  7. Apply multiple thin coats of paint (3-4 mil). Many folks have had good success applying 3-5 coats. Stir and/or shake the paint thoroughly before applying. Paint can be applied with brush, roller or paint sponge. Paint can be applied with paint sprayer, providing it is less viscous or has been thinned with an extender product. For small areas, you may be able to reduce the time between coat applications by using a hair dryer on the first couple coats. After that you should allow the paint coats to cure naturally. If you have some paint remaining, you can use the container lid or cover the container with clear plastic wrap from your kitchen. It is also good to label the cup with a marker because in the light, there is little difference in the color between several of the pigments.
Our photoluminescent pigment can be mixed into various resins or rubber for molding purposes. Nevertheless photoluminescent pigment is made from hard crystals and this might cause abrasion of the vessel's internal surface when adding resins. This actions would cause a decrease in light emission performance or a discoloration of the resins when the scraped metal particles combine with the luminous powder. For this reason, we recommend that ceramic, glass, and resin vessel be used. For rubber, the synthetic silicon rubber is recommended.
 
Application In Plastic
Master Batch Manufacturing
Extrusion Molding
Injection Molding
General Precautions
Notes
Use Flow Chart
Disclaimer

Application In Plastic
This new type of luminous powder is compatible with acrylic, polyester, epoxy, PVC, polypropylene and polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE etc.) polymers.
Material can be cast, dipped, coated, extruded or molded.
Preferably use master batches or compounds for incorporating luminous powder into plastics.
As luminous material is a very hard substance and the particles have a needle like shape, it is difficult to incorporate into plastic resins directly.
It is recommended to use an extruding temperature as low as possible.
Master batches containing luminous material must be fully dried up before usage.
Plan on using less than classical phosphorescent pigment loading.
 
Master Batch Manufacturing
Preferably use master batches or compounds for incorporating photoluminescent pigment into plastics. As the pigment is a very hard substance and the micro particles have a sharp edged, it is difficult to incorporate into plastic resins directly ( they can be classified as a glass or ceramic ).
Prior to starting a manufacturing of a masterbatch, the interior of the extruder should be thoroughly cleaned of contamination.
The processing temp should be 10 degrees higher than normal run of plastic. The extruder should be cleaned again by running clear resin through until clear resin can be seen coming out of the machine.
The recommended machine configuration is one with a distributive screw design and twin hoppers. Use the first to feed the resin and additives and the second to dose the pigment into the polymer melt. This will decrease the abrasion to the extruder surfaces.
If the above method is not possible keep the mixing time of the pigment and resin as short as possible.
Stirring for a long period may cause the resin/pigment to darken, this is not good!
The resin and pigment should be kept dry before the extruding process is started!
Using carrier resins in powder form minimize darkening.
Masterbatches containing up to 50% glow pigment can be manufactured.
 
Extrusion Molding
For extrusions a small bore machine would be preferable as to minimize residence time. Extruders with large inside wall areas or equipped with complicated screw geometry tend to cause darkening of the end product.
It is recommended to use an extruding temp. as low as possible (only experimentation will give the correct temp level).
The optimum back pressure should be determined by experimentation.
The color of the pellets being produced should be observed, they should be the same color as the pigment itself.
The best temp. level inside the barrel is closely related to screw geometry and back pressure, these should be determined by repeated experiments.
 
Injection Molding
The use of an injection mold machine equipped with a small chamber is recommended. For Instant, for injection molding a piece of 50 grams per shot with a duration time of 3 minutes, do not use a machine with a barrel capacity of 5kg it is enough for 100 shots. This will maybe darken the end product. An adequate sized chamber would be one that the resin stays in no longer than 30 minutes.
A test run with a virgin resin is recommended before injection molding is started.
Masterbatches or pellets containing luminescent pigment must be fully dried before using!
Temp. should be determined by experimenting.
It is difficult to inject mold resins containing a stabilizer or resins which are hygroscopic or containing water.
 
General Precautions
Do not grind or mill the pigment, breaking the pigment structure will destroy the afterglow properties!
Avoid exposing the pigment to strong acids or mixing with resins containing heavy metal properties.
Keep out of reach from children, this substance is non-toxic but not intended for humane ingestion.
Keep pigment as dry as possible.
Photoluminescent pigment is a hard material and this may cause abrasion to the extruding machines, In order to avoid this problem either sue especially hardened barrels and screw fixtures or a wax to wet the pigment prior to extruding, or use a machine with two entry ports.
Avoid moisture and aqueous systems. Once the pigment is incorporated into a solvent based resin, it is not affected by moisture.
We have tested our pigments thoroughly but the afterglow properties depend on the pigment quantity used and manufacturing processes used. The efficiency of phosphorescent pigment containing articles can only be observed when installed properly and excited under correct lighting conditions as required by the proper authorities. Therefore we can not guarantee that the end product containing our pigment conform to your company expectations.
 
Notes
Molded parts and extruded strips as well as products made thereof are manufactured with a variety of base plastic compounds, to which luminous material are added.
For processing of photo luminescent plastic compounds, it is best to use machinery such as plunger-type injection molding machines or single-screw extruders, which ensure delicate handling of the luminous material. Consult extruding machine manufacturers' specifications for processing temperatures and injection speed.
Suggest using paraffin to cling to the surface of basic plastic, it is molding.
In plastic industry: Primarily used in toys, telecom products and electronic products.
 
Use Flow Chart
glow-in-the-dark-plastic-chart.gif
 
Disclaimer
This document is intended to aid the use of the photoluminescent pigment and to be used as general information purposes. Techno Glow will not be responsible for the damage to machines, loss of products or labor due to the misuse of the photoluminescent pigment.
 

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