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TDMA strives for the responsible, safe and sustainable manufacture and use of TiO2

The Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association - TDMA is a sector group of Cefic (the European Chemical Industry Council) and it represents the major producers of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and acts as their responsible voice in Europe since 1974. TDMA promotes and defends the merits of titanium dioxide (TiO2) in all suitable applications by bringing forward evidence of its safety and efficacy. TDMA is a non-profit organisation and it has no commercial role. For all commercial enquiries, please refer to the websites of our members.

About TiO2

Titanium is the 9th most abundant element in the world and titanium dioxide (TiO2) is the oxide of the metal, which occurs naturally in several kinds of rock and mineral sands.

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Uses of TiO2

TiO2 has been used for over 90 years in a vast range of industrial applications and consumer goods such as paints, printing inks, plastics, paper and board, textiles, ceramics, construction materials, cosmetics, food, and pharmaceuticals.

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In Europe a number of bodies ensure that the substances available to the public are safe in the applications in which they are used.

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As the world tries to reduce the amount of resources we consume, increasingly we are reusing old materials that would otherwise be disposed of and wasted. With global deforestation becoming a more and more significant issue, one tool we’re using to protect the planet is the recycling of wood and paper.

Why recycle?

By recycling, we can limit the amount of new wood we need from freshly logged trees. Deforestation, as a result of the growth of farm land and the need for wood in commercial uses, can have very significant global environmental effects. Cutting down trees can lead to soil erosion and desert creep, harming ecosystems. One challenge of using more sustainable wood sources, however, is that it can be very difficult achieve the quality we want our in furniture. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) can help.

The wood we use

Sustainable, recycled wood can have uneven colouring and texture that makes furniture that’s good for the environment look out of place in a living room. Luckily, titanium dioxide has some amazing properties which can be used to give wood the consistency needed for high quality furniture, making the fixtures in your house look great.

The right look

Titanium dioxide’s bright white colour means that, when applied to wood or wood-containing substrates (MDF or chipboard) in a coating, any and all colour-unevenness of the wood substrate is much less visible. This means wood and recycled wood from different sources and even different species of tree can be blended together. The coating can be done by painting, plastic foil or by laminate application on the wooden substrates, all containing TiO2. The plastic and laminate applications also allow for printing (e.g. wood grains or other graphics) onto white décor paper or white plastic foil and hence gives more creative décor choices to designers. All these make the furniture look more aesthetically appealing and perfect for your living room.

As we move to a more sustainable society we need to better consider the materials we use. Meeting the standards we expect while using recycled materials can be a challenge, but with the right surface treatment, being sustainable does not mean sacrificing quality nor creative and appealing looks.

The resilient coating that keeps boats clean year round

One of the biggest challenges for a mariner is keeping their boat clean. Exposed to the beating sun and corrosive saltwater all year, boats need to be resilient to the most challenging of environments. More than that, they have to be able to shrug off the knocks a boat can endure, from heavy gear being dragged across the decks to years of footsteps stomping from bow to stern. To do this, marine coatings need to be able to be resilient and able to hold their colour; something that titanium dioxide helps them with.

A coating to resist the elements

Titanium dioxide in paints has a number of brilliant qualities which make it perfectly suited for marine coatings. Firstly, titanium dioxide white pigment is essential to having bright colours. This is actually very important on boats, where being brightly coloured makes you more visible at sea and prevents accidents! The coating is also scratch resistant, very important if you’re moving anchors around or fishing. Beyond that, boats are increasingly being made with plastic parts. These often incorporate titanium dioxide directly into the materials to give them colour and increase their durability.

Just scratching the surface

The above uses for titanium dioxide are just the beginning of its uses on boats. One issue for boats from pleasure craft to cruise ships is the build-up of weeds on the bottom of the boat. New uses of titanium dioxide exploit the way it interacts with the sun to halt the growth of plants, presenting it as an alternative to other forms of antifouling. This is important not just because boats without growth look better, they’re also much more efficient at going through the water – reducing fuel consumption and emissions from marine transport.

Titanium dioxide is an extremely useful component of any marine coating. Next time you’re by the sea and see white boats bobbing in the water be sure to think about the brilliant substances that keep them in pristine condition!

Tell someone you’ve recently changed cars and one of the first questions they might ask is “what colour is it?” Whether a muted grey or black sedan or a bright red sports car, the colour of the vehicle we drive is in many ways a self-expression, a statement about who we are. But how much do you know about what goes into giving vehicles a bright and lasting coating?

Colours count

The colours of vehicles are more important than just personal taste, they can be practical. The bright colours of ambulances and fire engines make them highly visible, prompting rapid reactions from other users on the road. They can also tell a story. Recently a large city council had a debate on what its police cars should look like; should they be primarily white, or a more intimidating dark grey? The less threatening white colour was retained, a signal of openness to the community. That white colour used on cars is derived primarily from an amazing pigment: titanium dioxide (TiO2).

Brightening and cooling your ride

Titanium dioxide is used not just to create white paints, it is essential in the full spectrum of colours available for cars. It brings out the brightness of colours, making cars look amazing for years. Its opacity provides full substrate coverage with less paint, saving weight and costs. By reflecting visible light and the associated solar energy, the build-up of heat in your car is minimised and damage to the paint over time is reduced.

Lasts for years

Titanium dioxide not only makes the paints we use on cars more durable and long lasting but also the other materials used to make cars. Car makers are increasingly using plastic on exterior parts because it is lightweight and scratch and dent resistant. TiO2 plays a critical role in these plastic parts, making them more durable and weather resistant, as well as giving them better colours and opacity.

Titanium dioxide is essential for making cars the colour we want them to be and keeping them that way for as long as possible. Because of this, it is used in many phases of the car manufacturing process, and is ingrained in modern vehicles in many new and exciting ways.

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