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Glassflake Effect Pigments


Substrate-based pearlescent effect pigments are used in a wide variety of applications in order to mimic the lustre of natural pearls. These pigments are composed of high refractive index coatings on transparent substrates. The coated pigments have a smooth surface so they are light reflective, whilst maintaining a high degree of transparency. Pearlescent effects are created by the overlapping of multiple light waves that have been reflected by varying layers of pigment.

However, with decreasing substrate transparency there is a reduction in both pearlescent and interference effects. As a result, glassflake is an ideal effect pigment substrate due to the neutral mass tone, smooth and uniform surface, combined with highly planar dimensions.  In contrast, natural and synthetic mica have innate imperfections in the particle thickness due to the lamellar structure; the stepped surface creates undesirable light scatter and impurities cause discoloration of the mass colour tone.

Utilising our innovative borosilicate manufacturing process we are able to produce high specification glassflake substrates for the Moonshine® Effect pigments range. The manufacturing technology enables accurate control of glass composition and flake morphology. The Moonshine® range of pigments is based on flakes with an average thickness of 1.2µm, and captivating effects are created by coating glassflake with metal oxides, elemental and/ or inorganic dyes. Shimmer and sparkle effects can also be achieved by manipulation of the flake particle size.

The product range includes Moonshine® Effect Series and Ultra Effect Series, Moonshine® Colour Travel Series and the pure metal coated Moonshine® Meta Effect Series. Table 1 summarises the range of effects.

Moonshine® SeriesAppearanceParticle Size
Effect SeriesWhite bulk powder, with interference coloursShimmer


Effect Series MetallicsColoured bulk powder, with metallic earth tonesUltra shimmer
Ultra Effect SeriesColoured bulk powder, with enhanced colour intensityShimmer


Colour Travel SeriesColoured bulk powder, with striking colour shiftShimmer


Ultra sparkle

Meta Effect SeriesMetallic effect powder, with intense lustre and brightnessShimmer


Table 1. Moonshine® Effect Pigments Range

In order to meet market trends and demands, Glassflake Ltd has recently launched the Moonshine® Astral Effect series and Ultra Travel Series. The former is based on flakes with an average thickness of 350nm, a product which is unique to our manufacturing technology, and the range displays exciting super shimmer pearlescent effects at lower flake loadings. The latter creates dramatic colours and changes in hue at different viewing angles.

The Moonshine® range of pigments are subjected to rigorous internal QA testing and surpass regulatory requirements. Therefore, Moonshine® pigments are used to enhance appearance and value in a wide range of cosmetic and industrial applications, including; eye/ nail products, toiletries, sunscreens, packaging, decorative architectural and wood coatings, automotive coatings and printing inks.

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