We emphasize the necessary conditions to correctly use a color measurement system and thus obtain the necessary results without errors.
When measuring colors, there are many procedures that analysts must take into account to obtain correct results that avoid the generation of errors that can even mean higher costs. In this article, we will deepen in the recommendations to comply with a correct implementation of the device and the new features of the system.
The technology in any circumstance, product or system works ideally as long as it is well managed. The case of systems for color measurement is no different, as explained by Jonathan Tadeo Vázquez, consultant Mexico of Konica Minolta, who initially stressed the importance of knowing the times and progress of the processes to execute the action of measuring color perfectly.
“For any application and especially with paints, it is necessary to take into account in which part of the process the color measurement will be taken, since it is not the same to make a formulation to match colors than to make comparisons between lots, or to control the concentrates, “commented the guest, adding that” there are two types of colorimetric spectrophotometers: portable and tabletop; to obtain a greater accuracy and to have the capacity to make equalizations the table are ideal. To obtain differences between one batch and another, that is, to release product according to a standard, a laptop is useful for this “.
We know that spectrophotometers can relate objective numerical data such as chroma, hue, saturation of a sample of paint, but to find these results correctly, it is necessary to obtain a product with good characteristics that allow it to be manipulated more easily.
We also consult the expert on the recommendations for choosing the most appropriate color measurement system. Here, the most important thing is to be clear about what processes the system is needed explicitly for and what kind of chemicals will be measured.
Jonathan Tadeo Vázquez commented the following: “The main thing is always to know for what part of the process the instrument is required to control the color, and also, how much the application would be extended, that is, if we are also going to measure color of enamels, solvents, oils or any other material involved with the paints. Therefore, we must be sure if we will only measure paint applied in a leneta, in a cell or semi-transparent or translucent samples. ”
On the other hand, as explained by our guest, one of the most recent news known in this type of devices has to do with the ease of wireless connection: “Some portable spectrophotometers have a Bluetooth interface to carry out full wireless measurements in production so that the workers take the measurements without having to apply the paint on lengths and do it directly in a cell or a Petri dish. In the case of tabletop spectrophotometers, a special accessory is no longer necessary to measure a Petri dish, since the upper horizontal port can be used for measurement, contrary to prior spectrophotometers, where the reflectance port was vertical and it was difficult to take a liquid measure, “explained Vásquez.
When investigating it to know which are the errors that are committed more frequently with the use of this equipment, he emphasized that a widespread mistake occurs when there are faults in the drying process.
This case applies to portable and tabletop spectrophotometers: “One of the main errors is not allowing the necessary time to dry the length and measuring even with the wet paint, which causes the integration sphere to be pigmented in various colors; this applies to portable and tabletop spectrophotometers, “explained Vásquez.
It is clear then that the correct implementation of these systems is a chain that goes from theoretically knowing the equipment until following the recommendations of the manufacturers to achieve the ideal results and that allows qualifying the application and formulation of the paints correctly.
Laboratorios y Laboratorio de Colombia highlights on its website some simple methods to be taken into account so that the spectrophotometers work correctly and therefore have a longer useful life from proper handling.
• Cleaning the surface of the instrument.
• Cleaning of filters and a light source (lamp and condenser).
• Verify electrical installations.
Recommendations for use and care of the equipment
a) Place the instrument in a place where it is not subject to vibrations, excessive heat, humidity, or direct light.
b) Protect the instrument from dust. Never touch optical surfaces such as lenses and filters. Follow the instructions given by the manufacturer for cleaning such components.
c) Allow the instrument to warm up before doing any procedure.
d) A periodic check (every week) of the wavelength calibration should be done, when it is suspected that it has varied.
e) Check the 0 and 100% T each time that readings are made and when the wavelength varies.
f) Ensure that the cuvettes are clean and free of scratches and fingerprints. This must be done each time it is to be used.
The steps to test the operability of the equipment are as follows:
a) The equipment is turned on and allowed to warm up for at least 15 minutes (if the device is automatic, it will give a signal when it is ready to operate).
b) The desired wavelength is selected (this depends on the sample to be read and the reagent used).
c) The absorbance or transmittance function is selected.
d) The device is set to zero with distilled water. If the apparatus to be used has the two scales (absorbance and transmittance), the readings are adjusted to zero absorbance and 100% transmittance
using the coarse and fine vacuum controls.
e) A standard of known concentration is read and the device is adjusted to that concentration. If the apparatus to be used does not have standard control, it is used to obtain the calibration factor, dividing the concentration of the standard between its reading.