Ultramarine blue, synthetic
A pure, deep blue, fine particle, synthetic ultramarine discovered in 1826 in France by Jean-Baptiste Guimet and sold commercially in 1828. Synthetic ultramarine is prepared when anhydrous sodium sulfate or sodium carbonate is mixed with clay, silica, sulfur, rosin and charcoal then slowly heated in a reducing atmosphere to 750º C (1,380º F). Variations in mixture proportions give various shades of blues, greens, violets and reds. Synthetic ultramarine blue has rounded particles that are finer and more regular in size and shape than the natural ultramarine pigment. The synthetic pigment is inexpensive and is used as a permanent artist pigment in oil and watercolor paints. Synthetic ultramarine is also used as a whitener in textiles and paper because in minimized yellowish shades. Additionally, it is used in wallpaper, soap, textile printing, and laundry bluing agents.
Synonyms and Related Terms
artificial ultramarine blue; Pigment Blue 29; CI 77007; French ultramarine; Ultramarinblau, synthetisch (Deut.); outremer de synthèse (Fr.); oyltramarina synthetiki (Gr.); blu oltremare artificiale (It.); blu Guimet (It.); ultramar (Esp.); ultramarijn (Ned.); ultramaryna (Pol.); ultramarijn blauw (syn) (Ned.); azul ultramarino, sintético (Port.); French blue; new blue; sky blue; Academy blue; permanent blue; Oriental blue; Gmelins blue; Guimet's blue; royal blue
Discolors when exposed to weak acids or sulfur fumes. Insoluble in water.
Small, round uniform particles, no birefringence, no pleochroism, extinct in crossed polars.
ASTM lightfastness=1 (excellent)
|Refractive Index||1.51; 1.63|
Hazards and Safety
No significant hazards. Noncombustible.
° J. Plesters, "Ultramarine Blue, Natural and Artificial", Artists Pigments, Volume 2, A. Roy (ed.), Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1993.
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- Nicholas Eastaugh, Valentine Walsh, Tracey Chaplin, Ruth Siddall, Pigment Compendium, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 2004
- Artists' Pigments: A Handbook of their History and Characteristics, Ashok Roy (ed.), National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, Vol. 2, 1993 Comment: J. Plesters, "Ultramarine Blue, Natural and Artificial"
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- Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com Comment: "ultramarine." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2005. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service 17 Mar. 2005 .
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