A Deeper Shade of Blue

Is it possible to still discover new pigments of colours using science? According to a discovery made in 2009, scientists have been able to create a brand new shade of blue. Years later, Crayola have now announced that the brand new pigment is to be introduced as part of their crayons range.

 

A Discovery Made By Accident

Believe it or not, the discovery of a more vivid variant of this colour was initially caused by an accident. Mas Subramanian, a professor of materials science at Oregon State based in the USA, made the new discovery whilst working on a science project with students. The project was to investigate how to manufacture new materials which could be used in electronics. After several different experiments, Subramanian decided to heat up the elements Yttrium oxide, Indium oxide and a small amount of Manganese oxide. Unexpectedly, when he decided to pull the compounded mixture out of a furnace, he was surprised to see that it has turned a vibrant blue.

 

 

The New Blue

This is the first new pigment of this colour discovered since the year 1802. During this year, the French chemist Louis Jacques Thenard was responsible for bringing the pigment, ‘Cobalt Blue’ to western shores. The new pigment, named YInMn Blue, is still in testing stages meaning it isn’t available for public use yet. The Shepherd Colour Company will be putting the pigment through various toxicity tests in order to gain a final approval from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Once approved, the colour will be released as a brand new Crayola crayon colour as soon as the end of the year. However, it could be used for more than just crayons. Further research indicates that the new pigment could even start to be used in car paint, house paint and even the paint on military vehicles.

 

Now that’s some blue sky thinking!

 

Resources

PR Newswire – Crayola to Launch New Crayon Color Inspired by the Discovery of the YInMn Pigment, as the World’s Newest Shade of Blue: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/crayola-to-launch-new-crayon-color-inspired-by-the-discovery-of-the-yinmn-pigment-as-the-worlds-newest-shade-of-blue-300452635.html

 

The Telegraph – First new shade of blue discovered for 200 years to be turned into Crayola crayon: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/05/12/first-new-shade-blue-discovered-200-years-turned-crayola-crayon/

 

Sam Rose