Fractal dimension of sparkles in automotive metallic coatings by multispectral imaging measurements.


Sparkle in surface coatings is a property of mirror-like pigment particles that consists of remarkable bright spots over a darker surround under unidirectional illumination. We developed a novel nondestructive method to characterize sparkles based on the multispectral imaging technique, and we focused on automotive metallic coatings containing aluminum flake pigments. Multispectral imaging was done in the visible spectrum at different illumination angles around the test sample. Reflectance spectra at different spatial positions were mapped to color coordinates and visualized in different color spaces. Spectral analysis shows that sparkles exhibit higher reflectance spectra and narrower bandwidths. Colorimetric analysis indicates that sparkles present higher lightness values and are far apart from the bulk of color coordinates spanned by the surround. A box-counting procedure was applied to examine the fractal organization of color coordinates in the CIE 1976 L*a*b* color space. A characteristic noninteger exponent was found at each illumination position. The exponent was independent of the illuminant spectra. Together, these results demonstrate that sparkles are extreme deviations relative to the surround and that their spectral properties can be described as fractal patterns within the color space. Multispectral reflectance imaging provides a powerful, noninvasive method for spectral identification and classification of sparkles from metal flake pigments on the micron scale.

DOI: 10.1021/am502001m

Cite this paper

@article{Medina2014FractalDO, title={Fractal dimension of sparkles in automotive metallic coatings by multispectral imaging measurements.}, author={Jos{\'e} M. Medina and Jos{\'e} A. D{\'i}az and Carlos Vignolo}, journal={ACS applied materials & interfaces}, year={2014}, volume={6 14}, pages={11439-47} }