When 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM Apr 25, 2016
Where 3158 H.H. Dow
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The Appearance of Platelet-Polymer Composite Coatings: Microstructural Characterization, Hybrid Modeling, and Predictive Design

Christopher Seubert
Thesis Defense

The appearance and color of a material, which is a material property, is governed by the microstructure of the scattering particles and platelets contained within. However, a model to accurately predict the appearance of platelet containing metallic paints does not yet exist. Current researchers have measured and modeled the orientation of aluminum platelets and their effect on the lightness behavior of silver metallic paints, while ignoring other optical contributions that result from light interaction with the complete 3D microstructure. In this thesis, we introduce a new microstructural property that quantifies the 3D spacing between the platelets and its effect on the near specular lightness of both physical and simulated silver metallic paints. We describe a series of measurements conducted on both physical samples and in silico, using a newly developed hybrid ray-wave optics model, which more accurately predicts the appearance of physical samples than current microfacet models. This model was employed to generate a mathematical model for the relationship between platelet spacing and near specular lightness for model paint microstructures. We expect this model can be used in the future, when manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing allow the creation of specific, unique microstructures to produce new and novel visual or functional effects.