Lampblacks - Brief History | Applications | Dispersion | Special Qualities

Brief History

Lampblack pigments are perhaps the second oldest form of black pigment known, with only Bone Blacks being older. Some evidence of its use dates as far back as 3,000 B.C.

Lampblack is also the oldest method of pigment manufacture. The system is usually considered an open system. The typical particle size resulting from this process ranges from 90—200 nm.

Although modern advances in the past century have led to other processes for manufacturing carbon black pigments, none have matched the clean blue undertone and tints that are typical of true Lampblacks. There have been various Lampblack replacements offered over the years, but only General Carbon manufactures true Lampblack pigments.

In addition to Lampblacks' inherent pleasing blue tones and soft semi-dull jet masstone, these pigments also possess other unique properties. Lampblacks are considered to be extremely soft pigments. They are the least abrasive blacks, which allow for longer runs with less wear on equipment than any other carbon pigment.

Secondly, true Lampblacks have less tendency to float and possess a greater resistancy to agglomeration, seeding, and thixotrophy, than what is experienced with most other carbon blacks.

Lampblacks also exhibit excellent resistance to degradation by UV light, acids, alkalies or organic solvents.


General Carbon Superfine Lampblacks find use in Paint, Coatings, Sealants, Adhesives, Plastics, Inks, Polishing Compounds, Building Products and all other areas where their dispersibility and color properties are advantageous. Their consistency and uniformity of quality allow the formulator to repeatedly perform in various media. They are easily used in vehicles suitable for UV, EB, powder coatings and are readily used in solvent, waterborne and water based systems.


As with any pigment, Lampblack pigments must be dispersed properly in a vehicle. Also the degree of dispersion is dependent upon the type of equipment used. All carbon blacks are classified ac-cording to their particle size, structure, and surface chemistry. General Carbon Superfine Lampblacks' unique combination of these properties produce a black pigment with exceptional dispersion properties.

Although initially used for solvent borne coatings, these pigments, when properly formulated, produce excellent water dispersions which do not exhibit the tendency to increase in viscosity associated with typical high jet blacks, and they disperse well in UV and EB coatings.

General Carbon Superfine Lampblacks have found success in the plastic industry where the clean blue tones linked with their inherent ease of dispersion are highly desired.

These qualities also allow for good pigment dispersion through twin screen extrusion. This is especially important in determining General Carbon Superfine Lampblacks' success in powder coating applications.

General Carbon Superfine Lampblacks - Special Qualities

  • COLOR UNIFORMITY - Very Good. (Spec. 95-105% of manufacturer standard)
  • WATER-WETTABILITY - All grades water wettable.
  • PURITY - High Degree: 99% + carbon content. (PNA's less than 0.1%)
  • TRUE LAMPBLACKS - Non-treated product. (ASTM Specification D-209)
  • DISPERSION - Particle size valuable in obtaining good dispersions, minimizing floating problems.
  • TINTING - High rating for tinting requirements. Blue undertone characteristic of this Lampblack is ideal for producing clear tints.

These Lampblacks (carbon) are not affected by acids or alkalies, have good ability to resist high temperatures and are not affected by light.

Excellent tinting pigment for solvent, water, UV, EB and powder coatings.

General Carbon Company     7542 Maie Ave     Los Angeles, CA      90001-2637    USA
Phone: 800.581.2414     323.588.9291     Fax: 323.588.0220