Mulling Pigments

Last modified by Hypno Harem on 2023/02/03 20:05

Mulling Pigments 💚

Mulling or milling pigments is the process of mixing raw ingredients to create a liquid pigment. This term comes from the art world where it is widely used to create oil paints. While the ingredients such as linseed oil are not applicable to adult novelty manufacturing; many of the techniques and important underlying knowledge about Van Der Waals forces, dispersion, and wetting are.  For adult novelty, per ISO 3533:2021, all ingredients should be safe (which includes any hand blended pigments). A good place to start would be cosmetic pigments such as oxides, that preferably already have a history of use in adult novelty, and mull them with a silicone-compatible carrier. One approach is to use a food grade silicone oil as the carrier.  The drawback of this approach is that pigments can try to settle out of silicone oils, so be prepared for this to happen over time. A second approach is to mix it directly into a small amount of Part A or B silicone using a solvent as an intermediate step that can be completely flashed off using a vacuum. The possibility of solvent being left behind is the drawback of this method. Either way, this should only be done by people with enough knowledge to assess the risks involved.

A presentation from a pigment manufacturer that may help to explain some concepts and terminology can be found HERE. A guide for mulling oil paints which can be adapted to silicone can be found HERE

With any mulled pigments, a cup test and a soak test should be performed before putting anything into production.

Future Topics:

Input needed from makers with experience milling pigments

Walkthrough of mulling process to remove link to non adult novelty site

List of oxides, ratings for how well they work in this process, presumed safety, notes on issues like mold staining.

List of carriers (there is a lot more than just silicone oil, shea butter may work for example) and confirmation they are compatible with ecoflex/dragonskin/platsil

Cross references between carrier and powder used and how fast the separate back out aka shelf life

Different tools and pros / cons. Ball mills for larger batches? Hand mulling with morter? WILL IT BLEND?