Sean Tormay, Chief Chemist from Little Greene discusses how Opacilite™ has helped to transform their formulations by improving performance and managing costs.
Q. Who are Little Greene?
A. Little Greene are an independent, British paint manufacturer who are highly committed to the environmental and socially responsible production of high-quality wallpapers and paint. We are particularly proud of our paints’ depth of colour, reassuringly high pigment levels give Little Greene paints an unequalled depth of colour and true point of difference. We also work in collaboration with the National Trust to find original colours used in historic buildings across the UK and tell the stories of the people who first enjoyed them.
Q. What are your core values as a paint manufacturer?
A. At Little Greene, we are committed to the protection of the environment through recycling and local manufacturing. For example, to reduce our waste production, we use recycled and recyclable materials in our work and products: our tins are made using over 50% recycled and recyclable steel, and all our paperwork is printed on sustainably sourced paper. We also manufacture entirely within the UK and actively source from suppliers who can match our commitments. This is how we minimise pollution and energy consumption, whilst supporting local business and communities. We also produce a range of Child Safe paints, these paints are completely safe to use in all areas of the family home making them perfect for nurseries and toys.
Q. What do you value in a supplier?
A. We always seek a reliable supplier who understands our needs, and who can offer good services, along with quality products. We also aim for local partnerships with like-minded industries that are equally committed to our core values.
Q. Why did you choose to work with Imerys Kaolin?
A. We chose to work with Imerys Kaolin because of the quality of their product. As we produce high-quality paints, we need to source the best ingredients for our formulations. Another key factor was their reliability and commitment to sustainability, service, and quality.
Q. What three words would you use to describe your experience working with Imerys Kaolin?
A. High-quality, reliable and consistent.
Q. Would you recommend Opacilite™ to other paint manufacturers?
A. Yes, at Little Greene, we recognise the changes and demands of modern paint manufacture in the UK and Europe. Our experience of using Opacilite™ has significantly advanced our paint formulations commercially and technically allowing Little Greene to continue to meet the requirements of the modern family home.
Q. What challenges did Little Greene face in the paint industry that led them to use Opacilite™?
A. A key challenge we face as a paint manufacturer is the rising costs of raw materials; particularly as titanium dioxide is one of the most expensive and important materials used in our paint formulations. Discovering that Imerys Kaolin’s Opacilite™ could provide us with a significant reduction in the loading of titanium dioxide without altering the paint properties was very important to us.
Q. Why did Little Greene Paint Company select Opacilite™ over other TiO2 extenders?
A. Sourcing a range of leading calcined clays, the technical team at Little Greene performed thorough lab trials that tested each clay for titanium dioxide reduction in our coatings. The results showed that, compared to all other extenders, Opacilite™ performed extremely well with a total saving of 30% TiO2. The tests established that the unique structure of Opacilite™ is optimised for maximum light scattering, and the internal and external voids allowed for higher opacity compared to all other calcined clays tested. Opacilite™, as a flash calcined clay, was the most effective in titanium dioxide extension which is why it was selected as an essential raw material going forward.