The Color of Thrills
Amusement Park Rides
The Power of Chemistry Helps Amusement Park Rides Run
The chemical properties of titanium dioxide give it many powers. As seen in Chemours Ti-Pure™, TiO2 helps make colors brighter and more vivid while also protecting materials against harsh elements—the perfect combination for amusement parks.
Some may come for the plummeting. Others for the g-force. And still others hop on roller coasters for the chance to careen upside down. But how many were first drawn to this death-defying machine because its rails were painted neon yellow and its frame tinted ripe-tomato red? No doubt, many.
Vivid colors, in fact, help define the amusement park experience. And it’s no coincidence. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, those surveyed preferred bright, saturated colors over their muted counterparts.1 Research into consumer preferences echoes this: one study found that up to 90% of snap judgments about products may be based on color alone.2
"Chemistry creates the colorful, cheerful environment that defines amusement parks,” says Pablo Aragon, Chemours Global Business Development Director, Coatings and Specialties.
Adds Natalia Duchini, Chemours Global Business Development Director, Plastics, “Chemistry is the pixie dust—the magic that lets amusement parks create the whole experience. Ti-Pure™ gives color that brilliance, that appearance that’s so appealing."
Used in coatings and plastics, Ti-Pure™ titanium dioxide doesn’t just help intensify color; this Chemours product also helps protect materials. For amusement parks, this could mean less maintenance and greater safety.
Keeping Attractions Attractive
Ti-Pure™ works by providing an intense white base and complete opacity. This foundation allows for a broader range of colors, and brighter ones too. Not only does this give amusement parks extra zest in the cosmetics department, it helps keep the attractions looking better longer.
"When you use Ti-Pure™ in your plastic, it helps prevent fading, keeping colors intact through harsh weather conditions and over an extended time,” Duchini says. Citing Florida, home to a number of major theme parks, Duchini continues, “That state sees extreme heat, sunlight radiation, winds, and rain. When added to plastics, Ti-Pure™ imparts photo durability and provides UV protection. Also, titanium dioxide pigments—including Ti-Pure™—have the highest refractive index among white pigments. That means they reflect back a lot of the solar radiation, keeping surfaces cooler."
Aragon says, "Without adequate coatings, all the equipment will look old or in bad shape, and people won’t feel safe going there."
The Safety Coat
The chance of a visitor being seriously injured on a fixed-site ride at a US amusement park is 1 in 17 million.3 That’s even lower than the risks of airplane travel, which means that speeding along on a fixed-site US amusement park ride may just be the safest form of transportation there is. By providing durable coatings that prevent oxidation and corrosion, products like Ti-Pure™ help maintain the incredible safety record amusement park rides enjoy.
“Many amusement park attractions are made of steel or metal,” Aragon says. “Some are even very tall structures or applications that see extreme usage. You need coatings on them that can protect them from that environment. Without coatings, you would have corrosion or oxidation, and that can be quite dangerous.”
The same goes for plastics. As Duchini notes, harsh conditions can make them degrade. But, he says, “add durable TiO2 and other additives, like UV stabilizers, and you can make parts stay like new longer and therefore require less maintenance.”
“The more extreme the ride, the more extreme the requirements for durability,” Aragon says. So for roller-coaster riders who need more than neon colors to feel secure, this can be quite a comfort.
Global Business Development Director, Coatings and Specialties
Without coatings, you would have corrosion or oxidation, and that can be quite dangerous.