8 Feb 2023

Higher energy efficiency with IReflex pigments from Nordmann-Partner Eckart

Rising energy costs are presenting major unanticipated challenges to many households and businesses. Nordmann partner Eckart has developed a new pigment that offers a solution: IReflex. Incorporated into regular wall paints, IReflex can improve energy efficiency through IR (infrared spectroscopy) reflection in already existing buildings.


Many residential buildings were constructed before 1980, at a time when energy was regarded as a negligible expense factor. This situation has changed radically as energy prices have increased substantially. The challenge today is to consume less energy and to use the power available in more conscientious and intelligent ways.

The highest potential for savings can be found in the modernization of buildings, as older buildings require about three times more power than new housing. In private households, approximately 75% of the energy used is for heating – and buildings lose the most heat through exterior walls and ceilings.

Compared to other metals, aluminum offers the best heat-reflecting properties. Eckart’s new IReflex pigment makes use of this special property of aluminum to achieve maximum IR (infrared spectroscopy) reflectance.

IReflex is environmentally friendly because it is free of solvents and water pollutants – complying with Ecolabel requirements. It comes as a powder or ready-to-use pigment concentrate and can simply be stirred into transparent interior wall paints. To deliver the maximum level of protection, IReflex should be added to paint mixtures carefully and at low shear forces; strong shear forces can damage the pigment and compromise its effects.

Desired shades of color can be obtained by incorporating organic color pigments, as the use of such tinting colors will not have any negative impact on IReflex‘s IR reflectance. Finished paints can then be applied with all the usual methods.

IReflex can be used in many applications – particularly interior wall paints, but also wood coatings, façade paints, coil coating, etc.

IReflex causes heat – or warmth emanating from the human body – to be reflected back into a room instead of being absorbed by its walls or ceiling. This reflected heat then improves thermal comfort for people occupying it. The high-yield IReflex pigment works like a thermos flask; in winter, heat is reflected back into a room and stays inside. In summer, however, IReflex will prevent heat from getting into a room in the first place.  

IReflex is especially well-suited for modernizing existing buildings to become more energy efficient, as no new construction work is necessary.  

At a pigmentation level of just 10%, IReflex provides reflectance values of 50%. In comparison, conventional white interior wall paints only achieve 5% in a mid-IR range; this means that 95% of a room’s heat energy is absorbed by the walls.

The more IReflex used in a wall paint, the higher the paint’s reflectance values. If conditions are ideal and IReflex is incorporated at 10%, heating costs will be 22% lower.

Surfaces also play an important role in increasing reflectance values. The best values can be achieved by applying wall paints with IReflex onto a smooth surface.  


Increasing the reflectance value of an interior wall paint results in decreased energy use. As the potential for savings largely depends on the surface temperatures of a building’s outside walls, building insulation is important. Research carried out by the Bauhaus University in Weimar has confirmed the high energy-savings potential of IReflex, particulary where older buildings are concerned. The poorer the heat insulation of a building, the more energy can be saved by using IReflex.

IReflex offers two overlapping, positive effects: First, that less heat is lost through the walls. On the other hand, that the thermal comfort is increased by the back radiation into the room. As a result, even a lower temperature in the room is enough to already feel comfortable.

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