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Iriotec® 9000 lets sunlight into the greenhouse and keeps heat out

Iriotec® 9000 – Intelligent Shading in Horticulture

Aromatic vegetables and lush blossom in every season, ideal winter habitat for delicate plants: greenhouses render this possible, and offer protection against wind and weather. However, the climate has to be just right for different varieties of plants to grow all through the year in the best possible conditions: ideal temperatures and the appropriate amount of natural grow light. For companies in horticulture, these are key competitive factors.

Iriotec® 9000 lets sunlight into the greenhouse and keeps heat out

Heat-reflecting, translucent Iriotec® 9000 pigments fulfill exactly these requirements: they provide a colorless shading of the glazing. Most of the light that is essential for photosynthesis can pass into the greenhouse and serve the plants’ growth. At the same time, the invisible UV light is absorbed to a large extent. However, the multi-talented pigments show their greatest advantages in summer when heat usually accumulates in the greenhouse. Iriotec® 9000 pigments reflect the infrared part of sunlight and with it the heat radiation, reducing it by up to 75 percent. Conventional, non-pigmented glazing systems always reduce translucency as well – to the detriment of the plants’ growth. 

EMD Performance Materials pigments of the Iriotec® 9000 series therefore not only offer considerable energy savings in greenhouse cooling when the sun shines with all its power, they also make additional shading for temperature equalization unnecessary. 

The Product Description and Product Configurator in the menu above will help you find out which product is the best suited for your application.


Permanent or Washable – it's Your Choice

Two product alternatives for the heat-reflecting, translucent shading of greenhouses 

Two products of the Iriotec® 9000 series are suitable for the heat-reflecting, translucent glazing of greenhouses – depending on your individual requirements. 
  • The “growth-fostering” pigment Iriotec® 9870: This provides rooms with colorless shading without unnecessarily reducing light. The result: cooler rooms with abundant photoactive incident solar radiation.
  • The basic pigment Iriotec® 9770: This is the noncoated version of Iriotec® 9870 used for shading paints, which are applied for the summer and washed off at the end of the season.
The portfolio of heat-reflecting, translucent pigments from EMD Performance Materials for horticulture:
You will find a detailed overview of all technical properties and compositions of our heat-reflecting, translucent Iriotec® pigments from EMD Performance Materials in the menu bar above under Know-how.

Our Product Configurator will help you find just the right product for your application.

Iriotec® 9000 – Our Know-how for Lush Plants

Thin layer technology optimizes transmission, absorption and reflection 
Iriotec® 9870 and 9770 foster the growth of plants, for they give rooms a neutral shade without unnecessarily reducing the particular part of sunlight that is essential for photosynthesis. The result: cooler greenhouses and abundant photoactive solar radiation.

Mica-based thin layer technology
The core of the heat-reflecting Iriotec® 9000 pigments is made of mica. Multiple inorganic layers, created with a special thin layer technology, lend them their unique properties in transmitting, absorbing and reflecting sunlight for an optimal climate in the greenhouse. Iriotec® 9770 is the noncoated equivalent to the weather resistant Iriotec® 9870 – it is applied as a seasonal shading in spring and washed off in fall.
Blue and red are desired – UV and infrared light are kept out
Iriotec® 9870 and 9770 let in the blue and red parts of the visible light that are essential for the growth and development of plants. The pigments absorb harmful UV rays and reflect heat-generating infrared light.

These properties make the products of our Iriotec® 9000 range significantly more effective than conventional shading systems, which reduce not only the energy of solar radiation but also the transmission of light – to the detriment of plants’ growth.

Depending on the individual application conditions, rooms are up to 15 ºC cooler with Iriotec® 9000 pigments than with non-pigmented glazing systems – another advantage for ideal growth conditions.

51 percent of sunlight can pass indoors
The actual ability of a system to reduce temperature depends on multiple factors such as window size, room size and volume, air exchange and which direction the windows face – plus the color of walls and furniture. Therefore the solar characteristics for the objective evaluation of a selective shading system are established according to the quality management and standardization system DIN EN 410 (parameters of glazing in construction). EMD Performance Materials has tested the efficacy of Iriotec® 9000 heat-reflecting pigments according to these standards. A pigment concentration of 0.5 percent Iriotec® 9870 in a PMMA platelet with a thickness of 1.5 mm results in the following data:

DIN EN 410Solarflair 9870Solarflair 9875Solarflair 9880
solar factor0,510,410,35
solar direct transmittance46%36%30%
light direct transmittance59%53%34%
Solarflair 9870Solarflair 9875Solarflair 9880
Energy reduction compared to 100% Transparent product49%59%65%
solar direct reflectance means energy reduction through reflection36%45%50%
solar direct absorptance18%20%20%
  • A solar factor of 0.51 means that with Iriotec® 9870 in the coating 49 percent of the impacting solar energy remains outside and 51 percent can pass through. An ideal transparent material would have a solar factor of 1 and would allow 100 percent of the energy to pass through – without any absorption or reflection.
You will find detailed information on the relevance of sunlight on the growth of plants under the heading Plamts & Sunlight in the menu bar above.
Another indicator for photosynthesis and hence the growth of plants is the O2 output. The image shows the correlation between the ambient temperature and the intensity of light: under weak PAR intensity even rising temperatures don’t change the plant’s development. With high PAR intensity, the plant’s growth can increase along with rising temperature. However, if the temperature heads towards the critical mark near 40 ºC, the plant ceases to grow.

Sunlight and its Relevance for Plants

Why leaves are green  
Plants appear green. This is because chlorophyll – the pigment that is responsible for the supply of energy inside the cells – cannot use the green part of the sunlight. This range of the spectrum is simply reflected by the plant. The human eye creates the impression of green leaves and stems.

For a better understanding, let’s take a closer look at sunlight itself. It spreads in waves and from a human standpoint is divided into three spectra:
  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation: This is the part of the light with the shortest wavelength – up to 380 nm. Due to the absorption of the earth’s atmosphere, only the parts above 300 nm reach us – the so-called UVB and UVA bands. UV light is invisible to the human eye.
  • Visible light: This is the part of the sunlight with wavelengths from 380 to 780 nm. Rainbows show the details of the sunlight that appears “white” to us: from violet with the shortest wavelength, followed by blue, green, yellow, orange and red with the longest wavelength.
  • Near-infrared (NIR) and Infrared (IR) radiation: This is the invisible part of sunlight with wavelengths of 780 nm and higher. NIR ranges from 780 to 1400 nm. The IR wavelength is above 1.4 μm. It represents the warming portion of sunlight.
The visible light is most important for the growth of plants – especially the range between 400 and 700 nm – also called photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). The photosynthetically most efficient ranges of the visible light are the red and blue parts. 

Too much UV radiation is cytopathic for almost all living organisms – plants and humans alike. Important genetic information in the nucleus can be destroyed by short-waved light. The organism degenerates or dies.

Too much infrared light causes the temperature to rise. Periods of extreme heat above 40 ºC can permanently harm plants.

To promote a good growth of plants three factors are important: 
  • Not too much UV radiation
  • As much visible light as possible 
  • An optimal ambient temperature
Iriotec® 9870 and 9770 create ideal growth conditions for plants:
  • They shade rooms colorlessly.
  • They absorb UV radiation.
  • They reflect IR radiation.
  • They let pass a large part of the visible light that is essential for photosynthesis.
Find out more information regarding technology and the effect of Iriotec® 9870 and 9770 under the heading Know-how in the menu bar above.

Iriotec® 9000 – Know-how for Selective Light Transmission

Coating, printing, extrusion and co-extrusion for greenhouse films and sheets 
Iriotec® 9870 pigments lend their light selective properties to greenhouses: they keep heat out and let light pass, no matter if they are on or in sheets or films. Because what is crucial for their shading effect is not so much the thickness of the layer as the amount of pigment per area.

For permanent selective properties of glass and multi-skin sheets, the weatherproof pigment Iriotec® 9870 is applied by printing

Iriotec® 9870 in greenhouse shading
Iriotec® 9870 can also be incorporated into the material for greenhouse glazing. This could be films, sheets or multi-skin sheets that are made by extrusion or co-extrusion.

For a good distribution, Iriotec® 9870 should be added to the plastic as a compound.