Colour measurement was introduced by the CIE more than fifty years ago, and slowly over the years it has been adopted by paint manufacturers for use at two quite separate stages during manufacture. The first stage is when a formulation is being devised for the first time, and this technique only became practicable with the development of the computer first the analog computer (1958–65), which began to be superseded by the digital computer in 1963. The second stage is when a batch of paint has been produced, either by traditional methods or with the aid of computer match prediction, and it is necessary to decide whether the batch is a ‘good commercial match’ to standard. Instruments for this purpose were first marketed in the late 1940s and became very much more efficient in the 1970s when they were interfaced first to digital computers and later to microprocessors. Chapter 56 provides a review of the use of computers in surface coatings’ applications.
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