Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Welcomes ZEISS and Hamilton Thorne as New Members of the Global Fertility Alliance

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced together with Illumina Inc., San Diego, US, and Genea Limited, Sydney, Australia, that the Global Fertility Alliance …

30 Jun 2016 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • ThermavalTM pearlescent pigments withstand high temperatures of over 1,100°C
  • Four color pigments in gold, silver, copper and red with metallic shine

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, has  developed innovative products for the ceramics industry. Thermaval™ pigments, the first series of pearlescent pigments for the high-temperature range, not only retain their brilliant color when used in ceramic glazes at cost-efficient single firing temperatures beyond 1,100°C, they also enable completely new sparkle effects.

As an innovation leader, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has thus achieved what has not been possible before with pearlescent pigments. Until now, ceramics manufacturers have only had the possibility of on-glaze decoration to enhance their products with pearl luster effects. On-glaze decoration is fired at considerably lower temperatures of around 800°C and is far less dishwasher-resistant than the result with the in-glaze method (high- temperature fast firing process). However, due to the extremely high operating temperature of over  1,100°C for single  firing, conventional pearlescent pigments have considerably lost their color effect until now. “By contrast, Thermaval™ pigments withstand high temperatures without losing their high color intensity. They also exhibit a completely new, intensive sparkle while showing very good dishwasher resistance,” said Carsten Handrosch, Deputy Head of R&D Decorative Pigments at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, about the breakthrough in the high-temperature range.

Four temperature-stable effect pigments from the Thermaval™ series from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, are available to ceramics users: Thermaval™ Metallic Silver, Thermaval™ Metallic Gold, Thermaval™ Metallic Copper and Thermaval™ Metallic Red. “The launch of Thermaval™ marks the first of many highly innovative product developments that we will introduce to the market this year as part of our high-value strategy in the field of industrial pigments,” said Alexander Peters, Head of Global Marketing Decorative Pigments at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has signed an exclusive contract with Ferro GmbH effective through February 2017 for the application of its Thermaval™ pigments in the tableware sector. Ferro is a market leader in ceramic decoration and ceramic pigments based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. “Merck KGaA’s, Darmstadt, Germany, innovative pigments for the high-temperature range offer our customers unique effects that weren’t possible to date – and they are practically free from lead and cadmium,” said Hans Hilgenfeld, European Product Manager Performance Colors & Glass at Ferro. He emphasized, “Our new Starlight 100 in- glaze series for porcelain, which is based on Thermaval™ technology, is the promising result of an excellent development cooperation with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.”

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will independently market the new Thermaval™ pigments in the floor tile, sanitary ware, enamel, roof tile, and glass segments.


For More Information Bettina Frank

About the Global Fertility Alliance

Recognizing the importance of innovation in ART technologies, the alliance aims to enhance progress and innovation in three ways. Firstly, the founding members aim to foster integration of multiple, leading fertility technologies. Secondly, building on this, the alliance will aim to collaborate with leading health care professionals and medical societies to develop global standards. And finally, as technologies in the fertility space are rapidly advancing, the alliance will also develop educational resources for health care professionals worldwide. These efforts will include training curricula and workshops as well as access to model labs, symposia and events at medical meetings. The Global Fertility Alliance was launched at the 31st Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in June 2015. First members besides Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, were Illumina, a leader in developing and commercializing systems for analysis of genetic variation and function, and Genea, a developer of innovative fertility technologies.


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the optics and optoelectronics industries. The ZEISS Group develops and distributes semiconductor manufacturing equipment, measuring technology, microscopes, medical technology, eyeglass lenses, camera and cine lenses, binoculars and planetarium technology. With its solutions, the company constantly advances the world of optics and helps shape technological progress. ZEISS is divided up into the four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Research & Quality Technology, Medical Technology, and Vision Care/Consumer Optics. ZEISS is represented in over 40 countries and operates more than 30 production sites, over 50 sales and service locations and about 25 research and development facilities. In fiscal year 2014/15 the company generated revenue approximating €4.5 billion with around 25,000 employees. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss AG is the strategic management holding company that manages the ZEISS Group. The company is wholly owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).

About Hamilton Thorne Ltd.

Hamilton Thorne designs, manufactures and distributes precision laser devices and advanced imaging systems that reduce cost, increase productivity, improve results and enable breakthroughs in the assisted reproduction, regenerative medicine and developmental biology research markets. Hamilton Thorne's laser products attach to standard inverted microscopes and operate as robotic micro-surgeons, enabling a wide array of scientific applications and IVF procedures. Its imaging systems improve outcomes in human IVF clinics and animal breeding facilities and provide high-end toxicology analyses. Hamilton Thorne’s growing worldwide  customer  base consists of pharmaceutical companies,  biotechnology companies, fertility clinics, university research centers, animal breeding companies, and other commercial and academic research establishments, including Harvard, MIT, Yale, McGill, Oxford, Cambridge, the Smithsonian Institution, Charles River Labs, Covance, ABS Global, Sexing Technologies, Novartis, Pfizer, and Dow Chemical.

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Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany 
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life - from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2015, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 12.85 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, holds the global rights to the „Merck" name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

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