The results of studies of infrared reflection-absorption spectra of metal-effect coatings are presented in this paper. Such coatings consist of metallic flakes that are dispersed in a polymer binder. The spectra show two distinct phenomena. One is due to the polymer matrix. The other is due to metallic flakes that are dispersed inside the layer. The polymer binder causes narrow spectral lines that give a thickness-dependent intensity and position. Metallic flakes change the average baseline of this spectrum over the entire infrared spectral region. This particular effect was evaluated using a simple rough-surface model. Two parameters of the model, the root-mean-square roughness and the correlation length of the rough surface, described the reflection of the partial beams on the metal flake surfaces and scattering on flakes boundaries. The other two parameters are the specular reflectance and the diffuse reflectance of the plane untextured interface between the polymer matrix and the metal flake surface. Various metal-effect coatings within the same polymer binder were analyzed. The effect of each metal flake dispersion was evaluated by the parameters within the rough-surface model. The results were analyzed in terms of the size and the loadings of flakes that were used in the coatings.

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