Color Handbook

Aluminium flake pigments

  Aluminium flake pigments
   Color Index   Pigment Metal 1  CI 77000 
   Formula   Al 


Aluminium pigments are amphoteric.

Properties of aluminium flake pigments
Property Aluminium flake pigments
Average Diameter 10-80 µm
Thickness 0.02-2 µm

Effect & Color
Leafing and non-leafing aluminium are the two different types of aluminium pigments. They give different effects to the paint.

Leafing type
Leafing is obtained by adding stearic acid to the aluminium particles. It gives a mirror-like appearance to the coating as the aluminium particles align themselves on the surface during the paint's drying process.
Leafing types can be used with transparent pigments to produce colored effects. To a certain extent they resist the penetration of water (because of the alignment of the particles) and offer corrosion protection to the surface of the substrate.

Non-leafing type
Non-leafing aluminium pigments produce a "polychromatic" effect. A difference of color is visible depending on the angle of view. Moreover, paints containing non-leafing types can be colored with transparent or semi-transparent pigments.

Aluminium pigments are non-toxic. However, it is necessary to be careful when using them in acidic media as hydrogen gas can evolve, also the sheen and leafing properties can be negatively affected. Stearic acid in leafing grades can as well react with napthanates and rosinates used as driers which leads to the deleafing of the aluminium.


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