INDUSTRIAL COATINGS - LEAFING

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Leafing aluminum pigments form one of the two major categories of aluminum pigments. The ability of an aluminum pigment to leaf in a liquid coating is a function of the fatty acid lubricant used during the milling process. Generally a fatty acid such as stearic is employed which coats the metal surface providing both hydrophobic and oleophobic characteristics. These non-wetting characteristics are responsible for the leafing properties of the pigment. When properly formulated and applied, a coating containing leafing pigments provides a solid bright silver finish. The flakes orient at or near the film surface parallel to each other and to the coating substrate. This orientation creates a continuous metallic flake barrier and a surface that will reflect light in a highly specular manner. This characteristic is also useful in protecting the underlying coating film from degradation due to UV light and environmental exposure.

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