Non-leafing aluminum pigments are distinguished from leafing grades by their orientation in the coating film. Rather than orienting at or near the film surface they are distributed evenly throughout the entire film. The random orientation of non-leafing pigment flakes in the coating film is due to the use of an unsaturated fatty acid, such as oleic, as a lubricant in the milling process.
The metallic appearance created by non-leafing pigments is often characterized by metallic grain or patina. Because of their orientation in the coating film, non-leafing aluminum pigments are ideally suited for producing a broad range of dazzling metallic colors when used in combination with chromatic pigments. Non-leafing grades typically produce a much less specular reflectance than leafing grades.
Non-leafing type products are designed for anti-corrosion coatings and marine paints, also suitable for hammer tones finish and textile coatings.