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Pigments in paints and coatings can be quite fascinating, as they not only can change the color of the mixture, but they can also improve the texture as well. There are many different forms of pigments. However, we are going to take a look at alumina effect pigment.


Alumina is also known as aluminum oxide. It is composed of bauxite (a type of rock), which is the primary source of ore in aluminum. There are also various textures of bauxite such as weak, dense or permeable.

There are generally two ways that alumina is generated and they are:

  1. Dissolving the bauxite within a furnace
  2. The Bayer process, where bauxite is compressed and then blended in liquid sodium hydroxide. It is combined with crystals, which causes the reaction of aluminum hydroxide. Once the mixture is turned into aluminum hydroxide, it is then placed into a kiln to deplete any moisture it contains. This process transforms the bauxite into either a powder or a granular form. It can be of various qualities.

When it is applied to the substrate, it acts as a facilitator and helps to absorb any water from gases or liquids that get close to the surface.

There are four different flake shapes of aluminum pigments, which include: conventional, lenticular, non-degradable and physical vapor deposition. Standard pigment size is either a granular or a spherical shape, so aluminum pigments genuinely stand out from the rest.

When it comes to the dispersion procedure, the primary objective is to crush down the aggregates and agglomerates to its prime pigmentary range. Another objective is to allocate the particles uniformly. The smaller the main element dimension, the stronger the color will appear.

If you are thinking about adding this type of pigment to any surface, it is best to talk with a professional painter to make sure that you have the right mixture needed.

Uses for Alumina

There are many uses for alumina effect pigments that are not included in general paint products, such as: bone and dental implants, cosmetics, graphic arts and inks, integrated circuit bundles, fireworks, insulators in spark plugs, laboratory materials, grinding equipment, ornaments and solar cells.

Some of the uses that it has within the painting community are:

  • Industrial furnace refractory linings
  • Bridges
  • Buildings
  • Transportation
  • Machine tools

Advantages for Alumina Effect Pigment

There are many advantages when using this particular pigment. They include:

  • Can be used with either water-based or solvent-based coatings
  • Remarkable color pureness and translucence
  • Extremely light reflective, which includes infrared and UV
  • Reflects harmful elements from damaging the substrate
  • Applies to plastics
  • Cost effective

Disadvantages for Alumina

There are a few disadvantages of Alumina effect pigment that are:

  • They have a shorter shelf life
  • Need to be in a controlled storage area and container
  • Care needs to be taken when working with it for health purposes

As you can see there are many different uses for using alumina effect pigment.

When you have the right type of binder mixed with alumina effect pigment, you can have a solid resistant coating on your surface that can last for an extended period. This pigment is superior to lower quality, cheaper alternatives. It is essential to make sure that you have chosen the right texture of coating or paint, along with the right amount of coverage so that the substrate that you are placing it on can have the full amount of protection possible.

You might think that it will save you money by going with lesser priced pigments and binder products, but you will find that it can end up costing you more by having to go back and cover the area again within a short period. You may also notice intrusion of harsh elements if you choose to use a inferior product.

Your project needs will need to be closely identified, and when weighing your options, keep in mind that alumina effect pigment will not just provide you with a coating that will last but it can also provide you with a great looking structure.

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