Thiele Kaolin: OPAMAX™ 16


OPAMAX™ 16 is a fully calcined, high brightness kaolin clay. It has excellent optical properties and low abrasion. When added to a paint formulation, it will allow for the greatest reduction in TiO2 compared to other kaolin clays. OPAMAX™ 16 also has better light scattering, thereby improving whiteness and opacity, allowing it to cost-effectively replace more expensive white pigments. OPAMAX™ 16 is ideally suited for use in both waterborne and solvent paint formulations.

Kaolin is a naturally occurring aluminum silicate crystalline mineral with alternating alumina and silica layers and roughly 14% of crystalline water (Al2O3-2SiO2-2H20). A kaolin particle is normally comprised of several alumina/silica layers held together by hydrogen bonds.

Kaolin products can be split into 2 categories, hydrous kaolins or calcined kaolins, with each having 2 sub-categories.

Fully calcined clays are produced by heating hydrous kaolin to a very high temperature (~ 1000 °C) at which the crystalline water is removed (at temperatures above ~ 570 °C) and the kaolin particles are transformed into an amorphous structure with micro voids which enhance the light scattering and opacity performance.

A metakaolin (Kaorock™) is typically formed if the calcination process is run at lower temperatures (~550 to ~900 °C). In this temperature range, normally inert kaolin is converted into a highly reactive mineral. This allows it to be used in the construction industry, mainly to react with slake lime in cement to enhance the properties of concrete and cement-based products.

OPAMAXTM 16 Performance

The performance of OPAMAXTM 16 is the result of a unique production process, generating a different void structure compared to its competitors, which tends to provide a higher light scatter efficiency. The results of two paint studies with different interior architectural paints listed in this brochure demonstrate that calcined clays from competitor producers with similar pigment data for the particle size, brightness and surface area compared to the OPAMAXTM 16, can still generate differences in performance.

With the OPAMAXTM 16, it is, therefore, possible to achieve better hiding power performance at similar or higher whiteness values and with minor differences in gloss values in architectural paints with a PVC value that is higher than the CPVC level. Other properties such as scrub resistance, sag and leveling values, tint strength, and stain resistance were not impacted significantly in the evaluation of the calcined clays in this comparison. These properties only tend to change noticeably when the particle size and surface area of a calcined clay are changed significantly.

Hall Technologies, Inc. has been representing the Thiele Kaolin Company for over three years. As a specialty chemical distributor, we are proud to supply our customers with their excellent products. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Hall Technologies, Inc., works with customers throughout the Midwest, Upper Midwest, Southwest, Southeast, and Ohio Valley. We supply answers to the industry’s toughest questions.

Have a question about OPAMAXTM 16? Contact our chemists today!


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