Paints & Coatings

Kaolin clays are commonly used in interior and exterior solvent and water based paints and coatings as a pigment, Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) extender, and functional filler. By using different grades of kaolin, various improvements and functionalities are provided to the coating, including:

  • Scrub resistance
  • Whiteness and brightness
  • Rheology
  • Gloss
  • Opacity
  • Reduced specific gravity
  • Float control
  • Reduced cost

As technology changes and paint formulations evolve, there is an increasing need for tailored and innovative kaolin products. Thiele can provide the tailored product that will satisfy all the requirements for your coating formulation. Our carefully controlled processes from mining to packaging ensure that the product you tested and approved is always consistent. Qualities such as particle size, particle size distribution, brightness and impurities are all monitored and controlled to exacting specifications. To learn more how Thiele kaolin clay can benefit your product, please contact us.


Product Information

Below are some of the most common Thiele products used in paint and coating applications. Click on the name of a product to see more specific information (requires a pdf reader).

  • SK-T 13: This kaolin product is a delaminated clay. The individual stacks of clay are sheared down to the platelets which make up the stack. This process dramatically increases the aspect ratio of the clay, thereby improving the barrier properties, or the ability of the clay to change the rheology of the paint system and reduce cracking of the paint upon drying. Delaminated clay also improves the opacity of the paint system and enamel hold out. This product is most suited for water based paints and coatings.
  • SK-T 16: This fully calcined, high brightness kaolin clay has excellent optical properties and low abrasion. SK-T 16, when added to a paint formulation, will allow for the greatest reduction in TiO2 compared to other kaolin clays. This is due to its ability to act as a spacer between the TiO2 particles maintaining the high level of opacity. The SK-T 16, being fully calcined, has better light scattering, thereby improving whiteness and opacity, allowing it to cost effectively replace more expensive white pigments. Calcined clays are harder than hydrous clays and therefore are used to improve the scrub resistance of the coating as well. SK-T 16 is ideally suited for use in both waterborne and solvent paint formulations. It is considered the ideal TiO2 extender, based on the visual appeal and cost.
  • SK-T 49: This cost effective kaolin clay is used in both solvent and waterborne paints and coatings. It provides fair whiteness and opacity, and it is almost always used to enhance the benefits of SK-T 16 or SK-T 13. The SK-T 49 is a naturally fine-particle size product that can be easily dispersed in solvent or waterborne paint formulations.
  • SK-T 22: This product is a fine particle size kaolin clay of exceptional brightness. Spacing of pigment particles is critical for providing opacity, and SK-T 22 allows for optimum spacing of TiO2 particles, allowing for good gloss, brightness, and whiteness. This product is designed for water based paints and coatings.
  • SK-T 27: This water washed, coarse kaolin clay is perfect for architectural coatings and e-coat primers. Its low oil absorption will allow for higher loadings in paints and coatings. This product is designed for use in water based systems. The large particle size, good whiteness, and low oil absorption combine to make it one of the most cost-effective filler/pigment kaolins.
  • SK-T 15: This very fine particle size kaolin clay exhibits excellent brightness, providing for good tint strength and opacity. This product is suited for water-based paint systems where high holdout and gloss are desired. SK-T 15 can be used with other clay products, particularly SK-T 16 as part of a TiOextender package.