Nepheline Syenite

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Nepheline syenite is a naturally occurring, sodium-potassium alumina silicate that is easily dispersed in all conventional mediums and has low oil absorption.

Nepheline syenite is a micronized functional filler and extender used as a performance enhancer in a broad range of paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants, and inks. Excellent brightness, tint retention, and weatherability can be achieved in exterior paints. Improved color, sheen uniformity, chemical and stain resistance, and durability result when it is used in interior paint formulations. It is easily dispersed in all conventional vehicle systems, and low oil absorption permits high loadings in adhesives, sealants, and aqueous and alkyd-based paints. Two grades are available to provide optimal performance in a variety of applications. The fine grade offers cost effective gloss and sheen control and can add texture and application versatility for a wide range of uses. The extra-fine grade is preferred for higher gloss coatings and is also the preferred choice for powder and clear paint systems.


Nepheline syenite is a naturally occurring, silica deficient, anhydrous sodium-potassium alumina silicate. Scanning electron microscopy confirms that this filler contains less than one-tenth of one percent crystalline silica. No free crystalline silica is detectable in the mineral complex. Although feldspar-like in its chemistry, mineralogically it is an igneous rock combination of nepheline, microcline, albite and minor minerals like mica, hornblende and magnetite. The rocks are mostly pale colored, grey or pink, and in general appearance they are not unlike granites, but dark green varieties are also known. Phonolite is the fine-grained extrusive equivalent.

Nepheline is a feldspathoid, a solid-solution mineral, that does not coexist with quartz; rather, nepheline would react with quartz to produce alkali feldspar. They are distinguished from ordinary syenites not only by the presence of nepheline but also by the occurrence of many other minerals rich in alkalies and in rare earths.


Nepheline syenite is composed of angular nodular particles. This shape, with its attendant low surface area, accounts for easy dispersibility, low vehicle demand—lower in fact than would be suggested by oil absorption values—and the ability to achieve high loadings. The shape and size distribution of these filler particles can significantly improve the integrity of dried film through their ability to interlock and pack more tightly and rigidly than smooth-surfaced spherical or nodular fillers.

Dry film durability confers crack resistance, and, in combination with relatively high filler hardness, provides high abrasion, scrub and burnish resistance. Shape and particle size distribution also promote flatting and uniform low-angle sheen. Coatings grades of nepheline syenite are each differentiated primarily by particle size distribution, which in turn determines surface area, oil absorption and Hegman fineness.

Nepheline syenite has very low tint strength, contributing minimal color at high loadings, thus allowing the maximum development of deeptone and pastel colors with minimal colorant. Film reinforcement, chemical stability and resistance to chalking promote high tint and gloss retention on prolonged exterior exposure. A relatively coarse, Hegman 4 grind of nepheline syenite is typically used to achieve the optimal balance of properties. The low refractive index of nepheline syenite allows for higher loadings in clear and semi-transparent coatings and stains.

Nepheline syenite is often favored over feldspar in coatings because it is silica-free and is an effective alkaline in-can buffer. If an exterior coating is sufficiently permeable, however, the nepheline component is subject to attack by acid rain and acidic atmospheric moisture. This can eventually result in the frosting of deeptones. Feldspar is preferred in this case. An application of emerging interest for nepheline syenite is powder coatings. Low resin demand allows for low melt viscosity and high loadings. Improved abrasion resistance and melt flow have been noted.

Extender PigmentFineExtra-Fine
Description:Fine particle size with closely-controlled particle size distribution.Extra-fine particle size with closely-controlled particle size distribution.
Appearance:White powder
Chemical Name:Sodium-Potassium Alumina Silicate
Chemical Formula:(Na,K)AlSiO4
CAS No.:37244-96-5
Source:Blue Mountain, Ontario,Canada
Chemical Analysis
Silicon Dioxide (SiO2):60.20%
Aluminum Oxide (Al2O3):23.60%
Sodium Oxide (Na2O):10.50%
Potassium Oxide (K2O):4.80%
Calcium Oxide (CaO):0.35%
Iron Oxide (Fe2O3):0.08%
Magnesium Oxide (MgO):0.02%
Loss on Ignition:0.42%
Typical Physical Properties
% Finer
45 microns (325 mesh):99.8100.0
20 microns (625 mesh):91.699.5
16 microns (800 mesh):85.299.3
10 microns (1250 mesh):62.596.9
5 microns (2500 mesh):34.581.0
Mean Particle Size (Sedigraph):7.6 microns2.6 microns
Hegman Fineness:4.66.4
Brightness (Tappi):88.790.5
Retained on 325 Mesh Screen:0.2%0%
Oil Absorption:30g oil / 100g pigment35g oil / 100g pigment
Solid Density (lbs./gal):21.721.7
Bulking Value (ASTM C29):0.04590.0459
Specific Gravity:2.612.61
Refractive Index, mean:1.51–1.531.51–1.53
Mohs Hardness:6.06.0
More Information
BrandRublev Colours
VendorNatural Pigments
Processing TimeUsually ships the next business day.
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Nepheline Syenite
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