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Understanding Our Clears and Urethane Colors

September 26, 2019

Understanding Our Clears and Urethane Colors

Understanding Our Clears and Urethane Colors:

Many companies confuse the customer by using names like “polyurethane” and “Urethane Reducer.” These terms used by paint companies are used to fool the masses into “junk science” and downright lies. For example: Polyurethane: Some companies say that their clears and paints are superior because it is a polyurethane, not just a urethane. That's simply not being very honest! “Poly” simply means more than one, and “urethane” means a resin which can be crosslinked. Therefore a “polyurethane” is a class of synthetic materials made by copolymerizing an isocyanate and a polyhydric resin. Simply put, any two part urethane IS A POLYURETHANE!  “URETHANE REDUCER” - means NOTHING. It is a company's reducer for their polyurethane. “Urethane Grade” reducers is a term for those containing less than 500 ppm of water and is not the same as urethane reducers! Now what you may not know there are three basic types of polyurethanes used in the auto, fleet and marine paint industry. They are:


Enamel polyurethanes: Enamel resins cross-linked with a aliphatic polyisocyanate (usually what is referred to as an IPDI isocyanate – made especially for enamels) which is usually the cheapest and less desirable of all polyurethanes. Usually when people boast that their products are polyurethanes, they are simply cheap enamels cross-linked with a hardener and are NOT all that durable. BEWARE Acrylic polyurethanes: Very durable coatings, the backbone of the OEM car industry. 100% acrylic polyurethanes have high gloss, and very high gloss retention when exposed to the sun’s UV. They will stay shiny for many years. They have a good to excellent chemical resistance as well. There are many forms of acrylic resins. Some with mediocre long term durability, and some with outstanding 20 plus year durability. TAMCO USES 100% Acrylic Polyurethanes! Linear polyester polyurethanes: The most durable coatings for chemical resistance. VERY HIGH initial gloss, but will loose much of that gloss over a ten year period. The outstanding chemical resistance is why this type of paint is usually used on large boats and airplanes. The down side of this product is that it cures VERY SLOWLY and hence most would not use these products in the car refinish process.


BLENDS: Beware! Many clears and paints on the market are actually blends of enamel resins and acrylic resins. This is done for two reasons. One is ease of application (enamels are easier to paint, keep a beautiful “wet edge” and has outstanding initial gloss (upward to 99%!) However, Tamco does NOT blend our clears with enamels. We use 100% acrylic resins. Why? When enamels are blended into the clear, all of the advantages of initial gloss, are lost within 1 year! They do not stand up to UV sun radiation much.
Proper additive package: Most every paint companies know which resins are out there. The real “secret” to this industry is in the formulation of those resins. In the formula of any clear there will be 2 UV’s (if they are good!), 3-5 solvents (for an even evaporation rate), tin additives (to make the paint cure better and quicker) and leveling, or flow agents. These are often heavily guarded secrets in any paint formulations. Tamco after years of testing and experience uses an array of flow agents and other additives. Some are the same used by everyone, others are those we have discovered over years of testing different product additives. OUR CLEARS and urethane topcoats lay down like glass! That is a nature of the resins we use (we often blend many acrylic resins in just one clear for many different attributes), and the flow additives we have chosen! Most of our customers are amazed with the look of our clears! That’s in the additives! All of our topcoat clears are and paints are cross-linked with a special form of isocyanates, called Trimers (HDI). HDI's are primarily used in the manufacture of industrial coatings where high performance capability (e.g. UV and weather resistance) is required. HDI-based coatings are used in the manufacture a variety of products, including automobiles, aircraft, flooring, furniture, safety equipment, machinery, medical devices and infrastructure projects. We use ONLY “catalyst grade solvents.” in all our products, superior even to urethane grade. It is essential to use solvents with a water content lower than 500 ppm (preferably lower than 300 ppm), which are referred to as “urethane grade.” We require our solvents to be under 150 ppm! That’s adds 25% to our cost! Even our reducers use these high grade solvents! WE DO NOT CUT CORNERS! Frankly, our clears should sell for more than the even the big name brands. We make smaller batches and everything is carefully measured, unlike industrial batches of 1,000’s of gallons. Our scales measure to the gram. This equals consistency.


OUR PRIMERS: Tamco makes the finest quality primers money can buy. Again, we use the best ingredients. Our DTM 2K urethane primers do not use industrial enamels as others do. We use 100% acrylic polyols (same as what we use in our clears). Our resins are DIRECT TO METAL resins. Read the instructions on other primers. They most likely want you to use metal preps BEFORE applying the primer. Why? It’s because they do not use the more expensive direct to metal resins. WE DO! Our HP5310, can be directly applied over sanded steel, galvanize, and even most aluminums -- try that with the others! Our HP5311 Black 2K acrylic primer is not only direct to metal BUT DIRECT TO RUST. We also use both clay, and talc. Most modern primers to do blend the two powders. We do. This gives you are a little harder to sand primer initially - BUT WILL NOT DRAW SAND SCRATCHES in 90 days! Our primers have NO EQUAL in the market. (65% solids in the HC-5310). Our Primers DO NOT SHRINK!


HELP LINE: When you call us – you will get us very quickly, and you will talk to someone who knows their products, but not just Tamco products, we have a wide knowledge in paint. So whether your questions are about how we compare, how we don’t compare or just need some PDS questions answered, we are here for you and whatever you need!! This is a family run business and everyone has well over a decade of experience, some almost 4 decades!


Check us out - TRY OUR PRODUCTS and you will be truly amazed how far your money will go for the best products crafted in America!

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