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  • Glossary of Paint Industry Terms

    100% Acrylic Abrasion Resistance Acrylic Adhesion Alkyd
    Architectural Coating Binder Bitumen Bituminous Roof Coating Bridging
    Brittleness Blistering Bubbling Catalyst Checking
    Chipping Clarity Cloudiness Coating Cob Webbing
    Cold Check Colorant Color Retention Compatibility Cratering
    Crawling Curing Dipping Exempt Solvent Flash Point
    Flat Coating Floor Coating Flow Coating Ford Cup Gloss
    Gloss Meter Grain Raising Hardness Haze Holdout
    Hot Spray Humidity Induction Time Industrial Maintenance Coating Lacquer
    Leveling Lifting Light Fastness Lower Explosive Limit Mar Resistance
    Mastic Texture Coating Orange Peel Plasticizer Primer Retarder (Solvent)
    Sag / Sagging Sanding Sealer Sealer Settling Stain
    Tint Base Topcoat Undercoater Varnish Vehicle
    VOC Yellowing

     

    Definitions are written to optimize their congruency with both the common knowledge shared by members of the paint industry and the definitions provided in documents containing VOC regulations. The definitions in VOC regulation documents are favoured where conflict occurs.

    DISCLAIMER- The dictionary is not intended to be used as a substitute for reading of the latest copies of VOC regulation documents in order to stay current with changing VOC regulations.

    100% Acrylic
    a copolymer containing only acrylic monomers–no vinyl acetate or styrene.

    Abrasion Resistance
    resistance to frictional wear.

    Acrylic
    synthetic resin chemistry used for waterbased architectural coatings.

    Adhesion
    degree of attachment between a coating and the material under the coating.

    Alkyd
    synthetic resin chemistry used for architectural coatings.

    Architectural Coating
    coating applied to a stationary structure such a building. Examples include apartments, homes, offices, manufacturing buildings, recreational facilities, warehouses, etc..

    Binder
    synonymous with resin; the material which adheres the components of a coating together and also adheres the coating to the material under the coating.

    Bitumen
    black or brown material including but not limited to asphalt, tar and pitch. Bitumens are soluble in carbon disulfide and consist primarily of hydrocarbons. They are obtained from natural deposits or as residues from the distillation of crude petroleum or coal.

    Bituminous Roof Coating
    coating with bitumens for the binder that is labeled for exclusive use as a roof coating.

    Bridging
    ability of the coating to cover over an unfilled gap such as a crack or a a corner.

    Brittleness
    tendency of a dried paint film to crack or flack when it is bent or scratched.

    Blistering
    loss of adhesion (also called wet adhesion) when water penetrates to the coating/substrate interface and blisters or bubbles form.

    Bubbling
    loss of adhesion (also called wet adhesion) when water penetrates to the coating/substrate interface and blisters or bubbles form.

    Catalyst
    an additive for increasing the rate of cure for a paint film that forms by a chemical reaction.

    Checking
    formation of cracks in a paint film from lack of cohesion; a problem that can be caused by applying a coating too thickly.

    Chipping
    breakage of fragments from a coating due to impact or bending; a problem that can be caused by lack of adhesion and/or insufficient flexibility.

    Clarity
    level of transparency; the extent to which a coating is clear rather than being hazy, milky, cloudy, etc.

    Cloudiness
    the lack of clarity or transparency in a nonpigmented coating.

    Coating
    A material containing resin that is applied to a substrate or surface to provide protection and/or decoration. This includes, but is not limited to, paints, sealers, stains and varnishes.

    Cob Webbing
    the formation of fine filaments during spray because of anormal atomization.

    Cold Check
    formation of cracks or checks that appear in a paint film caused by film expansion and contraction due to temperature changes.

    Colorant
    a concentrated dispersion of pigment in water, solvent and/or binder that is added to a white base paint to produce a desired tint or color.

    Color Retention
    ability of a coating to show little change in color when exposed to bright sunlight for extended periods of time.

    Compatibility
    ability of two different materials to maintain perfect mixture without separation because sufficiently similar chemistries.

    Cratering
    formation of small depressions in a paint film surface, usually because of the presence of low energy materials on the substrate or in the coating.

    Crawling
    tendency of the entire coating withdrawn from an entire region of substrate because of the low surface energy of the substrate.

    Curing
    complete drying of a coating by heat or air flow over the coating and the development of all its final physical characeristics .

    Dipping
    method of application where parts are dipped into the coating and then set to allow the excess coating to drain off of the object.

    Exempt Solvent
    solvent that is no longer considered when calculating volatile organic content (VOC) because the relevent federal and state environmental regulatory agencies have declared it to be exempt. Examples include acetone, PCTBF, tertiary butyl acetate and a list of materials that are not commercially viable for use in common coatings.

    Flash Point
    minimum temperature at which a coating gives off sufficient vapor in sufficient concentration that it will burn when a spark is ignited in the vapor.

    Flat Coating
    coating with a gloss < 15 when measured at 85 degrees or a gloss < 5 when measured at 60 degrees.

    Floor Coating
    An opaque coating that is formulated and labeled for appliation to flooring and thus is subjected to pedestrian traffic (foot traffic). Flooring includes, but is not limited to, floors in buildings, decks, porches and steps.

    Flow Coating
    coating formulated and labeled for exclusive use by electrical power companies or thei subcontractors to maintain the protective coatings on utility transformer units.

    Ford Cup
    bench top viscometer for which the drain time is measured.

    Gloss
    a measure of the degree to which light is reflected in along parallel lines (objects with a higher gloss will have a ‘shine’.

    Gloss Meter
    instrument that measures gloss at three different angles: 20, 60 and 85 degrees.

    Grain Raising
    roughness of a wood surface caused by swelling and stiffening of short surface fibers.

    Hardness
    property of a coating causing it to resist mar, denting or penetration by contact with another object.

    Haze
    dullness to a coating (lack of transparency) that prevents the reflection of light. It can be wiped away if it is caused by fugitive additives migrating to the surface.

    Holdout
    ability of a finish to resist penetration into another surface.

    Hot Spray
    application equipment heats the coating to decrease the viscosity–this allows the use of higher resin concentrations. The coating dries quicker because the volatiles evaporate faster.

    Humidity
    quantity of moisture (water vapor) in the air.

    Induction Time
    amount of time before a mixture of two materials becomes homogenous.

    Industrial Maintenance Coating
    a high performance architectural coating formulated for application to substrates exposed to one or several extreme environmental conditions: immersion in water, wastewater or chemical solutions (aqueous or nonaqueous); chronic exposure of interior surfaces to moisture condensation; acute or chronic exposure to corrosive, caustic or acidic compounds or to chemicals, chemical fumes or mixtures of solutions of chemicals; repeated exposure to temperatures abouve 121 C (250 F); repeated physical contacts including heavy abrasion, mechanical wear, scrubbing with industrial solvents, cleansers or scouring agents; exposure of metal structures or structural components to the exterior environment.

    Lacquer
    coating that dries by evaporation.

    Leveling
    ability of a wet coating to for a smooth level surface before it dries or cures.

    Lifting
    raising or wrinkling of a coating when it is softened or attacked by the solvent of a second coat.

    Light Fastness
    see Color Retention.

    Lower Explosive Limit
    lowest concentration of a gas or vapor (percent by volume in air) that will burn or explode if a source of ignition is present.

    Mar Resistance
    having good surface slip and/or hardness to resist dulling and scratching from light abrasion.

    Mastic Texture Coating
    coating formulated and labeled for use to cover holes, minor cracks and/or to conceal surface irregularities with the application of a single coating with at least 10 mils (0.010 inch) dry film thickness.

    Orange Peel
    having a surface with craterig sufficiently uniform across the surface that it has the appearance of the skin of a citrus fruit.

    Plasticizer
    material added to a coating to increase its flexibility.

    Primer
    coating formulated and labeled for application to a substrate to cover the substrate and in turn provide a (possibly sanded) surface to which the next coat or topcoat will adhere to with good adhesion.

    Retarder (Solvent)
    solvent with a slow evaporation that is added to a coating (that dries by evaporation of solvent) to increase the time required for the coating to dry.

    Sag / Sagging
    tendency for part of a coating on a vertical surface to drip or run down the side thus leaving a streak in what was intended to be a uniform and flat coating surface.

    Sanding Sealer
    clear or semi-transparent coating formulated and labeled for application to bare wood to seal the wood and to provide a coa that can be abraded (or sanded) to a smooth surface to which another coat (or topcoat) can be applied.

    Sealer
    coating on raw wood intended to “plug up” any pores. A sealer creates a flat surface for the next coating, the topcoat.

    Settling
    separation of pigments to the bottom of the container over a period of time while the coating is in storage.

    Stain
    clear, semi-transparent or opaque coating formulated and labeled to change the color of a surface but not coneal the grain pattern or texture.

    Tint Base
    An architectural coating that is packaged as a white paint and it is formulated so that a
    colorant or colorants can be added to it at the point of sale to create a customer chosen color.

    Topcoat
    The outermost coating when two or more different coatings are applied to the substrate.

    Undercoater
    A coating applied to the substrate which becomes the surface for the next coating (a topcoat). Undercoaters may be used to enhance adhesion. They may enhance coating cost-in-use by filling substrate voids with a lower cost material.

    Varnish
    clear or semi-transparent wood coating (excluding lacquers and shellacs) formulated to dry by either a chemical reaction or exposure to air (oxidation). Varnishes may contain a small amount of pigment to color a surface or to control sheen or gloss.

    Vehicle
    synonym for binder or resin–the portion of the coating consisting of polymer that forms the film and 1) adheres the coating to a surface and 2) holds the pigment particles together.

    VOC
    1) VOC=volatile organic compound, a material in a coating that contains carbon and it is not on a list of exclusions or exempt solvents; 2) the number from a regionally accepted experiment and calculation (example: EPA Method 24 in the U.S.) that reports the concentration of VOC volatiles in grams per liter or pounds per gallon. This second definition, often referred to as VOC, is more properly referred to as VOC Content.

    Yellowing
    tendency for the color of a coating to change to a more yellow color. The change may vary from slight (off-white) to extreme (canary-yellow) and may result from the presence of aromatic, alkene or alkyne functional groups in a coating exposed to direct sunlight.