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Solvents: Reducers, Retarders, Thinners



Catalyst An accelerator, activator or curing agent which chemically increases the rate of reaction in a coating. Not chemically consumed in the reaction (different from curing agent).
Caustic A strong base or alkaline material.
Caustic Soda A common name for sodium hydroxide (lye), a strong base or alkali.
Cellosolve Proprietary name for ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. A slow evaporating, water miscible, relatively strong solvent. Commonly used as a lacquer retarder. Also know as Butyl Cellosolve.
Centipoise One hundredth of a poise which is a unit of measurement for viscosity. Water at room temperature has a viscosity of 1.0 Centipoise.
Chalking Formation of a powdery surface condition due to the disintegration of the surface binder or elastomer caused by weathering, fuel, or other destructive environmental factors (e.g., exposure to ultraviolet radiation). Results in a loss of gloss.
Checking Cracks in the surface of a film finish.
Chemical resistance A coating's resistance to damage from solvents, acids, and alkali.
Chipping Small pieces of finish removed from the surface, typically a sign of physical damage incurred in shipping or handling. Color touch up followed by a compatible finish generally solves the problem.
Chlorinated Hydrocarbon A class of strong, fast evaporating, nonflammable solvents such as carbon tetrachloride, methylene chloride or trichloroethylene.
Cissing Small holes in the surface of the film finish caused by oil, grease or silicone contamination. (aka, fisheye, cratering).
Clean and Dry Rather than a method, the requirement for Clean and Dry describes the condition of the surface prior to finishing. The surface shall be clean, dry, and free of oil, grease, wax, and any other contaminant that may affect the adhesion of the coating.

Dry means that the substrate contains less than 15% moisture.

Cleaner A detergent, alkali, acid or similar contamination removing material, which is usually waterborne.
Coal Tar A dark brown to black bituminous material produced by the destructive distillation of coal.
Coal Tar Epoxy A coating in which the binder or vehicle is a combination of coal tar and epoxy resins.
Coalescence The formation of resinous or polymeric material when water evaporates from an emulsion or a latex system, permitting contact and fusion of adjacent particles; fusing or flowing together of liquid particles.
Coat The finish applied to a surface in a single application to form a film when dry. The act of applying a finish to a surface.
Coating Any material applied to a surface leaving a protective layer on that surface. Lacquer, polyurethane, varnish, paint, vinyl, acrylic, butyrate, and shellac are all types of coatings.
Coating defects Defects of wet and consequent dry coating films affecting the coating's appearance and sometimes performance. Examples of coating defects include bubbles, craters, pinholes, orange peel, etc.
Coating System A number of coats separately applied, in a predetermined order, at suitable intervals to allow for drying and curing, resulting in a completed job.
Cobwebbing Premature drying of a coating during spraying causing a spider web effect.
Cohesion The primary or secondary valence forces which bind the particles of a finish together into a continuous film.
Cold Checking The cracking of a finish due to exposure to cold temperatures.
Color Aspect of the dye, stain or paint that depends upon the spectral composition of the incident light, the spectral reflectance or transmittance of the film, and the spectral response of the observer, as well as the illuminating and viewing geometry.
Color Fast Nonfading; resistant to fading.
Color Retention The ability to retain its original color during weathering or chemical exposure.
Color Wheel A circular chart of pie shaped wedges that represent the visible color spectrum. Two color wheels are used in finishing; the artist's color wheel that presents primary and secondary colors and the finisher's color wheel that presents common earth tones.
Colorant Dye, pigment, or other agent used to impart a color.
Combustible Liquid Any liquid having a flash point at or above 100 degrees F (37.8C)
Compatibility Ability of two or more coating components to mix with each other in a wet or dry state to form a homogeneous composition without specific negative interactions.
Compatible The ability to mix with or adhere properly to other coatings without detriment.
Complimentary Colors Two colors directly opposite one another on the artist's color wheel.
Conical Mandrel An instrument used to evaluate a coating's resistance to cracking when bent over a specified radius.
Contrasting Colors Colors separated by at least three others on the color wheel.
Conversion Coating Also known as reactive coatings, they cure by chemical reaction. This chemical reaction may be between the oxygen in the air and the constituents of the coating, or between a catalyst or accelerator introduced into the coating material by the finisher. Drying oils such as tung and linseed, varnishes, two-part finishes, etc. are all examples of reactive coatings. The word conversion is used because a non-reversible chemical conversion has taken place in order to produce a dry, hard film. This does not mean that solvents will not dissolve or just damage the coating, just that the damage is non-reversible. See Cure.
Copolymer Large molecules obtained by simultaneous polymerization of different monomers, as in vinyl copolymers.
Corning The build up of powdered on sandpaper when sanding a coat of finish. May indicate the finish is not sufficiently cured for sanding. Corns on the paper surface will mar the surface being sanded and the paper should be replaced.
Coverage Referring to the ability of a coating to cover a surface. Often referred to as spread rate calculated in either square feet per gallon or square meters per liter.
Cracking Splitting of a coating film as a result of aging, formation of internal stresses or deformation of substrates.
Crackle Finish Intentional splitting of a coating film to replicate an aged look.
Craters/Cratering Small, shallow, bowl-shaped depressions in a coating film. Viewed under magnification, these depressions frequently have drops, particles, or bands of material at their centers and raised circular edges. Some common causes of cratering are: oil particles/droplets from air lines, and substrate contamination such as silicone from furniture polish or machinery lubricants. Also known as fisheye.
Crawling When a coating applied tends to flow away from areas leaving them uncoated. This is usually caused by grease or oil contamination of the surface to be coated.
Crazing Formation of surface fissures (similar to cracking ) that change the properties of the film. However, it is much less severe than cracking and does not penetrate to the underlaying surface.
Cross Spraying Spraying the first pass in one direction and the second at a right angle to the first, providing more even film distribution. Also known as box coating or cross hatching.
Crosslinking The setting up of chemical links between molecular chains to form a three dimensional network of connected molecules.
Crosslinking agent Catalytic or reactive agent which when added to resin causes crosslinking of chains (aka, curing agent, hardener).
Cure Process by which a coating is converted from the liquid to the solid state by changes in the properties of the resin by chemical reaction (crosslinking/conversion).
Curing Agent A hardener or activator added to a synthetic resin to develop the proper film forming properties.
Curtains Long horizontal runs in a coating film that occur on vertical surfaces when a coating is applied too heavily. Sagging on a large scale.


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