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Application Guide - General Information

Glossary of Terms (A-C)


Ablative Coating: A coating that wears away in service by design. Awlstar Gold Label Antifouling is an ablative coating.

Accelerator: Catalyst, a material which accelerates the curing of certain coatings. Pro­-Cure X­98 and X­138 are accelerators for Awlgrip Topcoats.

Acrylic: Coating based on a polymer containing short chain esters of acrylic and methacrylic acid. Awlcraft 2000 is an acrylic resin cross­-linked with an isocyanate resin (acrylic urethane).

Activator: Term used for the converter or curing agent. A required component in a coating’s mix.

Additives: Any one of a number of special chemicals added to paint to bring about special effects; examples are Pro­-Cure Accelerator, Griptex Non-­Skid, and Flattening Agent.

Adhesion: The phenomenon by which one material is attached to another by means of surface attraction.

Adsorption: Process of attraction to a surface; attachment. The retention of foreign molecules on the surface of a substance.

Air Spray: System of applying paint in the form of tiny droplets in air; paint is broken into droplets (i.e. atomized) by a spray gun as a result of being forced into a high velocity air stream. Shape and paint density of the resulting droplet cloud can be controlled by air pressure, paint viscosity, and gun tip geometry. Air spray is preferred for applying Awlgrip Topcoats.

Airless Spray: System of applying paint in which the paint, under high pressure, is passed through a nozzle and broken into droplets (i.e. atomized) when it enters the lower pressure region outside the gun tip. A much smaller volume of air is used than in conventional air spraying so that problems of dry spray and paint bounce­back are reduced. Airless spray is preferred for Hullgard Primers and Awlstar Antifoulings.

Atomization: Formation of tiny droplets of liquid as in paint spraying process; atomization is usually caused by turbulence in an air stream or sudden drop in pressure.


Blistering: The formation of hollow bubbles or water droplets in a paint film; usually caused by the expansion of air or moisture trapped beneath the film. Blisters can form around salt crystals trapped under a paint film because salt attracts moisture.

Break-­Free Rinse: When the rinse water sheets out over a surface with no holes, breaks, or “pull backs” after cleaning. This indicates the surface is clean; free of dirt, wax, grease, oil and other contaminants. Also known as a water break­-free surface.


Catalyst: Chemical used to change the rate of a chemical reaction; catalyst differs from a converter/curing agent in that the catalyst is not itself chemically consumed in the reaction while a curing agent is consumed; technically, catalysts that increase reaction rates are called accelerators; those which decrease reaction rates are called inhibitors or retarders. Often used incorrectly to identify converters or co-­reactants in two component coatings. See Converter.

Checking: Type of failure in which cracks in the film begin at the surface and progress downward; the result is usually a straight V­-shaped crack which is narrower at the bottom than the top. Checking is a method for relieving surface stresses. If the underlying surface is exposed, the failure is called cracking.

Converter: Co­-reactant of the base in a two component coating; often, but not always transparent, containing only resin and solvent. When the base and converter are mixed in different volumes, the converter quantity is usually listed second, after the base quantity. Converters are often called catalyst, activator or hardener.

Copolymer: In antifouling coatings, an ablative antifouling with the toxin chemically bound to the polymer.

Corrosion: Decomposition of a metal in contact with its environment.

Coverage: The area a given unit of paint will cover at a specified thickness.

Cross­Linking: Method by which polymers unite to form a protective film; the method of cure in two component enamels.

Cure: The process by which paint is converted from the liquid to the solid state.

Curtain Call: The time at which gravity overcomes a coating’s film forming properties resulting in sags or curtains.

Curtaining: Sagging.