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Old 07-22-2004, 08:18 AM
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Enamel vs Urethane vs Polyurethane????

Barry, you responded to a post of mine on orange peel with the comment...

You are right to question the mils.
This is a major factor with acrylic urethanes BUT NOT a factor with Polyurethanes.
Now don't confuse what I said with "cross-linked poly's=(enamel with a polyurethane hardener) Not same ball game."

Ok, what in the heck is the difference? I understand the "poly" means "Many". My understanding is that simply means "Many" urethane resins are used. How does this make a difference in how it is "cross linked". I thought any product with a hardener is going to "cross link", even epoxy will "Cross link", creating a new compound. That is what I thought at least.

Acrylic urethane, Polyurethane, "just" Urethane. These names seem to be put on just about anything and it seems it is the marketing of the product more than the chemical make up that dictates it. They seem to be interchangable sometimes. Well, not the "Polyurethane". But for instance, S-W has a high end SS product for fleets it is called an "Acrylic Urethane". This EXACT same product is sold with a different label on the can in a "value line" and is labeled simply "Urethane". The "Polyurethanes" are mixed off the same mixing bank as the base coats (which are simply acrylic enamel) with only a change in drier (if used) and "mixing clear" or "binder" and they are magically transformed into a "polyurethane". This includes the PPG "Concept" we were talking about.

PLEASE clear this up for all of us, what makes the difference between a Polyurethane and an Acrylic Urethane? And why does it cure different?

I know there is a difference but I sware, the names are thrown around by marketing and make no sense.
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