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Substrate Prep

Quick Reference

Table of Contents
Definition .....................................................................................1 Background.................................................................................1 Liability ........................................................................................3 General Safety ............................................................................4 General Surface Preparation ......................................................8 Good, Better, Best.............................................................9 Six Steps to Success ........................................................9 Common Surface Preparation Methods........................... 10 Aggregate Blast vs. Grinding ........................................... 10 Conversion Washes ......................................................... 11 Primers....................................................................................... 13 Wetting Primers................................................................ 14 Self-Etching...................................................................... 15 Common Substrates .................................................................. 16 Metal ................................................................................ 16 Steel........................................................................... 17 Hardened Steel.......................................................... 17 Stainless Steel........................................................... 18 Galvanized Steel ....................................................... 19 Aluminum................................................................... 20 Wood ................................................................................ 21 Fiberglass......................................................................... 22 Concrete........................................................................... 23 Plastics............................................................................. 24 ABS............................................................................ 24 Polystyrene (Styrofoam) ............................................ 25 Vinyl ........................................................................... 25 Composites ...................................................................... 26 Recoats ...................................................................................... 27 Recoating LINE-X XTRA.................................................. 27 Spray Techniques ...................................................................... 28 Special Equipment ..................................................................... 29

Light Industrial Coatings, or LIC, encompasses all approved and authorized LINE-X brand formula spray-on coatings applied to items, other than pickup truck bedliners, that can be reasonably brought inside the Franchisees designated facility. Heavy Industrial Coatings, while also made up of non truck bedliner business, is sprayed off premises. While these two forms of Industrial Coatings may seem similar, Heavy Industrial requires a significant investment in equipment and labor, not to mention increased liabilities. It should only be attempted by a certified, experienced, insured applicator. In addition to lessening liability risk, bringing the Light Industrial applications to the facility takes the weather out of the equation, and makes it easier to schedule and coordinate the bedliner business with industrial business. As part of your Franchise Agreement, you are required to obtain approval from LFDC or your master franchisee before you begin any LIC project. You may be able to obtain this permission verbally from your Franchise Business Consultant. (However, LFDC requires that you get permission, in writing, to complete any Heavy Industrial Coatings work.)

LINE-X has excellent bonding characteristics to properly prepared metal, fiberglass, cast concrete (cinder block), plastic and wood surfaces. It remains flexible from -40 to 220F, stretching up to 115% without adhesion loss. Drying to the touch in five seconds, LINE-X protects against corrosion, impact and abrasion, and even gives a skid resistant finish, if desired. Most LINE-X brand products can be applied to drywall, Styrofoam, leather, carpet, linoleum, tile, various fabrics, and countless other substrates. LINE-X XS-100 has been successfully applied to items including: van floors, boat decking, grain hoppers, RV fronts, trailer hitches, golf carts, plant boxes, tool boxes, decorative fencing, wood signs, Styrofoam signs, props fertilizer tanks, stock trailers, fire rescue trucks, tanker trucks, speaker boxes, weight lifting equipment, furniture, street sweepers, salt spreaders, trailer floors, stairs, rocker panels, trailers, Zambonis, trams, highway tractor fenders, police canine vans, cinder block, utility trailers, and more. Rarely does any one product offer such a wide range of uses.

However, LINE-X XS-100 is not the solution to every problem nor does it withstand every specification or adhere to every substrate; no product does! It is your responsibility to determine if LINE-X is appropriate on a case-by-case basis. The bedliner and Light Industrial markets are not mutually exclusive; they complement each other well. Most applicators, with added training, have the expertise to apply LINE-X to Light Industrial projects. Therefore, it becomes a mindset rather than an ability to spray LIC. Diversifying the market balances out the dependency on just one application (truck bedliners) and often supplements revenue in the slower months. In many cases, a LINE-X coating is the solution to an industrys problem, which translates to opportunities for businesses. When you sell LINE-X as a Light Industrial Coating, remember that you are selling a solution rather than a product. Try to identify common problems that LINE-X can solve, and brainstorm companies in your area that would want these solutions. To get you started, weve included a couple of examples below.

Corrosion Protection
Corrosion, the deterioration of metal by chemical or electrochemical reaction with its environment, is a huge problem worldwide. In North America alone, it is a multibillion dollar industry. Easiest to apply preemptively, LINE-X serves as a barrier between corrosive elements and valuable equipment or products. Trained applicators may be able to treat mild corrosion and apply LINE-X to a surface that has already begun to deteriorate. Corrosion protection is quite likely LINE-Xs largest opportunity; in most cases LINE-X is a permanent fix.

Safety Protection
Employee, customer and livestock safety are great concerns in the United States and abroad. Companies spend millions of dollars in this industry every year on workers compensation, litigation and asset recovery. Preventative measures, such as installing LINE-X in problem areas, can help companies save money in the long run. For example, water or snow on painted steel is dangerous. The cost of coating the surface with LINE-X to solve this problem is much cheaper than facing potential claims or asset losses.

In the truck bedliner business liability is somewhat limited. The worst-case scenario is replacing the entire truck bed, a total cost of about $3,000. Industrial applications involve liabilities that can be significantly more costly, up to tenfold or above. In every case you must balance risk against reward and decide if the job is worth it for you. As your experience and level of competence increases, the risk of liability will decrease. When venturing into this new business area, it is best to learn what you can before tackling a large or risky application. In other words, crawl, walk, then run. When in doubt call your Franchise Business Consultant to discuss the applications and learn from other peoples mistakes. You should realize that regardless of the procedures set forth or guidance you receive, your business is solely responsible for any warranty that is either expressed or implied.

General Safety
At LINE-X, safety is of the utmost importance. Always refer to an individual products MSDS for a complete list of hazards. Be aware that chemicals affect individuals differently. Chemicals may aggravate preexisting health conditions. When in doubt, consult a medical professional. Once you are ready to get started, we suggest you open a dialogue with your fire marshal, and local EPA and OSHA representatives. Request an OSHA consult! Specific safety issues arise with some of the often-used chemicals and products at LINE-X. For the general chemicals and processes that are used for multiple applications, weve outlined safety concerns below. For chemicals that are specifically discussed in this guide, safety concerns follow the other information. This presentation is intended as an overview only and is not exhaustive. LINE-X owners are fully responsibility to research and understand hazards, implement safety precautions, and train employees.

MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone)

MEK is a liquid solvent that is excellent for removing adhesives, inks, oils, grease, and waxes.

Safety Concerns
Extremely flammable liquid and vapor Harmful or fatal if swallowed Harmful if inhaled or absorbed through skin Affects central nervous system Causes irritation to skin, eyes and respiratory tract

Safety Requirements
When handling, use:

Nitrile gloves (latex will dissolve) NIOSH-approved full face respirator with organic filters
Application and storage: Apply in a well ventilated area No open flames or spark-producing equipment in the vicinity Store in a fireproof cabinet 4

A product with similar properties as MEK, though less powerful and less noxious.

Safety Concerns
Causes eye irritation Repeated skin contact should be avoided Contact with acid forms hydrogen fluoride (a toxic, corrosive gas) Contact with caustic materials (a.k.a. lye) liberates ammonia On heating, liberates ammonia and hydrogen fluoride Ammonia is a respiratory and eye irritant Ammonium fluoride is highly toxic & causes irritation to eyes, skin and respiratory tract

Safety Requirements
Use nitrile gloves Apply in a well ventilated area Use NIOSH approved dust mask

SF515 Primer
SF515 is a zero VOC Polyol/MDI ISO wetting primer.

Safety Concerns
Same as spraying LINE-X

Safety Requirements
OSHA 1910.134 Respiratory Health Requirements

LINE-X XTRA is a composite bedliner created by DuPont and LINE-X containing Kevlar micropulp.

Safety Concerns
VOCs (low 2.8) May cause nose and throat irritation 5

May cause nervous system depression repeated exposure without proper Personal Protective Equipment may cause permanent nervous system damage Activator/Hardener contains isocyanates See OSHA Reg. 1910.134

Safety Requirements
Use fresh air breathing Use nitrile gloves when handling Apply in a paint booth or limited finishing station

VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds)

Volatile Organic Compounds are normally used in primers and paints to keep the coatings in a liquid state until applied and then the VOCs evaporate. This is the often nauseating smell associated with paint. VOCs are considered a serious health and fire risk. Use of large amounts is heavily regulated.

Safety Concerns
Eye, nose, and throat irritation Headaches, loss of coordination, nausea Damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system May cause cancer Fire/Explosion risk Harmful to the environment Soil and groundwater contaminants VOCs contribute to air pollution/green house effect. Note Regulated through local Fire Marshals and, in some areas, the EPA.

Safety Requirements
Personal Protective Equipment Spray suit Nitrile gloves NIOSH approved fresh air breathing for XTRA Booth should be certified as a Limited Finishing Station (up to 1gallon per 8 hours in accordance with NFPA 33 Section 14.3) or better Well ventilated area Explosion-proof fan Filtration Make-up air plenum 6

Explosion-proof lighting No open flames or spark-producing equipment Automated fire suppression Walls/Floor made of, or covered with, noncombustible or limited combustible materials 2 hour fire rating minimum Means of egress (other than normal booth opening) Fireproof storage locker Approved waste containers - metal with self closing lids

Aggregate Blasting
Aggregate Blasting is otherwise known as sand blasting or abrasive blasting. It is the best method for etching most metals.

Safety Concerns
Silicosis or Grinders Disease caused by inhalation of silica dust Can cause serious lung damage - possibly death

Safety Requirements
Blasting indoors requires a blasting booth Recovery of media may involve following HAZMAT procedures When blasting outside of a sealed blasting cabinet, you must use: NIOSH approved blasting respirator NIOSH approved gloves NIOSH approved blasting suit Steel-toed boots

General Surface Preparation

LINE-X coatings require a mechanical bond to adhere to substrates, which is why sanding and blowing the surface clean is the most widely used surface preparation technique for LINE-X franchisees. While this is works perfectly on a truck bed, it is rarely adequate on other applications. When we apply LINE-X to a truck, we are actually spraying onto paint and not directly onto steel. In this scenario our bond to the truck bed is only as good as the paint. At the factory, a truck beds surface is primed and painted with a near-perfect surface preparation that is difficult to duplicate in the outside world. Since LINE-X has excellent adherence to scuffed paint, it requires only the simplest preparation possible. The same preparation mentality does not successfully translate to all other substrates. In fact, the application of LINE-X over an improperly prepared substrate can cause hours of rework, loss of profits, liability, and premature failure of the protective coating that could give your LINE-X franchise a bad name. Surface preparation is the key factor in determining the success of a protective coating over an underlying substrate. Surface preparation directly affects adhesion, which is crucial to LINE-X efficacy. It determines whether the coating is a film lying on the surface or actually becomes an integral part of the substrate. There are two main objectives for proper surface preparation: 1. Increase the surface area. The surface must be etched, or roughened, to provide an increased area for LINE-X to mechanically bond to a substrate. 2. Remove contaminates. Cleanliness is essential for adhesion of LINE-X to a substrate. LINE-X applied over rust, dirt, wax, oil, or any other contaminates will bond poorly, causing failure of the coating. Note: If rust is not entirely removed it can continue to form between LINE-X and the substrate. When rust forms under a LINE-X coating, all a customer will see is a coating that did not protect! Never hearing back from the customer does not mean the coating was a success; in fact, it often means it was a failure in at least some respect. The best customers are gained over the long haul, so our application as well as LINE-X itself should last even longer.

Good, Better, and Best

Good, Better, Best is a simple way to describe the different adhesion results based on preparation used. Examine the table below to understand the different scenarios. Good Prep Sand, Blow dust off, Spray Better Sand/Grind, Clean, Prime, Spray Not the best adhesion produces less effective etching. Best Clean Aggregate Blast, Clean, Prime, Spray Maximum adhesion possible. In LIC, Best is often the only option.


Very poor bond to bare metal and some other surfaces. Good bond to a few substrates, such as OEM paint.

Six Steps to Success

The six basic preparations steps that will apply to most bare substrates are listed below. Following these six steps will help ensure the maximum bond possible. Clean: Pre-clean to remove all contaminates (oil, grease, rust, dirt, adhesives, etc.). This step may involve solvents, power washing, degreasing, phosphoric washing, grinding, and/or scraping. Etch: Create a textured surface with increased surface area to aid adhesion. Aggregate blasting is the preferred method in most cases. Blow: Use compressed air to remove dust and loose debris. Clean: Complete final cleaning to ensure a contaminate-free surface (including oils and dirt from hands) for coating. Prime: Apply this tiecoat to obtain a superior mechanical bond with a clean, etched surface. Primers enhance corrosion protection. Spray: Coat with LINE-X within the designated window of the primer to enable a chemical bond. 9

Common Surface Preparation Methods

A wide variety of surface preparation methods exist today. Some of the most common are below. Hand tool preparation is the simplest. This method involves hand sanding or scraping, which is slow but still may be needed in small confined areas or on small-sized substrates. This method may spread contaminates. Power tool preparation involves the use of electric or pneumatically powered tools. Sanders, grinders, impact chisels, and rotary tools can help clean corrosion as well as etch hard substrates, but may also spread contaminates. Abrasive blasting cleans and etches by using an aggregate at high air or water pressure to literally erode the surface. This method will not spread contaminates. Power washing with high-pressure water, steam, or added detergents will only clean the substrate and will not etch the surface. Solvents are used to clean oils, grease, waxes, adhesives, and dirt but will not etch a surface. Conversion washes molecularly covert metal surfaces to gain desired preparation results.

Aggregate Blast vs. Grinding

Both ferrous metals (containing iron) and non-ferrous metals (such as aluminum, bronze, stainless steel, and galvanized steel) require an aggregate blast to achieve a mechanical bond for proper adhesion to the primer and the LINE-X product. The urethane primers that LINE-X uses do not have a self-etching component, and they require a mechanical bond with the metal. Sanding or grinding to achieve a mechanical bond is not as effective as an aggregate blast. The cavitations created by a blast have much higher bonding characteristics than scratches created by sanding or grinding. Sanding and grinding also spreads contaminants along the metal substrate while blasting aids in removing them. Note: Non-ferrous metals are often malleable. Use care when etching these materials to retain desired surface features. Also, if substrate is too thin, aggregate blasting could cause undesired warping.


Conversion Washes
A conversion wash actually converts at least a portion of the molecular structure of the metal substrate it is applied to. There are two different types of washes recommended in this manual.

Phosphoric Wash
Phosphoric acid, in a diluted form, is a common ingredient in many items, such as soda (this is why Coca-Cola can remove rust). A basic phosphoric wash, consisting of 85% phosphoric acid diluted with water at a 20:1 ratio, may be used to convert and remove rust. A phosphoric wash can be made with the formula above or simply purchased pre-diluted, often with added conditioners and degreasers. A gel version (Naval Jelly) may also be used for overhead or vertical areas. Phosphoric acid will convert rust (iron oxide) into a water-soluble iron phosphate that will either wash away or be permanently converted to a non-corroding substance. Rust will blacken as it is converted into iron phosphate. Phosphoric acid will also remove oxidation from aluminum, brightening it as well as creating a slight etch. A phosphoric wash must be thoroughly rinsed with water and immediately dried or it will be considered a contaminant. Phosphoric acid will not remove any contaminates other than rust. Follow usage instructions for any pre-diluted phosphoric wash. Normally, this wash is applied with a sprayer on large applications and a dipping tub for smaller parts. It typically takes 1-5 minutes to convert the rust; if rust remains after application, reapply. Remember to rinse thoroughly after conversion is complete as any remaining acid will interfere with the coating application.

Safety Concerns
Corrosive Severe irritation and burns Harmful if swallowed or inhaled

Safety Requirements
When handling (diluted or undiluted), use: Nitrile gloves (elbow-length required for mixing) Apron Eye protection (face shield preferred) NIOSH-approved full faced respirator with high efficiency dust/mist filter


Application hazards: Application area must be well ventilated Reacts with zinc in galvanized steel to create zinc phosphate and hydrogen gas No open flames or spark-producing equipment

Alodine Wash
Alodine wash is a microscopic conversion coating which creates a thin film commonly used to protect and provide a surface for accepting a coating. Alodine is commonly applied to aluminum to protect against corrosion and as a preparation for paint. It also increases electrical resistance, and alodine is therefore commonly used in radios and amplifier cabinets. In LINE-X applications, alodine is typically used when aggregate blasting is not an option, usually because the substrate is too thin. While alodine can be used on many types of metals, it is formulated to the specific metal to which it is applied. The conversion turns metal substrates gold but it is non-anodic, meaning it may only appear anodized. Note: Be sure to use a chromium-free alodine wash as chromium may cause adverse environmental and health issues, such as cancer. We recommend Alodine 5700, made by Henkle, as it is chromate free and has been successfully tested with urethane primers.

Safety Concerns
Acidic May cause eye and skin irritation Inhalation of vapors or mists may be irritating to the respiratory system

Safety Requirements
Use nitrile gloves Wear goggles or face shield Use a full face respirator if you spray it Do not use an alodine wash that has chromium (Alodine 5700 is chromiumfree)


Primers are used to enhance the bond between a substrate and a coating. Primers also aid in protecting the bond under a wide variety of conditions. LINE-X coatings generally use a mechanical bond to adhere to a surface; this is why we roughen a surface by sanding, grinding, or aggregate blasting. LINE-X can also achieve a chemical bond with many primers, strengthening the overall bond to the substrate. Testing on urethane, epoxy, self-etching, sanding, and other primers has revealed that the urethane primers recommended here produce a far superior chemical bond with LINE-X than any other primer tested to-date. A chemical bond is desirable because it creates uniform microscopic adhesion at the molecular level, allowing for a more complete bond. Primers that have self-etching capability do not obtain a satisfactory bond for use in industrial applications and therefore are not recommended.

Mechanical Bond: A bond created by the physical interlocking of coating and substrate due to the coating filling the peaks and valleys of an etched surface. Chemical Bond: A bond created by a primer accepting and blending with a fresh topcoat. The two coatings actually merge creating a more uniform microscopic adhesion.

When dealing with primers, there are three important specifications that you need to look for and understand: pot life, window and thickness. These topics are discussed below.

Pot life
Pot life refers to the amount of time a product has, after it is catalyzed (mixed) until it can no longer be applied. If the pot life is one hour, you have one hour to spray your primer after it has been mixed. If you wait longer than that, primer will likely begin to thicken and gel. Pot life is calculated at 70F, and variations in temperature and humidity will affect the pot life time listed. Keep in mind that ISO cures faster with moisture, so paints and primers with ISO (such as SF515) will have shorter cure times in hot, humid conditions and primers that do not contain ISO (such as XPM) will have shorter pot lives in hot, dry conditions. Be sure to account for temperature and humidity when working with primers. 13

Window refers to the earliest and latest time that you may apply a topcoat (such as LINE-X) to a primer after the primer has been applied. If the window is 5-15 hours, you have to topcoat the primer somewhere after the fifth hour after application but before the fifteenth. The window refers to the time when the primer is still microscopically open to accepting a chemical bond (blending of primer and topcoat). If you go past this window, only a mechanical bond can be achieved and you will have to treat primer as an existing paint, sanding it prior to applying LINE-X. Like calculations for pot life, the timeframes for primer windows are normally calculated at 70F, and temperature and humidity will affect these times. Again, hot and humid conditions will make ISO primers (SF515) have shorter windows and hot, dry conditions will shorten non-ISO primer windows (XPM).

Care must be taken to apply the primer at the recommended thickness. Primer that is applied too thickly can result in failure, characterized by a separation of the coating from the substrate, even if all other aspects of preparation and application were followed correctly. If this shearing effect does occur, primer will be visible on both substrate and coating. Primers applied too thinly could result in over-blending where the coating bleeds through the primer and results in less adhesion to the substrate.

Wetting Primers
With wetting primers, the surfactants (wetting agents) will reduce the surface tension between the primer and substrate to allow penetration into the small peaks and valleys of the surface. The following primers are the only primers proven to obtain a suitable bond to withstand the requirements of Light Industrial applications. XPM: Low VOC, solvent-based urethane primer. XPM is known as a next day primer with a window of 12-18 hours. Apply one pass with gun tip size of 1.5 - 1.8 to achieve 1.5-mil thickness. XPM cannot be topcoated with LINE-X the same day; if topcoated the same day, you will likely get large blisters where the primer separates under LINE-X. SF515: 100 solids urethane primer (no VOCs). SF515 is a two-part primer (isoresin) that has no solvents, and is commonly known as the same day primer. The 515 in the name represents the window for this primer (5-15 hours). Being 100 solids, this primer requires a minimal paint gun tip of 1.8 and it cannot be diluted or thinned. It is also recommended that tape and wire tape be applied prior to primer, 14

as tape adhesion to primer can be difficult (SF515 manufactured after September 1, 2006 will have an added plasticizer that will allow tape adhesion). SF515 should be applied in one pass with 1.5-mil thickness.

A self-etching primer is simply a primer formulated with an etching agent. The etching agent is added to increase productivity in the painting process by allowing the primer to be applied directly to a smooth surface. Unfortunately, LINE-X does not adhere nearly as well to these primers as it does to wetting primers. The use of self-etching primers is not recommended.


Common Substrates
Specific preparation requirements for common LINE-X substrates are listed below for easy reference.

Much of the LIC work currently being done is on metal. When it comes to applying LINE-X however, not all metals are created equally, and each type must be treated with care to insure proper substrate adhesion. Ferrous Metals: Metals containing iron (usually magnetic)

Non-Ferrous Metals: Aluminum, bronze, stainless steel and galvanized steel are all non-ferrous metals (non-magnetic). Non-ferrous metals are often malleable use care when etching these materials to retain desired surface features Note: Heat Sink Phenomenon is the transfer of heat from a freshly applied coating to its substrate. A cold substrate, especially steel, will absorb the heat of freshly applied LINE-X, causing the LINE-X to cool too rapidly. When spraying a cold substrate, allow product to tact between coats (passes). As the coats are built up, the LINE-X will hold its heat and tact time will return to normal. If multiple coats are rushed, on a cold substrate, blistering could occur between first coat and subsequent coats.


Cold- or hot-rolled steel is predominant in manufacturing and fabrication. This type of steel accepts a wide range of aggregate blast and primers but cannot be etched successfully with sandpaper or a grinder. Clean: Surface must be clean of rust, oil, grease, waxes and grime before etching. A phosphoric wash may be used to remove small areas of rust. Use solvents or degreasers. Use pressure washers for large jobs. Etch: Blow: Clean: Prime: Spray: Aggregate blast or grind. Remove as much dust as possible. Wipe clean with acetone or MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone). Use XPM or SF515 within 10 minutes of final cleaning. Coat with LINE-X within the designated window of the primer.

Steel can be hardened to many different levels. Hardened steel has superior resistance to abrasion and normal etching methods may not apply. Clean: Surface must be clean of rust, oil, grease and grime before etching. Detergent washes may be used. A phosphoric wash may be used to remove small areas of rust. Etch: Blow: Clean: Prime: Spray: Use appropriate aggregate to blast. Remove as much dust as possible. Wipe clean with acetone or MEK. Use XPM or SF515 within 10 minutes of final cleaning. Coat with LINE-X within the designated window of the primer.


Stainless steel is manufactured to resist corrosion and staining, but it can still corrode. It is manufactured either smooth or brushed and is commonly cleaned with oil-based cleaners and polishes. Care should be taken to thoroughly clean stainless steel to remove embedded oils and polishes. Note: Stainless steel rarely accepts excellent adhesion because of the same stainresistant properties it is manufactured to have. Clean: Surface must be clean of rust, oil, grease and grime before etching. A detergent wash may be used. A phosphoric wash may be used to remove small areas of rust, but it will not remove oils. Etch: Blow: Clean: Prime: Spray: Aggregate blast or grind. Remove as much dust as possible. Wipe clean with acetone or MEK. Use XPM or SF515 within 10 minutes of final cleaning. Coat with LINE-X within the designated window of the primer.


Galvanized steel is manufactured with a zinc coating to inhibit corrosion in underbody auto parts, appliances, ducting, buildings and storage tanks. Currently, there seems to be an influx of low-quality galvanized steel in the market, as well as Galvaneal, which can be difficult to coat unless the entire protective coating is removed. Note: Be careful when using a phosphoric wash. Only use on areas to be coated. Phosphoric was may etch as well. CAUTION: hydrogen off-gassing may occur. Galvanized steel rarely accepts excellent adhesion. Clean: Etch: Blow: Clean: Prime: Spray: Surface must be clean of rust, oil, grease and grime before etching. Aggregate blast or grind. Remove as much dust as possible. Wipe clean with acetone or MEK. Use XPM or SF515 within 10 minutes of final cleaning. Coat with LINE-X within the designated window of the primer.


Aluminum is both softer and lighter than steel. It corrodes in the form of aluminum oxide, which is white and powdery or chalky in appearance. Corrosion on this type of metal is caused by salt, not water. All aluminum oxidation must be completely removed for a proper bond. Note: Aluminum is susceptible to cathodic migration of water, the phenomenon of water migrating between the aluminum and the coating, which washes away the primer. Do not leave exposed seams where water may penetrate, and seal all edges where water may collect or pool. Seal all seams with polyurethane caulk. If immersed in water, overlap or encapsulate with LINE-X. Clean: All metals must be clean of rust, oil, grease, grime and corrosion. Use aluminum cleaner, normally high in Isopropyl Alcohol. A phosphoric wash may be used and will also lightly etch aluminum. Care must be taken not to etch undesired areas. Etch: Aggregate blast, or grind with oxide pad. Sanding does little to etch. You may use Alodine 5700 to etch, but again, care must be taken not to convert undesired areas. Blow: Clean: Prime: Spray: Remove as much dust as possible with compressed air. Wipe clean with acetone or MEK. Use XPM or SF515 within 10 minutes of final cleaning. Coat with LINE-X within the designated window of the primer.


Clean/Dry: All wood contains moisture. To apply LINE-X successfully, the moisture content needs to be minimal. High moisture content will inhibit proper adhesion as well as cause steam holes (volcanoes) in the product. Clean, new wood that has been thoroughly dried is recommended. Free of Contaminates: Spraying pressure treated wood is not recommended because it contains chemicals that break down or impede adhesion. Avoid old, existing wood that has been contaminated with oil or grease. Fill Imperfections: Using a product like Presto/Patch by DAP, or Plani Patch by Mapei, fill screw holes, knots and seams to give wood a uniform look. For small areas you can use Bondo. When dry, sand the filler and blow clean. Bondo dries with a film that is hard to adhere to and needs to be sanded prior to LINE-X application. Spray Technique: Use a dust/texture coat on the wood until a solid membrane is achieved to allow steam to escape. LINE-X is sprayed at approximately 210F (heaters initially heat product to 150F and the additional heat is the result of the exothermic reaction when the A and B sides meet). When wood is sprayed with 210F, any moisture in the wood immediately becomes steam and forces its way through the hot polyurethane, leaving what look like small volcanoes. To avoid these, use dry wood and begin spraying a texture on the wood until you build a solid membrane thereby introducing heat slowly. Once there is a good membrane of product over the wood, passes of LINE-X can be applied as usual. Note: Wood should never need to be primed. Steam trying to escape through a good coat of primer will cause large (tennis ball sized) blisters. Consider using XS-310/350.


Fiberglass is a lightweight material that can be hand-formed or molded into many different shapes. It is widely used in marine, automotive and aviation industries. It comes in two different forms: Open Mould and Closed Mould.

Open Mould fiberglass is created in a one-sided mould and is typically formed on top of a gel-coat. A gel-coat provides a smooth surface that will accept primers and paints. An example of this kind of fiberglass would be a found on a trailer or RV front. Clean: Etch: Blow: Clean: Spray: Clean off any dirt or contaminates. Sand the same as a truck bed. Blow dust from substrate. Wipe with lacquer thinner or appropriate cleaner. Coat with LINE-X.

Closed Mould fiberglass is created between two moulds. This type of fiberglass typically contains waxes to help the moulds release. Examples can be found as fender wells on large commercial trucks. Clean: Etch: Blow: Clean: Prime: Spray: Clean off any dirt or contaminates. Sand with an aggressive etch or a light aggregate blast. Blow dust from substrate. Wipe with lacquer thinner or appropriate cleaner. Use XPM or SF515. Coat within the window of primer.

Fiberglass Cautions: Epoxy resins are the best to work with, but they are not very common. Polyester/Vinylester resins contain a styrene solvent. Styrene needs to off-gas completely before coating with LINE-X or it will result in large solvent blisters. Fiberglass that is created in a one-sided mould is typically formed on top of a gelcoat. An example of this would be a trailer front or an RV front. 22

Concrete must be a minimum of 28 days old to apply a coating. Only cast concrete applications are recommended; poured concrete is the most difficult and should be avoided. Cinder block is a concrete application that works well with LINE-X. Structurally sound, cinder block needs only to be clean and primed prior to applying LINE-X. Concrete has a tendency to break away from itself; it has a strong compression strength and a weak tensile strength. Concrete is also very porous, which allows moisture to transfer. Caution: Sealed concrete contains water-based or oil-based sealers than can penetrate deep within the concrete and are difficultif not impossibleto remove. We recommend avoiding these jobs. If coating cannot be avoided, shell shot bead blasting followed by muriatic acid is the best option. Clean: High pressure steam any contaminates from the surface. Since it is porous, contaminates may penetrate into the concrete and be impossible to remove. Remove any spurs or spalling. Aggregate blast (preferred) or use muriatic acid. Remove as much dust as possible. Wipe clean with acetone or MEK. Use SF515. Coat within window of the primer.

Etch: Blow: Clean: Prime: Spray:


Plastics come in many different types, so unknown or uncommon plastics should be tested before the job is performed, or they should be avoided altogether. With most plastics, a suitable bond may be achieved, but an excellent or top grade bond may not be possible. Plastic Cautions: Many plastics can build and hold a static charge. Static discharge into a stream of paint or primer containing a V.O.C can be a fire hazard, therefore use of these primers should be avoided. Primers with VOC solvents can have adverse reactions with some plastics and should be avoided. Many plastics have adverse reactions to acetones (paint thinners) or ketones (MEK). The use of these chemicals to strip or clean plastics should be avoided. Polyethylene, used to make drop-in bedliners, will not retain an acceptable bond with LINE-X. Some plastics (like Syrofoam) are temperature sensitive and excessive heat buildup from the LINE-X material can cause melting or warping. Application technique should be similar to that of wood, though even more time should be allowed between passes to minimize heat.

ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. It is commonly used in the automotive industry (on fender flares and bumpers, for example) and can be primed and painted. This polymer is hard with some flexibility and accepts LINE-X applications relatively well. Use standard truck bed preparation techniques if already painted. Clean: Etch: Blow: Clean: Prime: Spray: Remove any contaminates (polishes). Sand or lightly aggregate blast. Remove as much dust as possible. Properly clean with approved cleaner (MEK may dissolve the plastic on contact; use DuPont Plas-Stik or similar product). Use SF515. Coat within window of the primer.


Polystyrene uses include packaging (peanuts, blocks, cups, coolers and signs) and can be manufactured to have a surface that is anywhere from smooth or porous to very soft or hard. Normally, it is best coated with LINE-X in an encasement rather than a partial coating. Polystyrene does not require etching. Blow: Prime: Spray: Clean out dust and loose edges. SF515 primer can be used, though it is generally not needed when the product is encased. Coat within window of the primer.

Some typical uses are automotive dashboards, floor tiles. This type of polymer can be hard, soft, flexible or slightly stretchy. Use of a primer or adhesion promoters is necessary. Clean: Etch: Blow: Clean: Prime: Spray: Clean any dirt or contaminates. Sand or aggregate blast. Remove as much dust as possible. Properly clean with approved cleaner (MEK may dissolve the plastic on contact; use DuPont Plas-Stik or similar product). Use SF515. Coat within window of the primer.


Composites are increasing in popularity which means it is becoming more likely that someone will request a LINE-X coating for them. Many truck manufacturers are using composites for tailgates, beds, skid plates and body panels. You may have already sprayed LINE-X to a composite surface. LINE-X adheres to composites quite well with the same preparation as a normal truck bed. Clean: Etch: Blow: Clean: Prime: Spray: Clean any dirt or contaminates. Etch with a rough sanding or aggregate blasting. Remove dust from substrate (fine dust). Wipe clean lacquer thinner or appropriate cleaner. Use SF515. Coat with LINE-X.


As tough as LINE-X is, it may require a recoating. The most common reasons for a recoat are repair/upgrade of the item(s) coated or repair/upgrade of the LINE-X coating itself. Unless the LINE-X coating is less than 24 hours old, it will not readily accept chemical bonding with a topcoat or recoat. Applying LINE-X directly over old LINE-X will only achieve a mechanical bond. This bond may greatly vary in strength across the surface, and can delaminate with age and heavy use. The use of a primer between old and new coats is necessary. The cleanliness of a surface to be coated or recoated is also integral to achieving the best possible bond. A high-pressure wash works best for removing most contaminates from a preexisting LINE-X coating. Sanding to remove the texture of the old coating is generally not necessary and is often a waste of time. Using acetone on the surface of the LINE-X coating just before priming reopens the molecular structure for a short time so a chemical bond can be achieved. Primer needs to be applied immediately following the acetone wipe. Once primer has been properly applied between layers, the LINE-X becomes inseparable from itself. The LINE-X ReNew process is an effective, streamlined method for recoating that takes the place of the steps outlined above. It is the only approved method for recoating a truck bedliner.

Reapplication of topcoat over existing topcoat requires the following steps. Clean: Etch: Clean: Spray: Remove any contaminates. Lightly sand with a Scotch-Brite pad. Wipe with acetone to open up existing topcoat. Topcoat should be applied immediately following acetone, before pores close.


Spray Techniques
Shadowing is a technique involving the use of overhanging edges to create a spray line. This is often seen when spraying the scalloped edge of a Chevrolet truck bed. The overhang creates a break in the coating that does not require wire cutting. Shadowing is the only realistic way of creating a spray line in LINE-X with a thickness exceeding 250 mils. This methodology can be applied to many other uses. Door Aperture Refinishing Tape (DART) can be used in the same manner, or to create a beveled edge. DART is a tubular foam tape made by 3M. When using DART tape to create a beveled edge you must spray at an angle of about 70-45, depending on the angle of bevel desired (see figures 1 and 2). Use care not to push the LINEX. To create a sloping or edgeless spray line (see figure 3), apply DART tape 4-6 inches back from bulk of application and finish with 1-2 fast passes at an angle of 45 or less. Use care not to push the LINE-X. Partially Smooth LINE-X surface is required for applying labels, stickers, or reflective tape. To achieve this smooth section in a textured application, simply apply duct tape or stickers to desired areas before final texture process. Then peal up after texture is complete. Thickness needs to be a minimum of 60 mils for impact or abrasion resistance, although some applications could require a thickness in excess of 250 mils. Remember that the standard Elcometers used on truck beds only work with ferrous metals. To determine thicknesses on unique substrates, an experienced sprayer is invaluable; otherwise four overlapping passes at 36 inches of distance should equal approximately 50-60 mils.


Special Equipment
Paint Guns Recommended equipment for performing Light Industrial jobs includes two paint guns. One paint gun is needed for topcoating and the second gun is recommended for priming with SF515. Many of the primers used in conjunction with LINE-X have a much thicker viscosity than topcoats. There are several different types of spray guns available today at a reasonable cost. An HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) or gravity feed gun is recommended. Color System Colored applications are highly desirable in Light Industrial applications, requiring both colored LINE-X and LINE-X XTRA. A color system will enhance efficiency of applying colors. A color system consists of a 5-gallon bucket, lid, transfer pump, Yconnector, valve, and miscellaneous hoses and fittings. This system allows for colors to be directly connected to the resin intake, enabling fast switching of resins. Color systems are available through LINE-X. Fire Rated Storage & Waste Containers Storing flammable liquids requires a fireproof cabinet. These cabinets are designed to significantly lower the risk associated with storing flammable products. Flammable liquids are typically used in conjunction with towels or rags. These towels/rags can become extremely flammable and constitute a significant fire risk. Towels/rags that are used with flammable liquids require a fire resistant container to keep them safe from ignition sources as well as protect surroundings if towels/rags become an ignition source themselves. Blasting Apparatus Depending on the volume of Light Industrial jobs that are performed, minimal special equipment may be needed. It is recommended that, initially, aggregate blasting be outsourced due to cost, facility limitations, and other possible concerns. Finding a reliable source for blasting in your area is necessary for this approach. Once again, depending on the type and volume of work to be performed, a small handheld or blasting cabinet may be a cost effective upgrade to your facility as volume increases. Booth Upgrades When using SF515 primer (no VOCs), no upgrades to a standard LINE-X containment booth are needed. If you are pursuing the use of topcoats or primers that contain VOCs, there are three possible options. First you could spray outdoors; this may bypass some federal/state/local laws governing the use of VOCs indoors. 29

This method is not recommended for regular use due to weather, wind, and overspray concerns. The second choice is to upgrade your existing containment booth to a limited finishing station in accordance with NFPA 33 Section 14.3 (these guidelines are available through the LINE-X XTRA certification program or online). The third option is to convert or build a properly designed, fully enclosed paint booth that meets all the requirements of NFPA 33. It is a good idea to check with local authorities to make sure your facilities meets local requirements. Often, opening a dialogue with the authorities will gain you respect and even leeway.