You are on page 1of 6

Glossary of Terms

Acrylic:

Adhesion:

Air Cure:

Airless
Spray:
Alligatoring:

A synthetic resin used in high-performance water-based coatings. A coating in which the


binder contains acrylic resins.
The force that makes two materials stick together. When paint bonds with paint, it is
called intercoat adhesion.
One method by which liquid coatings cure to a dry film. Oxygen from the air enters the
film and cross-links the resin molecules. Also called "Air Dry" and "Oxidising."
Method of forcing coating through a spray tip by hydraulic pressure rather than air.

Paint failure that resembles an alligators hide. Usually caused by applying a hard-drying
paint over a soft paint or by applying the film too quickly.

Alkyd:

Synthetic resin modified with oil. Coating that contains alkyd resins in the binder.

Batch:

A unit of production. May be measured by the size of a special order or limited to the
capacity of the equipment.

Binder:

Blistering:

Body:

Bridging:

Brittleness:

Solid ingredients in a coating that hold the pigment particles in suspension and attach
them to the substrate. Consists of resins (e.g., oils, alkyd, latex). The nature and amount
of binder determine many of the paint's performance properties: toughness, adhesion,
colour retention, etc.
Pressure under the paint film from vapour or moisture will cause blistering. The vapour
may come from trapping solvents or from chemical reaction.
Indication of the thickness of a liquid paint. A more acceptable term is viscosity or
consistency.
This refers to the ability of paint to span small gaps or to cover cracks through its elastic
qualities. This is a desirable quality for some coatings and is so formulated.
Easily cracked or flaked when bent.

Bubbling:

Air bubbles in a drying film caused by excessive brushing or vigorous stirring just before
applying. When they break, they may form pinholes in the film.

Chalking:

Formation of a powder on the surface of a paint film caused by disintegration of the


binder during weathering. Can be affected by the choice of pigment or binder.

Checking:

Tiny breaks in the surface of the paint film. Usually "V" shaped and underlying surface is
not visible.

Chipping:

Separation of paint from previous coats in chips or flakes.


1

Coating:

Cohesion:
Colorant:

Colour
Retention:
Compatibility:

Paint, varnish, lacquer or other finish used to create a protective and/or decorative layer.
The act of applying.
A bonding together of a single substance to itself. Internal adhesion.
Concentrated colour (dyes or pigments) that can be added to paints to make specific
colours.
The ability of paint to keep its original colour. Major threats to colour retention are
exposure to ultraviolet radiation and abrasion by weather or repeated cleaning.
The ability of materials to get along together without separation or reaction.

Corrosion:

To eat away by chemical action. An oxidation process such as rust on steel.

Corrosion
Inhibitive:

A type of metal paint or primer that prevents rust by preventing moisture from reaching
the metal.

Cracking:

Larger than hairline breaks in the surface of the film. Usually curled edges and
underlying surface is exposed.

Crawling:

The tendency of some liquids to draw themselves into beads or drops caused by high
surface tension of applying paint on a high gloss surface can also be caused by
substrate contamination.

Cure, Curing:

The process whereby a liquid coating becomes a hard film.

Curing Agent:

Catalyst to produce drying or hardening effect - or both. Also: Hardener.

Curtains:

Sagging of paint. A curtain effect. Usually caused by applying too heavy a coat of paint.

Degreaser:

Combination of solvents for the purpose of removing grease and oil from the surface in
preparation for painting.

Dry Film
Thickness:

Depth of cured coating film, usually expressed in microns (micrometers).

Durability:

The lasting qualities of a paint film. The wearability of paint under conditions for which it
was designed.

Eggshell:

Gloss lying between semi-gloss and flat.

Elasticity:

The ability to change size and return to normal without breaking.

Enamel:

Actually "pigmented clear finish". A free-flowing finish that dries hard to the degree of
sheen formulated gloss to flat.
2

Epoxy:

Evaporation:

Extremely tough and durable synthetic resin used in some coatings. Epoxy coatings are
extremely tough, durable and highly resistant to chemicals, abrasion, moisture and
alcohol.
To convert into a gaseous state or vapour. The action of drying by removing moisture.
Lacquers, vinyl and most latex finishes dry by the evaporation of solvents.

Feathering:

Blending out. The disappearing edge of a paint film.

Film
Thickness:

The thickness of a coating measured in microns/mils.

Fire
Resistance:
Fire
Retardant:
Flaking:

The ability of a coating to withstand fire or to protect the substrate to which it is applied
from fire damage.
A coating which will (1) reduce flame spread, (2) resist ignition when exposed to high
temperature or (3) insulate the substrate and delay damage to the substrate.
The paint film separates from the substrate and flakes off. A paint failure.

Flash Point:

The temperature at which the vapour of a thinner or solvent will ignite in the presence of
sparks or open flame.

Flash
Rusting:

Rusting that occurs on metal within minutes to a few hours after surface cleaning is
done. The speed with which flash rusting occurs may be indicative of salt contamination
on the surface, high humidity or both.

Flashing:
Flat:
Flexibility:
Gloss:

Uneven degree of gloss over surface due to poor prime coat, poor application or the
early exposure of a film to condensation (moisture).
Without sheen or gloss.
The ability of a film to easily bend without cracking or losing adhesion.
The shininess of paints and coatings. Trade practice recognises the following gloss
levels, in increasing order of gloss: flat; eggshell; semi-gloss; full-gloss.

Gloss
Retention:

The length of time a finish retains its gloss without flatting or dulling.

Hardener:

Curing agent for two-component paints.

Hardness:

The capacity of a surface or film to resist scratching.

Hiding
Power:
Incompatible:

Intercoat
Adhesion:

The ability of a paint product to hide previous coats or surface beneath. Also: opacity.
Paints that should not be mixed together or should not be applied over another are said
to be incompatible. For instance, water paints and oil paints should not be mixed.
Epoxies might "lift" certain finishes.
Refers to adhesion between two coats of paint.

Marine Paint:
Masking
Material
Safety Data
Sheet
(MSDS):

Mileage:

Coating specially designed for immersion in water and exposure to marine atmosphere
To protect areas by masking tape, etc., from paint application where it is not wanted.
Information sheet that lists any hazardous substance that comprises one percent or
more of the product's total volume. Also lists procedures to follow in the event of fire,
explosion, leak or exposure to hazardous substance by inhalation, ingestion or contact
with skin or eyes.
Mil: (US) Unit of measuring film thickness. 1 mil is one thousandth of an inch (0.001
inch).
A general term, which indicates the coverage, obtained from a coat of paint.
Synonymous with coverage.

Mixing Ratio

The volume ratio of base and hardener of a two-component paint, specified by the
manufacturer for complete curing into the desired film.

Non-volatile:

The portion of a coating left after the solvent evaporates; sometimes called the solids
content.

Overspray:
Oxidation:

Paint:
Paint
Remover:
Peeling:
Pigment:
Pinholing:
Potlife

Practical
Spreading
Rate:
Primer:

Rain Spots:
Reduce:

Paint sprayed in areas surrounding target objects.


Chemical reaction upon exposure to oxygen. Some coatings cure by oxidation, when
oxygen enters the liquid coating and cross-links the resin molecules. This film-forming
method is also called "Air Cure" and "Air Dry." (Oxidation also causes rust on bare
metals.)
A coating including resin, a solvent, additives, pigments and, in some products, a diluent
A chemical that softens old paint or varnish and permits it to be easily scraped off. Also
called "stripper."
Loss of adhesion. Stripping paint film from the surface.
Insoluble, finely ground materials that give paint its properties of colour and hide.
Titanium dioxide is the most important pigment used to provide hiding in paint.
Tiny round breaks in a paint film giving the appearance of a pinhole.
: Time during which a coating material can be successfully applied to a substrate after
the initial opening of the can, or after the hardener is added to initiate the curing
reaction. Pot life often varies with temperature and humidity.
Spreading rate of a coating, calculated at the recommended dry film thickness and
assuming a normal application loss.
First complete coat of paint of a painting system applied to a surface. Such paints are
designed to provide adequate adhesion between topcoat and substrate or are
formulated to meet the special requirements of the surfaces.
A condition caused by raining on a newly applied finish before it has set.
To thin in viscosity by adding a thinner or solvent.
4

Running:

Usually caused by improper consistency of paint or applying too heavily.

Sagging:

The sagging of the paint. A curtain effect. Usually caused by applying too heavy a coat
of paint or thinning too much.

Semi-gloss
Finish:

Finish that has a low luster sheen. Semi-gloss paints are formulated to give this result.

Sheen:
Shelf Life:
Solids:

Luster, gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell, etc.


The length of time a paint product may remain on the shelf or stored and still be usable.
Affected by storage conditions.
The pigment and non-volatile vehicle components of paint that remain on the coated
surface. Can be measured by weight and volume.

Soluble:

The ability of one product to dissolve into another.

Solvent:

That component of a solution, which dissolves other components. In paint, the liquid is
usually volatile. There are two major categories of paints. One called solvent-based,
which refers to oil or resin. The other, water-based, in which water is the solvent.

Specification:

Written instructions on details of paint applications, types of products to be used, areas


to be painted and painting procedure.

Specular
Gloss:
Spray Loss
Factor:
Substrate:
Surface
Preparation:
Tacky:

Mirror-like finish.
The percentage of a paint that is lost during an application. This will generally be higher
at spray applications than at brush/roller applications.
Any surface to which a coating is applied.
The conditioning of a surface to receive a coating. For instance, surface must be free
from dirt, grease, dust and properly sanded, etc.
The sticky condition that exists in the drying process. Between wet and dry stages.

Theoretical
Coverage:

See Theoretical Spreading Rate

Theoretical
Spreading
Rate:

Spreading rate of a coating to a completely flat surface, assuming no losses in handling.

Thinner:
Toughness:
Undercoat:
Urethane:

A volatile liquid with which the viscosity of a paint product can be modified. The thinner
evaporates when the coating is drying.
The quality of a hard film to resist scratches, abrasion and breaking.
A primer over which a topcoat will be applied.
An important resin in the coatings industry. A true urethane coating is a two-component
product that cures when an isocyanate (the catalyst) prompts a chemical reaction that
unites the components.
5

UV :
Viscosity
VOC:
Volatile:
Volatile
Organic
Compound:
Volatility:
Volume
Solids:

Water-based:
Wet Film
Thickness:

The invisible rays of the spectrum responsible for much film failure in exterior exposure.
The thickness or thinness of a liquid. A measure of resistance to flow.
See Volatile Organic Compound
Any material that passes off in the form of a vapour.
Organic chemicals and petrochemicals that emit vapours while evaporating. In paints,
VOC generally refers to the solvent portion of the paint which, when it evaporates,
results in the formation of paint film on the substrate to which it was applied.
The defining quality of a liquid that evaporates quickly when exposed to air.
Solid ingredients as a percentage of total ingredients. This number can be used to
calculate the amount of wet film thickness that needs to be applied to produce the
desired dry film thickness of a coating. For instance, a coating with 50% volume solids
(V/S) will require twice as much wet film thickness as is desired in the dry film thickness,
because half the volume of the material will volatilise.
Coatings in which the majority of the liquid content is water.
The thickness of a wet coating film immediately after application and before evaporation
of any volatile material from the film.