Why You Should Sandblast Sandblasting or abrasive blasting is used for many reasons but most importantly, its used as a method of removing scale from steel. In any coating process the condition of your base is your weakest link. The best systems can fail if the substrate is not properly prepared. Leaving rust on a substrate will only allow it to continue to form under your coating and at some point your coating will bubble up and pop as the oxidation pushes up on it. This spot failure will open the protective coating up to the elements and the rest of the surface will quickly begin to fail as moisture creeps in from the breaks.
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The demand for chemical agent resistant coatings CARC and qualified applicators is at an all-time high. However, finishing professionals that want to participate in this market must adhere to strict specifications and guidelines. Complying with the requirements requires a basic understanding of CARC. CARC is much more than just camouflage paint; it is a complex and specialized "system" with some very unique characteristics.
It entails the overall cleaning, pretreating, priming and top coating of a substrate. The system incorporates only approved products from a select number of approved manufacturers.
Designed to be used in conjunction with each other, these two specifications allow for a full understanding of the system. As stated in section 3. The cleaning and pretreating procedures are standard methods required in any finishing process.
Otherwise adhesion and the CARC system may be adversely affected. The anticorrosive primers are epoxies, and the topcoats are polyurethanes for exterior surfaces and an epoxy for interior surfaces.
In addition, each batch of polyurethane topcoat must be checked by the specification preparing activity SPA for validation of the spectral reflectance camouflage properties and DS2 resistance. The local safety office, preventative medicine activity and local medical support facility must be consulted prior to initiating CARC application.
Several coating options are available, with each supported by their respective specifications. By design, the coatings are compatible with each other. The Army Research Lab ARL has done a great job of addressing the many different coating environments by approving several different coatings, many of which are more environmentally friendly than systems of the past. The pretreatments are designed to improve the adhesion of subsequent coatings and provide temporary resistance to corrosion.
After cleaning, the pretreatments should be applied as soon as possible. There are five approved primer coatings, all of which are two-component epoxies that make up the corrosion resistance package. The three topcoats provide the color and the chemical agent resistance. The polyurethanes for exterior use provide the camouflage to visible and near-infrared detection.
The epoxy is designed for interior use only and is a smooth, wear-resistant coating that can be easily cleaned. The topcoats are designed to minimize the absorption of chemical agents and withstand a chemical wash during a decontamination process Other facets of CARC will be discussed in this column in future issues. Jon Pollina is in technical sales- military products at Hentzen Coatings, Inc. He can be reached at
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