Testing a New Water-borne UrethaneThis is the second installment of a series on new products that I have recently tested. Along with that testing came the opportunity for me to fulfill my promise to those of you who read my articles. For months I have asked that you stay tuned because I would report back when I had the opportunity to spray the new zero formaldehyde products from M.L. Campbell.

We also took this opportunity to test their new two-component water-borne urethane, Aguatana. We made seven doors each of EnviroMax, EnviroVar (see last week’s article), Aguatana, and a side-by-side comparison panel between MLC’s two pigmented conversion varnishes, Resistant and Stealth. All of this was done to validate for our branch that these products were something that we would inventory.

I’ve not had the pleasure as yet of spraying the Chemcraft or the Sherwin Williams zero formaldehyde products. Hopefully, someday soon I’ll get that chance. So please, other than that it’s my job to work with M.L. Campbell on a daily basis, I also get opportunities to work with other products. But on this occasion, it was a matter of need to bring these products to market and that means that my thumbs up was necessary before we place a stocking order. Why shouldn’t you benefit from that opportunity?

I am taking each in turn and giving you a glimpse of what happens with these coatings when you pick up the gun and spray these out. Then I’ll talk a bit about why you would want to use these particular coatings.

Testing a New Water-borne UrethaneAguatana is a very interesting new coating. This type of coating is already available in the marketplace. It is a two-component (2K), water borne conversion urethane. But Agua-T (my abbreviation) has some really neat features. I’m told that this type of coating has issues with the blending-in of the catalyst. I understand that it is not uncommon for them to have to be mechanically agitated to keep them from clumping as the catalyst blends with the resin. The Agua-T catalyst can be stirred in with a paint stick...no Mixmaster required! But, you must stir constantly as your drizzle in the catalyst. No dump and go here!

Then, you must continue to stir for 3 – 5 minutes thereafter. Take note as you stir and you will see that the viscosity changes up and down during this period.As these chemicals do their dance in the can, a “sweating in period” of 30 minutes follows mixing. Also, there is an obvious off-gassing of CO2 during the sweat in period. The end result is a product that is easily atomized when you put it in your sprayer. The pot life is 3 – 4 hours.

Beware! This is one of the very few M.L. Campbell products that will ruin your gun if you’re not careful. We left someleft over catalyzed product in a covered cup on the bench overnight. The next morning, it was hard as a brick. If you want a new hood ornament for your truck, poor cleanup habits will reward you with a gun for that purpose! Check out my photo of the brick. Then, remember to carefully clean your gun following use.

Again, why use this product? Well, it has some exceptional attributes.

• It is Greenguard certified.

• Formaldehyde is not created or released with this technology.

• Isocyanate release is an issue with urethane technology.

• Isocyanates are as big an issue as formaldehyde.

• Agua-T released so little that it satisfied Greenguard’s stringent guidelines.

• It is non-yellowing

• It has great clarity when dry.

• It has very little odor.

• It is high solids for quick film build. 30.44% volume solids +/- 2.0

• It has excellent adhesion.

• Its abrasion resistance is at least the equal of any solvent-based conversion varnish.

• It has quick dry to sand and dry to stack properties.

• Its spray viscosity out of the mixing pot is excellent so it can be applied easily with any type of spray equipment. 37 – 42 sec. @ 77° with #4 Ford cup.

My question back would be this. Why NOT use it? This is a really neat water-borne coating and a great leap forward in water-borne coating technology.

M.L. Campbell’s second generation water-borne products, to this point in time, have been their Agualente Pre-Cat and their AguaBarnice Post-Cat. The Agualente has, in my mind, always outshined AguaBarnice. It’s just so easy to open the can, stir and apply. The Agua-B (my abbreviation) takes a bit more work to use, is not easy to catalyze in small batches, nor does it have significant performance advantages over Agualente.

However, in spite of the mixing ritual of Aguatana, here now is a coating that is exceptional in performance and ease of catalyzing in batches large and small. Take the 30 minute sweat-in period as the price you will have to pay.I think this one will outsell AguaBarnice and should replace it in short order. This one is definitely a keeper!

The question will be if M.L. Campbell will offer it in a pigmented version as well as more sheens. Then, we’ll REALLY have something.

Next week we will compare M.L. Campbell’s newer pigmented conversion varnish, Stealth, with their tried and true Flagship Resistant. Stay tuned!

Until next time…spray on!

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