Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

December, 2003

Activator for Polyurethane Automotive Paint

Q. Is there a universal activator that will replace the 192s? I have 5 gallons of industrial white Imron, however, no activator, and the 192s is not available at the paint supply shop here in CA.

A. Unfortunately, there is no universal replacement for the DuPont 192s. Although the resins that are used in the activator are probably pretty much universal (probably predominantly hexamethylene diisocyanate) the paint formulator chooses the solvents and mixing ratio to match the base component (Component A). While competitive activators might work, you run the risk that you will either under- or over-catalyze the Imron coating if you use them. This can result in having a very unhappy customer who returns the car to you either because the coating didn't cure properly and remains soft, or because it becomes too hard and brittle and starts to chip off the car.

If you are absolutely desperate, then you should first perform some experiments, but I'm not sure that even these will tell you how the coating will perform in the long term.

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