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Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

July, 2002

CARC Powder Coating MIL-C-46168

Q. Your expertise would be greatly appreciated. I have a military job that I am trying to quote and have had problems finding a source for powder substrate pre-treatments per MIL-C-46168. I would like to be able to provide this customer with the correct information as to our adherence to this specification. They call for 2 coats olive drab per this specification, color # 34094 / 383 Green Fed STD 595 which I assume is the top coat.

A. MIL-C-46168 is a liquid 2-component polyurethane coating, and it is a topcoat. This polyurethane is usually applied over an epoxy primer, such as MIL-P-53030 or MIL-P-53022. The surface preparation is either a phosphate (applied to steel) or MIL-C-5541 Cl 1A conversion coating applied to aluminum.

If you want to bid on an equivalent powder coating instead of a liquid coating, you might need to get approval to do so. Unfortunately, I do not know of a powder coating that meets the spec, but that does not mean that a powder coating doesn't exist. I'll try to get more information and get back to you.

UPDATE: According to my colleague, Tom Burke, there is no powder coating specification that is equivalent to MIL-C-46168, but military contractors are offering powder coatings on a case-by-case basis for interior exposure applications. Further, powder coatings that might meet the chemical performance requirements of MIL-C-46168 are available in semi-gloss formulations, but they are not available in lusterless (low gloss) levels. Where camouflage is required under outdoor exposure conditions, lusterless coatings are required.

Since we are not sure about this information we urge you to confirm this with the Army Research Labs at Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

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