Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

July, 2001

CARC Coatings

Q. I have a potential customer asking for CARC coating. I do not know what that is. Can you summarize it for me or direct me to a source for that info? Thanks a million, and thanks for your response to my last question.

Blake Estes, Mfg Engineer.

A. CARC stands for Chemical Agent Resistant Coatings. They are high performance coatings that were developed to withstand decontamination during a chemical warfare attack. If military equipment is exposed to chemical warfare agents, the troops operating the equipment must not touch any of the surfaces that have been contaminated with their bare skin, else they can die within seconds. The chemicals that are used to remove the chemical warfare agents are in themselves very corrosive to paints and coatings. Therefore, CARC coatings were developed to be resistant to these corrosive decontaminating chemicals.

Special epoxy primers and polyurethane topcoats have been developed for the Dept. of Defense. A commonly used CARC topcoat is MIL-C-46168 polyurethane. There are several others, including some electrocoats, therefore your customer should be responsible for giving you the names of the specs that you need to complete his job.

Follow up question: To begin with thanks for your quick response to my last question regarding the definition of CARC coatings. My customer is now wanting to know if we can apply that paint for them on parts that we fabricate for them. Metalcraft currently paints a range of different parts with primarily Polane and Tile Clad Paints. Can you direct me to a source that would decribe the prep and painting process so that I may asses our ability to apply this material? Thanks, Blake Estes

A. In essence, the CARC paints are similar to Polane and Tile Clad; however, the pigments used in CARC are slightly more abrasive and will give you a lusterless (low glosss) finish. Surface prep and application are much the same as what you are currently doing, and the coatings can be applied with an HVLP spray gun. Why don't you purchase one gallon of each of the client's specified products and try them? Then you'll see if you need to make any adjustments to your current processes. In my opinion you will probably have no problems.

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