Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

October, 2001

Clear Coatings Over Polished Aluminum

Q. What process should be used to coat a highly polished aluminum part? This part will be used by an OEM in an international auto show. Any suggestions? This is a very large part over 7 foot long -- too big to chrome plate.

A. Thanks for your email. Cellulose acetate butyrates (CABs) are know to have water-white clarity and excellent durability. These are usually solvent-based coatings with very high VOCs. It is possible that you can purchase low-VOC waterborne equivalent coatings, but you might need to shop around for them. Alternatively, you might consider a two-component polyurethane, but please insure that you read and follow the safety instructions recommended by the vendor. You might be able to purchase these coatings through an industrial paint store (not a hardware store), otherwise try going through the Internet. I tried using the keywords "clearcoat aluminum" and found some useful sites.

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