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by Ron Joseph

September, 2004

Imron vs. Acrylic

Q. Is it realatively easy to distinguish Dupont Imron paint from acrylic based paint? Would Imron chemically change over time through weathering, etc to the point of affecting ones ability to ID it as Imron vs. acrylic? Would heat generated from painted metals rubbing together from say a vehicle accident have the ability to change the chemical make up of acrylic to make it chemically test like Imron?

Imron is DuPont's automotive polyurethane coating. Imron might very well be based on an acrylic resin as opposed to a polyester resin, both of which are used in industrial "polyurethane" coatings.

You should easily be able to distinguish an Imron acrylic-polyurethane coating from an pure acrylic (non poyurethane) coating, by conducting specific laboratory tests.

I do not believe that the cured acrylic or Imron coatings will chemically change as a result of their contact with hot metal, weather, etc. Even if some chemical change did occur, I would excpect that one can nevertheless differentiate between the Imron and the acrylic.

Before you use this information in settling or fighting a claim, I really would need to know much more so as to give you the most correct information.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

Thanks so much for the reply.

Just so it is clearer to me, does that mean there is a DuPont Imron acrylic based paint and an Imron polyester resin based paint? I was led to believe that there is Imron and there is acrylic paint and the two types are absolutely chemically distinguishable on that basis with Imron not being an acrylic type paint whatsoever.

So, there are two types of DuPont Imron paints and a chemical analysis of acrylic resin based DuPont Imron paint [in this case off the landing gear of a 1991 Utility refrigerated semi trailer with post production purple paint] would find it to be a match to what everyone in my case is calling acrylic paint [the type that was found to be on the struck auto]. I keep hearing IMron has a very specific chemical make up and it could not be considered an acrylic based paint. Your statements are very intriguing and I need some clarification.

Imron is DuPont's trade name for its automotive polyurethane finish. I think that Imron is an acrylic-based polyurethane, but I know that DuPont also makes polyester-based polyurethanes. It is possible that the latter carry a different trade name. Finally, most large paint manufacturers make acrylic automotive coatings that are really acrylic-modifications of alkyd resins, and have nothing to do with polyurethanes. Many body shops use the less expensive "acrylics" rather than the more expensive "acrylic-polyurethanes". If you were painting an old car for a college student, you would probably spend the least amount of money since the car might be bashed around anyway, and the kid would be able to purchase a more expensive, newer car after he/she leaves college. In that case you would go for the air-dry "acrylic" paint. If you wanted to repaint your Lexus, you would select the more expensive acrylic-polyurethane since it has superior properties to the "acrylic".

If the vehicle was only painted once, by the auto manufacturer, such as Ford, GM, the coating would not be a polyurethane, but an acrylic dispersion which cures by baking at an elevated temperature. The acrylic dispersion is distinguishable from the air-dry acrylic and from the Imron.

I don't know what coatings were used on the two vehicles in question, but I am fairly convinced that the two coatings can be distinguished from one another by laboratory tests.

If you would like me to assist you further on a fee-based consulting basis, please let me know.

In the meantime, I hope this clarifies your question.


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