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How to Determine the Correct Clear Coat Activator

How to Determine the Correct Clear Coat Activator

How to Determine the Correct Clear Coat Activator

Professional-grade clear coats often have more than one activator. So, how would you go about deciding which of them to use? Different activators contribute different characteristics. According to Liquid Concepts, activators typically vary in their speed they cure out the clear in certain temperatures.

Your Work Environment Should Be the Biggest Consideration

Temperature affects how quickly clear coat dries. Hotter environments tend to make them dry a lot faster. If you happen to work somewhere without AC, then you’d want to use a slower activator. These won’t dry too fast in such a work location. On the other hand, let’s say you’ve been working somewhere colder. You’d want to use a faster activator in that case. In cold places, slow activators take too long to set before you can start working with them.

Slow Activators Work Best Between 80 to 95 Degrees

Without AC, most garage workshops would be around this temperature during the summer. Slower activators give you enough time to clear your products if you work somewhere like that. When comparing different activators, check out its flash time. Flash times tell how long to wait between new coats, assuming optimal temperatures and activators are used.

Medium Activators Work Best Between 65 to 75 Degrees

Room temperature workshops ought to be around this range. Using medium activators above its typical temperature range would throw off the flash time. In other words, if you applied a medium activator to something 90 degrees, it would set much more rapidly. Your flash time could easily drop from 10 minutes to 8 minutes or less in this situation.

Fast Activators Work Best at 55 - 65 degrees

Fast activators are useful for two circumstances. They work great in cold workshops. Or, you could use them if that is the only activator that you have but make sure to just pay attention to the flash time.

Match Reducers and Activators

Of course, not all clear coats are as thin as you would like straight out of the can. Adding a reducer to the mix can help thin them out. However, you’ve got to make sure that your activator matches the reducer. Slow reducers should be used with slow activators, and so on. Everything evaporates appropriately that way.

Matching Your Activator to Your Work Conditions Provides the Best Results

Matching activators to your work environment is crucial. Working with something that is not suitable can be a huge headache. Slow activators could take several days to cure if you were to apply them in the dead of winter. Fast activators could set up entirely before the day is over sometimes. Only matching them to your environment creates optimal results.