4/24/2012: the hardest clear coat still water based but harder than nylon is the Laq-Extreme(tm)
For the most rugged finish available on top of a Shooter Solution's Industrial Heavy Duty conversion coating, there is none better at the moment than single step Automotive Clear Coat
, or single step poly-urethane, or two-part cross-linking Poly Urethane.
The advantage of Automotive Clear coat is while it is not as physically tough as Polyurethane is, it is easily repaired and more coats added. In other words as a clear coat paint on paint it is the best science there is, according to the Automotive industry.
A rattle can equivelant (spray can) that is a real good acrylic is Krylon(r) Satin Clear Coat, which looks just fine on top of the Gun Blue before wax or oil to act like solid wax on steroids especially for outdoor use.
Caution: solvents are nasty of these spray cans and should be used outdoors: and no breathing of fumes - and do not bring indoors until solvent is completely evaporated. This is especially true of traditional lacquer dissolvable only in Lacquer thinner. (Lacquer thinner must never be breathed or absorbed into the skin: the liver turns it into Formaldehyde - extremely toxic.) Toluene, and other explosive solvents aren't too good to breathe either.
We use Krylon, because the solvents seem to be less agressive than the 3M brand: If the acrylic is not as good, we would rather have the safety of not as toxic a solvents - but others will differ from the safety point of view.
Coming this Spring will be a whole new ball game in clear coats, based on the most rugged structure discovered by DuPont Corporation: Nylon. Nylon Clear Liquid with and without Ceramic will be available in special metal containers: like the competition with the nasty solvents, but while it is obviously strong, you will have nylon clear coat on the cheap. Clear is in bold, for Clear Nylon is unusual: It is always never clear - but opaque! New Technology. Imagine!
Only the liquid itself will be available (self leveling brushable to 10 square feet of liquid per ounce on smooth surface) with a special solvent if needed for cleaing HVLP stainless steel nozzles. It cannot be stored in direct contact with plastic because it will completely and totally dissolve it.
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