Clearcoat Cost: What goes into a Clearcoat?

Why is there such a wide price range on clearcoats? What are the major technical factors that impact the cost of a clearcoat? How do these factors impact the performance of a clearcoat?

The answers to these questions can be both simple and complex at the same time!

There are two major technical factors that impact the cost of a 2K polyurethane clearcoat:

Solids Content: This is the simple factor to see and grasp. Basically, solids (the resins used in clearcoats) cost more than solvents; as much as 20 times more. So, the higher the solids of the clearcoat at application, the higher the cost will be in the can. There is actually a “double whammy” involved with higher solids.

Invariably, higher solids clearcoats will need higher isocyanate hardener ‘B’ levels. And, without exception, the isocyanate resins which are used in the hardener component ‘B’ are the most costly resin in the clearcoat. This impact on cost can usually be seen by looking at the ‘A’ to ‘B’ mix ratio for the clearcoat. In other words; 4 to 1 should be less costly that 3 to 1, which should be less costly than 2 to 1.

UV Stabilizer Level: This is the complicated and difficult factor to see. All clearcoats need UV stabilizers. The two primary stabilizers provide protection for the basecoat (a UV absorber) and protection for the resins in the clearcoat (a “radical scavenger”). These two stabilizers are usually less than 4% total.

But they are VERY EXPENSIVE; one method of keeping clearcoat cost down is to minimize the amounts of UV stabilizer used. The problem with this approach is twofold; the product performance for exterior UV durability is compromised AND there’s no way for the customer to know!!

So, by manipulating the solids and UV stabilizer levels of a clearcoat, a manufacturer can dictate the raw materials cost for the product, thereby dictating its price and profitability.

Industrial Finishes is committed to provide quality clearcoat products with an excellent balance of cost/ performance. By having a range of three products, TRUE 7400V, TRUE 7500V, and TRUE 7600V, we are able to offer a complete range of value without compromising the performance.

2K Polyurethane Clearcoats:  Solids Content + UV Stabilizer Level = Cost/Performance

TRUE 7400V is value priced at the lower end of the solids ladder (30% at application), with a 5 year exterior durability UV stabilizer package. It is easy to apply and provides excellent flow and leveling. VOC of 2.1 #/gal. at a mix ratio of 4 to 1.

TRUE 7500V “Special-Ops” Clear is priced to be a great value since it high-solids at application (42-46%), and the exterior durability UV stabilizer package will protect the product for 7-8 years. It can be sprayed unreduced for a painter liking a “thicker” product.

Or it can be sprayed slightly reduced for a lower viscosity. Either way the solids at application are excellent. VOC of 3.5 #/gal. at a mix ratio of 2 to 1 to 0-10%

TRUE 7600V “Glamour” Clear is Industrial Finishes’ top-ofthe-line clearcoat for a balance of cost/performance. It is high-solids (41%), and the exterior durability UV stabilizer package will protect the product for 10+ years. It is a “painters clearcoat”, which provides a high-gloss, no dieback, no shrinkage “glamour” finish. VOC of 2.1 #/gal. at a mix ratio of 2 to 1.