Monday, April 30, 2007

What do they paint HUMMVEEs with?

hummveeEver noticed how you never see pictures of scratched up military vehicles?  Further, you never see pictures of military personnel out with Turtle Wax to protect the shiny finish of their vehicles.  I started wondering what the military paints their vehicles with and was actually able to find out. 

Hentzen Coatings is the supplier of paint for military HUMMVEEs.  The particular coating product used on military vehicles is called Zenthane, a urethane-based flat coating and is CARC (Chemical Agent Resistant Coating).  According to literature on the Hentzen site, Zenthane is normally the top coat layer of paint, applied over a couple of epoxy-based primer layers.  Not surprisingly, Zenthane can be applied via traditional spraying methods, but can also be directly applied via brush for touch-up; my guess, though it doesn't state it anywhere on the site, is that you could probably touch up a pretty significant-sized area with a spray paint can of Zenthane.

Digging a little more, I found a reference on this site that claims Imron paint and AwlGrip paint are nearly the same as Zenthane, especially for those of us that don't need the CARC.  If you use Imron, you have to do this apparently:

If you hace trouble locating Zenthane, then
just have a body shop supplier mix up some Black Imron or Awlgrip and
add the flattening agent.

Have you gotten to the point where you ask: "So what, Ross?"  Here's the point: this hard-use paint is available, but not used on civilian vehicles because it would probably disrupt the entire body shop industry. 

Ever wanted to go touch up a nick in your paint with a brush?  Pretty hard to do now, but pretty easy to do with these products.  Do you need a shiny finish?  I sure don't care about it -- flat's perfectly fine with me.

Link -- Hentzen Coatings

Link -- Zenthane product page

Link -- AwlGrip 

Hat tip to jonwedd for the picture 

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