How to choose paints and varnishes: designation and marking of paints, enamels and varnishes

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When choosing paints and varnishes for construction and repair, especially remotely, you can be confused by the abundance of abbreviations and incomprehensible codes and numbers. Today we will shed light on the principles of the system for marking paints and varnishes by type, we will tell you how to make an unambiguous choice and not be mistaken..

How to choose paints and varnishes

What regulates the marking of paintwork materials

For paints produced and sold on the territory of Russia, there is a unified standard for symbols described in GOST 9825-73. The document very concisely and meaningfully presents all the information necessary to accurately determine the type of paint, its properties and field of application..

How to choose paints and varnishes

According to this standard, products are identified by an alphanumeric code consisting of five parts, which are called designation groups. Sometimes additional indices are added between the letters, specifying the type of paintwork or its special properties. Also, some groups may not be encrypted at all, but indicated by the words.

The type of material is indicated first in the marking of paintwork materials: paint, enamel, primer, etc. One of the additional designations may appear immediately after the first group, if the material does not include a volatile solvent.

How to choose paints and varnishes

The second group of designations consists of two letters and indicates the chemical compound used as a binding base. The properties and scope of the material directly depend on this, further groups of designations only explain the practical purpose of paintwork materials. The second group is separated from the rest of the cipher by a dash on both sides..

The third group describes the purpose of paintwork and is encoded with a digit. The fourth group of designations is the individual number of a specific material. Additional indices may be added to it, indicating the special properties of the varnish or paint. For oil paints in the fourth group, the type of basic drying oil is indicated.

How to choose paints and varnishes

Color characteristics of paintwork materials are indicated in the fifth group of designations. Often the color of the material is not encrypted and is indicated directly, for example “Light green”. Since varnishes, as a rule, do not have a pigment base, the fifth group is omitted in their designations..

How to choose paints and varnishes

Many people are interested in the designation system for imported paints. The fact is that the European standard EN 927 regulates the conditions for the production and testing of materials, as well as hygiene standards, but does not define a unified labeling system. Instead, the composition of paintwork materials, its properties and scope are indicated in detail on the label and must be in Russian, otherwise the product is not considered certified for use. For materials produced abroad, but packaged by Russian suppliers, the standard designation scheme applies.

Briefly about the types of paints

Now that you know about the principles of the formation of LMB symbols, it would be nice to go over each of the groups and clarify some of the features. The word representing the first group of designations by the type of paintwork materials is usually indicated complete and does not need additional explanation.

How to choose paints and varnishes

However, in the last, third edition of the standard we are considering, the first group of designations is valid only for special compositions: powder paints, primers and semi-finished varnishes. For ordinary enamels and paints, the first group may be omitted as unnecessary, because in the rest of the code there is already comprehensive information.

Ciphers by type of basis

There are more than forty conventional symbols for the designation of chemical compounds that are the basis of paints and varnishes. You can familiarize yourself with the full list through the aforementioned GOST, now let’s go through the main groups of foundations most often used in construction and repair and having similar properties.

How to choose paints and varnishes

Polyacrylate (AK) and alkyd-acrylic (AC) paints, due to the high resistance of polymers, are ubiquitous in interior decoration. A significant part of these paintwork materials have a water-dispersion basis, which corresponds to the VD index after the first group of designations.

Enamels and varnishes pentaphthalic (PF) and glyphthalic (GF) – perhaps the most extensive class of paintwork materials based on alkyd polymers. These compounds dry quickly, form a smooth and durable film, can be applied to almost any surface from wood to concrete..

How to choose paints and varnishes

Polyurethane (UR) and vinyl (XC, XB) bases are used mainly in the production of varnishes. In addition to high wear resistance, such paintwork materials are very environmentally friendly and, with a thin layer of application, are not inferior in quality to polyester (PL and PE) compositions, most of which are two-component.

How to choose paints and varnishes

Nitrocellulose (NC) varnishes and paints are characterized by a short drying time, but at the same time they release volatile substances during drying.

How to choose paints and varnishes

It is worth noting that GOST allows the absence of marking on the composition of the base if the substance is rare and is not subject to general classification. It is also worth knowing that combinations of chemical compounds are often the basis for paints, in this case the marking is either not indicated at all, or in the second group only the predominant substance is indicated. The same principle applies to other groups of designations..

Designation of operating conditions

In order not to open a chemical directory every time a paint is selected, and not to study the properties of certain compounds, there is a third group in the cipher, where the operating conditions of certain paintwork materials are indicated by a number from 1 to 9. In fact, you only need to know the base material if you want to determine the compatibility of paints when mixing or multi-layer application..

How to choose paints and varnishes

Most household paints and varnishes are designated in the third group 1 or 2, which means, respectively, full and partial resistance to weathering. The class of paints under the index 4, resistant to being under a layer of water for a long time, is also widely used..

How to choose paints and varnishes

Slightly less common are paints and varnishes with resistance to chemical attack (7) and petroleum products (6). In everyday life, such paints are rarely used, but paintwork materials under the index 8, which are resistant to high temperatures, are often used when painting heating radiators, chimneys and heat exchangers.

Additional designation system

We have already considered one type of additional designation that appears between the first and second groups. Other special ciphers may appear after the fourth group..

For example, the letter index VE denotes water-based paints that require a special order of mixing during dilution and are characterized by high wash-off. The HS and HS indices determine the conditions under which the paint dries effectively – high and low temperatures, respectively.

How to choose paints and varnishes

The most interesting to the consumer are the M and PM indices. These are special classes of paints, in which the glossiness is either absent altogether, or significantly reduced..

Pigments and color codes used

How to choose paints and varnishes

In the fifth group of designations, as in the first, whole words are usually used that clearly define the color of the LMB. If there are several shades of the same color in the manufacturer’s color palette, the number corresponding to the order of the shade in the palette is indicated with a hyphen after the full word. Usually, as the number increases, the lightening or drift away from the base color increases.

How to choose paints and varnishes

It is also allowed to indicate, instead of a full word, a color code of three or more characters corresponding to the color number in the palette. This is typical for leading and large manufacturers of paints and varnishes, especially for imported ones. A typical example of this is the use of the RAL scale by German and other European companies to indicate the color of their paints. In the latter case, four-digit numeric indices are used..

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