Cerakote: Corrosion Test for Real?

Cerakote: Corrosion Test for Real?

Jul 21st 2023

We would like to start off by reminding everyone that we at Lauer Custom Weaponry take pride in advertising our DuraCoat® products for what they are. We try to be truthful in our marketing efforts. We never speak poorly of another company’s products in an attempt to make ours look better.

Unfortunately, not all companies want to play on the same field as us. We decided that it is time to defend our good name and good products. To do this, we have begun to release a series of informative posts regarding another firearm coating in the market.

In case you missed it, you can read our first post here:  Cerakote: Isn’t it supposed to be ceramic?

Jump to the bottom if you only want the results and don’t need the whole story.

Cerakote™ Gun Coatings, sold by NIC Industries,  in recent years is promoted as the “World’s Toughest Firearm Finish.” NIC is well known for its use of ASTM testing to attempt to prove its claim in its literature and on their website.

Salt Spray Test

In this post, the test we are going to focus on is ASTM B117 also known as the Salt Spray Test. In simple terms, the Salt Spray Test uses a salt spray chamber to see how many hours a salt solution can be sprayed on a coated metal before the metal rusts or corrodes.

Cerakote uses the Salt Spray Test in its literature and on its website showing a salt chamber filled with parts coated with different firearm coatings including Cerakote™ and DuraCoat®.

The NIC Training Manual and their website states that Cerakote H-146 will last over 3,500 hours. An image from NIC’s website is shown below:

Cerakote Corrosion Test

While we do not claim to know everything about coatings, we have been in the coatings industry for over 30 years. We have several employees also with more than 30 years of experience including one employee with extensive history with a nationally known major coatings manufacturer. This long experience led us immediately to question the results of a Salt Spray Test showing a thin-film coating could last over 3,000 hours before rusting.

Thin-film coatings are a type of coating known for durability with minimal thickness. DuraCoat® and Cerakote™ both fall into the thin-film category. In the coatings world, a thin-film coating is considered good quality when it withstands 300 hours in a salt spray chamber.  

So, knowing this, we decided to have Cerakote H-146 tested by an independent lab to verify NIC’s claim of 3,500 hours without rust or corrosion.

The Results of Independent Lab Testing

NIC’s claims could not be duplicated by the independent lab! The lab went so far as to obtain the test panels from a Cerakote Certified Applicator. The use of the Cerakote Certified Applicator ensured that the test was completely out of our hands.

And the results are in… Cerakote exhibited signs of corrosion at 147 hours. Red rust was first noted at 169 hours. We requested the test be stopped at 435 hours when the panels showed significant rust. Nowhere near Cerakote's 3,500 hour claim.

Click Here to See the Lab Report

Stay tuned to The DuraBlog to see how DuraCoat performed in the Salt Spray Test.