All coatings degrade in the sun. That is just how it is but some fair better than others. A coating that degrades from sunlight will not just fade but will start to break down which could cause other failures such as chipping or premature wear. UV weathering of a coating can be simulated by a lab test. This test is completed using ASTM D4587 standards. Basically, steel panels are coated and then placed in a light chamber. This chamber is filled with UV lights. The panels are exposed to constant light until a measurable change has occurred in the coating.
Of course your average gun is not exposed to 24/7 UV lights but this test is a great way to determine how the sun will affect the coating on your gun long term. It is also a way to tell how well it will hold up when used on items that will be outside 24/7 such as vehicles, bicycles, mailboxes, or one of the many other ways that DuraCoat® is used. Or, maybe you’re lucky enough to have a Ma Deuce in the backyard.
So, how did DuraCoat® hold up to the sun? Well, DuraCoat® held up amazing! We had an independent lab test six DuraCoat® colors using both standard Hardener and UV Hardener. The lab stopped the test at 504 hours once there was visual color change. You can view the lab report below (we withheld the lab’s identity to protect their privacy and only included the pages of the report pertinent to this test). The table of results is also posted below. When viewing this table the most important line is the ΔE (Delta E) which measures the change. The higher the number the more the change so ideally you want the lowest number possible.
The table shows how well DuraCoat® withstands the sun and how it performs even better with UV Hardener. Some colors fair much better than others and the UV Hardener helps some colors more than others. It really just depends on the pigments.
Just for fun we had a few panels coated with Cerakote™ Graphite Black added to the testing chamber just to see how DuraCoat® and Cerakote™ compare in this scenario. You can clearly see that while the DuraCoat panel (on the left) did fade, the Cerakote panel showed coating failure and degradation around the edges which goes beyond just fading.
(DuraCoat (left) fades gray while Cerakote (right) fades brown due to the differences in pigments used in each coating. Notice the additional degradation around the edges of the Cerakote panel)
So relax and be comfortable knowing your gun or bow or motorcycle will look its best for many sunny days to come – and don’t forget to ask for UV Hardener for your next outdoor project!
UPDATE: We at DuraCoat® are a very open and honest family-run company and we have been silent long enough in regards to NIC’s repeated and constant attacks on our products. Their response to our UV testing is just the next step in their constant bullying. They claim that “it is important for the customer to have the facts” but yet they continue to claim that Cerakote™ is ceramic-based when independent lab analysis shows otherwise. They also continue to claim that their product lasts over 3500 hours in a salt spray chamber. We have had three independent labs test Cerakote™ that was applied by Cerakote™ Certified Applicators and all failed in less than 500 hours. They even used our DuraCoat® and Lauer™ trademarks in Google ads to draw potential customers to their website. A lawsuit and settlement soon followed. It is really the credibility of NIC Industries and Cerakote™ that should be in question.