Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cerakote: Corrosion Test for Real?

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:

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.

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


  1. Here is real time video of this ASTM B117 corrosion test... hard to dispute with footage and results...

  2. The results shown in the blog post are of an ASTM B117 Salt Spray Test that was conducted by an independent lab using test panels sourced from a Cerakote Certified Applicator. The purpose of the blog post was to show these results and inform readers that NIC's test result claims could not be duplicated by the independent lab.

    1. Looks like BS to me. I could care less either way but it looks to me like you typed that "report" yourself. Doesn't look official at all. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think independent labs work that way. Also, where's the name and address of the lab on the report? If I were a betting man, I'd bet you guys are upset that your competitor makes a better product.. just sayin

    2. The name and address were omitted at the request of the lab. They did not want to be drawn into a battle and have random people contact and harass them. Even if a lab report could be fraudulent, what better method of reporting the results is there? How would they present their findings? At least we hired an outside lab to do the testing rather than do the testing in house, like Cerakote, which could easily be made to show any result. We are an open and honest company. Our products perform as advertised. We do not make claims about our products that cannot be duplicated. If anyone could duplicate Cerakote's corrosion claims then it should be a lab but even after three attempts at having labs duplicate their claims none have succeeded. If you really doubt the results then we suggest that you hire an independent lab yourself.

  3. Why wasn't DuraCoat tested side by side? This makes your test irrelevant.

    I don't have a salt cabinet but I do have a drainage ditch behind my shop that I have a half coated stainless barrel stored and I live within sight of the Pacific Ocean. It only comes out for people to see and torture test. Then it's back to the ditch. That barrel has lived there laying in the wet dirt since July of 2010 after we returned from Cerakote training. The uncoated end is covered in heavy rust blisters. Where the coating is not damaged from abuse it is still like new. I don't know how many hours it's been out there but it's way longer than any of these test.

    We do a lot of shotguns that are used in saltwater for waterfowl. We also get to see the shortcoming of other products. Cerakote stands alone far above the competition when it comes to corrosion resistance. Our observations are very close to what Cerakote's testing shows.

    I believe your applicator has a problem in his process. I'm guessing contaminated abrasive, too coarse of grit or water in his lines.

    1. In response to HiredGun7: The purpose of this independent test was NOT to compare DuraCoat and Cerakote. The purpose of the test was to show that an independent lab could not duplicate the claims made by Cerakote. The results of DuraCoat testing will be released in the future.

    2. I find it interesting that people pushing Cerakote would be trolling DeraCoat,s website. It appears they have to justify CeraCoat. As to the ditch test, I really can not believe someone would even mention it, especially comparing it the NIC's test claim. there is no science to back such a ridiculous claim, I would be embarrassed to even mention it.
      Larry's Gun Shop

    3. Larry it sounds like you're the oNE pushing a product. I know nothing about firearms but do know a bit about thin coating and I think the barrel test is just as valid as this manufactured "report" thesee folks are quoting. In my experience, real world tests trump "labs" any day. Before you start assuming, let me assure you, I don't have a dog in this fight. I ran across this looking for epoxy coatingS it'd just blatantly obvious that the "duracoat" folks know they have an inferior product. I'd buy ceracoat if I had a firearm.

    4. In response to Jerad Vaughn: You are correct that real world results far exceed lab tests. Unfortunately, Cerakote is pushing the industry to believe otherwise by making outrageous claims about their corrosion resistance at the expense of every other coating company. Their continuous bashing of our products and of those made by other companies has lead us to this point. We took it upon ourselves to have their coating tested to prove that their claims cannot be duplicated. We are proud to say that our products perform as advertised. As someone who "knows a bit about thin coating" you should be the first to question Cerakote's claim of 3500 hours in a salt spray chamber. If you really do know anything about thin film coating technology you should be laughing at such a ridiculous claim.

    5. Oh goodness, didn't you're mother evee tell you to practice what you preach?! So cerakote made a boastful claim and you're going to call them out on it? Well it took me all of 2 minutes to find a Ludacris claim from your company. Im going to copy this strait from the duracoat FAQ...
      " A firearm coated with DuraCoat simply will not rust...EVER"

      But... I can't seem to find any page where cerakote put you're companys claim to the test? What say you DuraCoat? You don't think it would EVER rust? Come on now...

  4. Jerad, Again you have completely missed the point of this post. You dug around our website to find one little comment that you don't agree with and then claim that Cerakote doesn't put our product to the test. Cerakote's entire marketing scheme is based on a corrosion test where they compare their product's performance to many other firearm coatings including ours. You mean to tell us that you didn't notice that their literature, videos, and website revolve around that test? A test that claims completely fraudulent results of our DuraCoat and completely outrageous results for their Cerakote? Come on now... Without the corrosion test comparing Cerakote to DuraCoat on their website they have nothing. They have used that claim, plus the lie that Cerakote is ceramic-based, to continuously bash other firearm coatings and to trick potential customers into believing their product is better. And, all of this is just them trying to compare apples to oranges because DuraCoat is just one of our many firearm coatings. While we manufacture dozens of coatings, they sell two, one of which has been shown in testing to not even be what they claim it is. The real question here is: Why doesn't Cerakote just sell a product that actually does what they say instead of deceiving people. If you don't trust us then you can go ahead and hire your own testing company to purchase the products, spray them out, and test them. We would love to see the results.

  5. I spent Thousands on Cerakote professional shop treatment for an automotive restoration. It was their Armor Black product. It failed miserably. The adjacent parts were POR15 polurethane and show no rust in comparison. Cerakote is a lie. This shop did a real test and confirmed it. I personally think Cerakote should be sued in a Class Action suit for fraud.

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