There’s a lot of hype out there right now regarding durability testing of gun coatings. While we believe that real-world performance far outweighs laboratory tests, companies such as NIC Industries, the makers of Cerakote™, have created a false reality where these tests have been given a greater weight of importance than we believe they should. Lab tests do have a place in our world, but we believe they do not recreate the real environments and handling that firearms will be put through and as such they should be viewed with this in mind. There is also the factor that these tests could be easily rigged so that a specific outcome is achieved, should one decide to stoop to such lows.
But, seeing as there has been a sense of importance placed on these tests in today’s market, we have posted our own DuraCoat® durability testing results below. All tests were completed by independent labs.
Adhesion – ASTM D3359
Adhesion of a coating can be measured using a test known as Crosshatch Adhesion. This test is performed by scratching coated steel panels in a crosshatch pattern and then using tape to attempt to remove any of the coating. The results are then scored on a 0B to 5B scale with 5B being the best score. DuraCoat Matte Black passed the test with a top rating of 5B.
Flexibility via Conical Mandrel Bend – ASTM D522
Flexibility can be tested using ASTM D522 which places coated steel panels in a device that bends the panel around a conical shaped mandrel. This tests the ability of the coating to flex and stretch with the deformation of the metal substrate. The smallest mandrel used is 1/8”. Coatings that withstand the 1/8” test receive the highest rating available for this test. DuraCoat Matte Black passed the 1/8” mandrel test with no signs of cracking or deformation.
Impact Resistance – ASTM D2794
Impact Resistance can be measured using ASTM D2794. This test is performed by dropping a weight onto a coated steel panel at a certain distance causing the panel and coating to deform. This distance is increased until the coating fails. Coating failure is the point at which cracking or delamination occurs. This test can be performed both by Direct Impact and Reverse Impact. DuraCoat Matte Black was tested using both methods. It was determined to have a Direct Impact strength and a Reverse Impact strength of 160 inch-lbs which is the maximum the impact tester can measure.
Pencil Hardness – ASTM D3363
Pencil Hardness measures the ability of a coating to resist scratching, marring, or gouging. A range of lead pencils are used to test the coating by scratching the surface to see if damage occurs. The hardest lead used before the coating is scratched determines the rating. It should be noted that a higher hardness rating is not always best in terms of overall durability. A coating that scores very high runs the risk of being brittle. Flexibility is a very important factor in the durability of any coating. DuraCoat Matte Black rated a 6H pencil hardness. This score reflects DuraCoat’s perfect balance of hardness and flexibility which results in its outstanding durability.
Corrosion – ASTM B117
An in-depth DuraCoat® versus Cerakote™ Salt Spray analysis, performed by an independent lab, can be found here: DuraCoat vs Cerakote Salt Spray Results
Below is a screenshot of the lab report for these tests. Due to the size of the report and the amount of non-pertinent information contained in the report we have only posted the results table. Any reference to the lab's identity has been withheld to protect their privacy.