Precatalyzed vs. catalyzed lacquer

The technical differences between these two types of lacquers. July 18, 2000

Is precatalyzed lacquer the same as a catalyzed lacquer?

There are basically two types of catalyzed lacquer: Pre-catalyzed has the catalyst added at the factory, where with post-catalyzed, you add the catalyst at the time of use.

Pre-cats are generally a little slower in dry time and cure because the catalyst is not as powerful, or "hot." There are also blocker solvents in the lacquer that help prevent the chemical reaction from taking place in the can.

This results in long pot lifes, 6 months or better, and no hassle with adding catalyst. In a word, convenience.

Post-catalyzed lacquers dry and cure faster, and are better for high production uses. I think they cure to a little tougher film, but I cannot put a number on it. Pot lifes can range from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

Ultimately the chemistry is similar; it just depends on what your specific needs are, speed or convenience.
John Buries, technical advisor