AMERFLINT II. - Back and better than ever

Bob Barney

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I first heard about Amerflint while living in Florida in 1980, while attending a Dupont sales and technical training seminar in Jacksonville, Florida. The class was taught by C.K. Bundy. I was new to the paint world, having less than 6 months experience when I attended the class.  I vividly remember one student asking Mr. Bundy, "Amerflint is killing our Imron sales, what can we do to stop this?"

To be frank, I knew little about Amerflint at the time, some of my customers in Hollywood and Ft. Lauderdale were using it on all over paint jobs. Mr. Bundy replied that although a good product, it was too new to see if it could stand up to the durability of Imron.

The distributor or "jobber" I was working for moved Tammy and I to Stuart Florida to manage a Steego paint store selling Dupont.  It was here I saw just how dominate that paint had become.  I had a customer called 'Phil's Autobody' who had become allergic to isocyantes and asked me to paint an MG.   When I got there, expecting it to be Centari or Imron, he had a gallon kit of Amerflint II.  I wasn't too happy about spraying it, but I did, thinking that I should understand the stuff.

The paint was incredible.  It was very high solids. It covered basically in one coat.. I still put on 3 out of habit.  It laid down exceptionally well, and where I had put too much, causing some orange peel, within 30 minutes, it had lived out!  And that wet look was amazing!

Honestly, it was the easiest, user friendly paint I have ever sprayed.  It looked beautiful when I left. I went back to the apartment and told Tammy that I wished that I could sell the product!  Little did I know.

The next morning I went to the bodyshop before opening the store to see what it looked like. It still looked wet! I thought at first that it was. It was not, it was as hard as a rock, shining and glossing like no product I ever saw.  It was so flat, it looked like it must have been rubbed and buffed.

A short 2 years later, Steego decided to close the Stuart store, I was offered the sales manager job, if I moved back to Ft Lauderdale.  Tammy was pregnant with our second child, Victoria and I didn't want to move.  Frank Esposito who owned American Lacquers and Solvents (the company that owned AMERFLINT) drove all the way from Tampa to offer me a job.  In July 1984 I started selling the product that has proven itself over 44 years now with ease of use, and incredible gloss and DOI. 

Over the years, I sold this product to every kind of user imaginable.  Body Shops, both custom and dealership, fleet refinishers, trucking companies, railroads (every single Norfolk-Southern locomotive was painted with it for 16 years), the marine industry, aircraft painters (some of the B-17's in the movie Memphis Belle, painted by Don Whittington's JET AVIATION in Pompano Fl were painted with Amerflint.). We sold it to aircraft painters. small planes, and jets as large as L-1011's were painted in this incredible paint. Some famous people I sold this to, was Murphy's towing and paint job in West Palm Beach that painted ALL OF BURT REYNOLD'S Florida cars and trucks. Even a special 'Smokey and the Bandit' car he was given was painted in Amerflint.  

Car restoration shops used our products, the most notable one I sold to was Rick Carroll.  Rick was at the time the largest owner of Duesenberg's in the country. He had his own personal shop, run by Chuck Stevens.  Rick was tragically killed in an auto accident in the mid 90's, and his cars where sold at Sotheby's auctions for millions of dollars.  The bodies where painted in our nitrocellulose lacquer, but all the frames, and engines where painted with Amerflint!

1929-Auburn-1 Rick
Just two of the cars auctioned which brought millions of dollars

1929-Duesenberg-Model-J engine-

all of Carroll's Duesy engines were painted in Amerflint II


The Sad End. Ric's Death caused his entire collection to be sold.

I still have this auction book!

Just because your paint is so unique that it can be used on multi-million dollar cars, I also sold the same products to cement and asphalt plants! Below is a photo of the Ranger Construction asphalt plant in West Palm painted in Amerflint in 1990.  As of 2011 it had still NOT been painted.  Art Fowler, Ranger's Vice President and maintenance director could never get more than three years out of any paint he tried!  Each shutdown costs Ranger $3 million dollars in loss revenue.  Lasting 20 plus years saved the company many many millions.  This was the first of sixteen plants I sold to Ranger and Pavex (their sister company in Pompano).


Ranger's Headquarters and first of 16 Amerflint II pain jobs.


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Dominion Paving (Hopewell Va) plant (this photo was taken after 6 years in service)

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Even Floors!  This is Coca-Cola's Truck Service Garage!

Other notable users that I had nothing to do with their use were:

DISNEYWORLD-- Everything that was painted at the park was painted in Amerflint II.  The monorail, the railing, the boat that brought you to the park, the steam trains, the people moving trams and every ride was painted in Amerflint.  They were the company's largest single customer!   And because Amerflint is the only urethane made that can below the waterline, Disney painted all their coat bottoms with Amerflint. When they opened up MGM, they had a restaurant called 'The Paint Pot' that actually had in it an Amerflint II mixing machine!  The restaurant was a tribute to Frank Esposito, as that was the name of his wife's paint business in Cuba during the 1950's. Carowinds and Bush Gardens also used this our paint.


SEA RAY BOATS-- Used Amerflint II on all their painted boats.


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Lackawanna RailRoad Engine after 31 years of service

High Impact vs. Amerflint II

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Tamco began making Amerflint under the name of Duraflint II.  Duraflint 1 (now just called Duraflint) is our version of the old Dupont Imron coating, loved by thousands of painters.

In the automotive and Fleet Clear Coat labels, we called it Hi-Impact, because the resin in this product can take harsh impacts, and resists scratches. It's also very flexible. 

Today, in the clear coat line we sell HC9500  Super Fast Hi-Impact, which is a fast cure version of the High Impact.  HC9500 fully cures in 3 hours at 78F.  Dry to handle in 40 minutes.  These clears will last more than 20 years in the Florida sun.

Although Amerflint uses the same backbone resin in the former Duraflint II and standard High Impact, the product now is even more durable.  We have added nano-technology, as well as two other additives, that slows down dry time and drastically improves both ease of application and gloss..

Testing so far, shows the product passing more than 7,000 hours of UV in our own machine.  Outside testing has shown this version to last upwards to 30,000 hours before failure. That would equate to 27-30 years of direct Florida sunlight.

It is skydrol (jet aircraft hydraulic oil) resistant and passes all specifications. It is impervious to most solvents and chemicals tested so far.  It is the perfect product for Land Sea and Air.

By 2022, Tamco plans to introduce metallic colors in all of our urethane lines! 

Look for it.



TOP DAWG- The First Aide Kit for your shop

By Pat Dry

Technical Service Director of Tamco Paint/Tamco Finishes


The one most important product anyone should have available in their shops at all times is Tamco's TOP DAWG adhesion promoter! HP-2010 Top Dawg is a multi-use adhesion promoter that is water-clear in color with no pink hue like many other on the market. In the normal refinish industry this product can be used on raw plastics such as bumpers before applying primers or top coats. Another use is in door jambs. Once properly cleaned our adhesion promoter can be sprayed and topcoated in jambs without sanding or used on any other hard to reach ares without the risk of delamination.  In the custom side of painting HP-2010 has a wide variety of uses. It can be applied directly to metal with no need for sanding. Polished aluminum looks amazing but not long after it will begin to lose its luster. Our adhesion promoter can be applied directly on top of polished aluminum and then clearcoated for a lifelong durable shine. Since it dries clear it will not add any discoloration. Custom painters often find that they have exceeded the recoat window for the next coat of paint. All you have to do is apply HP-2010 and can start back on your work after a short flash time without having to sand and ruin what you've already done. Tamco HP-2010 is a must have for the collision, restoration or custom paint world.

Here is a list of all of the advantages of this unique product that you will not find anywhere else:

  1. Ready to Spray- NO REDUCTION
  2. Spray very thin dust coats!  It should be sprayed so thin that it should flash off in seconds!  NO WET COATS!!!!   Wet coats = failure of this product
  3. It's Direct to all cleaned plastics yes, like automotive bumpers, but it is also direct to metals!
  4. Great for cut-thru's to prevent lifting.  Just dust a little Top Dawg over the cut-thru, and you can resume painting without fear of lifting.
  5. Stackable: Multiple thin coats will build a film that can bridge a re-coat lift issue.  Just 2-3 dust coats is all that is needed!   Allow it to sit 20 minutes.  It will powder when dry sanded with 600.
  6. Forever pot life!  No worry about it getting hard if you keep in a tightly sealed container.... Unsealed, the solvent will evaporate and it will thicken.
  7. Great for added adhesion when using panel bond or two part plastic repair products.

HP-TOP DAWG is really the TOP DOG of adhesion promotors!   


The differences between automotive base-coat paints

Tamco basecoat


Yes, there is a difference between the base coat products that you can choose when refinishing a car, or anything that is painted. Simply put, as base coat color is a lacquer paint! Really. Most are familiar with Nitrocellulose and Acrylic lacquers, but a third type is called a CAB lacquer. The flaw in a nitro or acrylic lacquer is that they have no good resistance to solvent. When applying one of these two lacquers, then clear-coating them with a high grade urethane clear coat, the solvents in the clear coats will remelt the lacquer, which when dries will have no integrated adhesion to the clear-thus peeling happens. The Europeans long ago discovered that another form of lacquer used in the furniture industry had great solvent resistance, and urethane clears would not peel off! This third form of lacquer is called Cellulose Acetate Butyrate (CAB).


The only manufacturer of this resin is Eastman. Eastman CAB's are based on cellulose, one of the most abundant natural renewable resources, from trees harvested from sustainably managed forests. Every paint company in the world uses CAB from Eastman to make base coat paint. Their are different types of CAB's and most companies highly protect which version they use.

Early Automotive Coatings Chemistries: From Alkyds to Acrylic Lacquers

The first automotive paints were Nitrocellulose paint.  It was highly productive, but the final coating required polishing to achieve high gloss. Paint chemists in the 1930s wondered if somehow they could find a binder system for paint that provided both productivity and the inherently better appearance of a natural oil resin. What resulted from this work was the development of the first alkyd paint system. This was the first “polymer” made for coatings, as it was synthesized using three monomers: phthalic anhydride, glycerol, and linoleic acid.

It was not until the 1950s that the next major automotive coatings advance occurred: the use of thermoplastic acrylic lacquers. By this time in American society, the automobile was no longer just a means of transportation; cars had now become a personal showpiece that owners wanted to show off to their friends. That meant that the coatings had to look better and accentuate the new curved styling body designs of the times. Rohm and Haas Co. had developed a new synthetic polymer as a glass replacement based on poly methyl methacrylate, and the coatings industry investigated whether that technology could be used in coatings. 

As previously discussed, thermoplastic acrylic lacquer automotive coatings, given their excellent appearance, were the major automotive topcoat used in the 1950-70s. However, these lacquer topcoats did have one significant drawback: they had weak exterior durability. After about one to two years’ exposure, the coatings would begin to degrade, and aggressive waxing was needed to “bring back the shine” of these systems. By the 1980s, the automotive manufacturers were requesting better durability for automotive topcoats, as consumers were now expecting their cars to last at least five years, and they wanted the car to continue to look like it did when they first saw it in the showroom. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency began to promulgate new volatile organic compound (VOC) regulations that limited the amount of solvent that an automotive facility could emit into the atmosphere. The high VOC content and weak durability of acrylic lacquer coatings were no longer acceptable in the automotive marketplace.

So how did the automotive coatings formulators achieve higher solids, better durability, while even improving the appearance of the coating? The answer is the next step change advance that occurred in automotive coatings: base coat plus clear coat urethane topcoat technology.

Most two-stage base coat's have no strength and depends on the clear coat for gloss, durability, and protection from the elements. The window between coats is very forgiving, as the reducer used in the base coat has the ability to soften the previous layer to obtain a chemical bond. This means better adhesion between coats and less chance for delamitation problems over time.

CAB converted Coatings Chemistries:

Any paint can be converted by a CAB into a base coat. I remember back in the 1980's we turned our Amerflint II into a base-coat. The shop bought a converter, that was mixed 1:1 with the Amerflint II color. Because Amerflint was 100% acrylic urethane, the painter needed to add isocyanate hardener (1 pint to 1 gallon) before clearing with the Amerflint clear. This was and is the most durable base coat that can be made. However, the drawbacks doomed the product. One was it dried to slow. One had to wait 1 hour before clearing. The other was the mixed base got hard!

A second way was to make the base coat out of a blend of enamel and CAB. MOST Base coats today use this technology. You do not use hardeners in the base coat and the base never gets hard—i:e- You can use it over and over. The largest downside of this technology is eventually the clear will peel after several years of extreme UV exposure. This isn't a problem in Maine or Germany, but it is in Florida!

A third version of base coat is what we employ at Tamco. I believe, PPG invented this technology, or at least this is what they told me back in the 90's when I sold the product and went to their lab in Allison Park, Pa. This revolutionary technology is the closet to the Amerflint base coat one. We take a CAB and mix it with an acrylic urethane resin (the same resin found in 2104, 4100, 2100, etc) but at a low enough percentage that it does not need a hardener!

This unique formulation, then draws the hardener out of the clear coat and bonds with the acrylic resin in the base coat giving perfect inter-coat adhesion! The downside is that you must use a clear coat the is drastically over catalyzed, if not, the clear itself will fail. Most companies, especially the so-called generic companies use a 1-1.05 paint to hardener ratio. That simply means they over catalyze by 5%. This is not enough hardener for Tamco base coats and using such clears will cause a failure! Tamco over-catalyzes by at least 20% (the exact amount is a secret) saw that perfect ratios are achieved to make paint job last for many years.

NOTE: Basecoat activation may be necessary in cases, such as high film builds (i.e. more than four coats), commercial vehicles, motorbikes, or wheel painting where a higher impact resistance is necessary. This applies to some Tamco custom finishes such as candies, candy pearls, as well as other paint procedures requiring many extra coats over recommendations..



Three key elements contribute to a clear coat’s durability: UV absorbers, the use of 100% acrylic polyurethane resins and film build. UV additives absorb damaging ultraviolet rays, much like sun blocker for your skin. However, UV protectants cannot do the job alone in ensuring durability. The choice of the resin is key to long term durability. As many, if not most paint manufactures have started to add enamels to the clear coats as a cost saving and “user friendly” reasons, causing a loss in durability – Tamco has not! We use 100% acrylic polyurethane resins in our clears (except Duraflint).

The last key to durability resides in you, the painter. A final film build in the range of 2-2.5 mils is most commonly recommended. Whether using Tamco premium clear coats, a film build below 2 mils will decrease durability. Anything over 5-7 mils can cause cracking.

Film Build is Critical

Film build is equally important to ensure long-term durability of the finish. Too low of a film build can lead to premature film failure, dieback and overall poor appearance. Too high of a film build can lead to solvent pop, dieback, and even potential adhesion failure.

So before spraying any clearcoat on a job for the first time, it is recommended to measure film build on a test panel. This will help gauge how your application techniques affect final film thickness. Two coats should suffice in creating adequate film build if using a high-solids, premium clearcoat. Some valuepriced clears may require three coats to achieve the same degree of protection.

Knowing the film build is especially critical if the job will later be buffed. In other words, one cannot apply a film build of 2 mils, then buff off a half mil. The result will leave not enough UV absorbers or resin solids to block out the ultraviolet rays, thereby compromising durability.


When you choose to use Tamco Products, you will find the best technology available at any price -- but for a reasonable price.  I personally guaranty that I will NEVER cut quality to keep prices low.  Yes, we will have reasonable price increases especially in these hard times, but we will always be the best bang for your buck!


Bob Barney