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 Product Comparison
 

Rust Encapsulator Vs. POR-15

 
We Tried Both Products on a Rusty Hood to See Which One Works Best
BY LARRY LYLES
 
One of the things we generally encounter in our restoration projects is rust. I've been asked numerous times about specific rust preventive products, some of which I've had the opportunity to use, others I haven't. Of the ones I've tried, some worked, most didn't. Then I tried Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator. This product worked, and worked well. I even put it to the test at the shop under real world conditions and reported my findings in the April 2005 issue of Auto Restorer magazine.

That perked up the ears of many readers out there who swore by POR-15 as a rust preventative. It also got the attention of the folks at Eastwood. They promptly forwarded a supply of Rust Encapsulator and asked if I would do a side-by-side comparison between Rust Encapsulator and POR-15 and once again report on my findings.

I explained to the Eastwood folks that lab findings and lab conditions don't mean a thing to me. I only deal with what happens out in the real world, such as how much preparation is needed before you can apply the product, how a product goes on, and how the product stands up under the conditions a restoration nut like me might put it through. Here are my findings:

For our test piece we selected a rust-covered hood we kept behind the shop for nearly a year. At some point the plan had been to repair the hail damage and paint the hood, but after grinding off most of the paint, the panel was discarded, leaving the bare metal exposed to the elements.

I divided the hood into four sections to separate the Rust Encapsulator on the right side and the POR-15 on the left. Section I (upper left) received a single coat of POR-15. Section II (upper right) got a single coat of Rust Encapsulator. Sections III and IV received two coats of the respective product. The coatings on all four sections were applied with a spray gun. In addition, I left a line of rusted metal down the center of the panel to allow me to see how the two rust products reacted to exposed rust.

   

This ring took about two months to appear and grow to this size after the panel was sprayed with POR-15.

Over the next four months the panel was subjected to daily salt spray (my own concoction of salt and water), direct exposure to the sun, and even three weeks of constant humidity, courtesy of more than 8" of rain we normally don’t get here in West Texas.

Details from the Manufacturers
Eastwood Rust Encapsulator – This product is available in gallon or quart cans, as well as a 16-oz. aerosol spray can for those small jobs. Available in matte black finish; aerosol also comes in red and silver.

Application: The panel being coated must be cleaned of loose rust particles by brushing with a wire brush. When doing spot repairs, any rough paint edges should be feathered back using 180-grit sandpaper on a DA sander. Final cleaning to remove oil, grease and grim before coating should be done with PRE Painting Prep or lacquer thinner.

The manufacturer says Rust Encapsulator can be applied with a brush or sprayed on. When spraying the product, it can be thinned with the lacquer thinner up to 20%. Apply two medium wet coats for maximum protection. Allow 10 to 15 minutes flash time between each coat. Rust Encapsulator dries to the touch in about 20 minutes, and completely cures in 3 to 4 hours.

   

For lack of a better name, I’ll refer to this problem as rust creep. Rust is beginning to eat its way under the coat of POR-15 along this edge of rusted metal.

When applying Rust Encapsulator with a brush, transfer the desired amount of product to a disposable container before using. Never apply this product straight out of the can. Contamination will occur, causing the product to cure in the can.

Rust Encapsulator is UV-resistant and can be used as a finish coat or can be topcoated after 6 to 8 hours. If topcoating is desired, the product should be sanded with 320-grit sandpaper for maximum adhesion. Top coats include: enamel, urethane, lacquers, epoxies and polyester body fillers.

Safety equipment includes latex gloves and proper OSHA-approved respirator during application.

POR-15 – This product is available in gallon, quart or pint cans, and comes in black, silver or gray.

Application: Remove any loose or flaking rust with a wire brush. Next remove any grease or oil with POR-15 Marine Clean. Prep the area to be coated with POR-15 Metal Ready. Feather-sand any rough paint edges using 180-grit sandpaper on a DA sander.

The manufacturer says POR-15 can be brushed or sprayed on. When spraying, the product can be reduced using POR-15 Solvent only. Clean up using lacquer thinner. Do not thin more than 5%.

Apply two thin coats, allowing the first coat to dry approximately 10 to 15 minutes before applying second coat. Cure time for coats is approximately 3 to 6 hours.

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