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COATING AND PAINT SPECIFICATIONS ARE A COMmonality established between a customer and a supplier. They define what a customer can expect from a supplier and what the supplier is required to do to meet the customer's expectations. Often such agreements are between organizations that purchase the products in large volume for construction and maintenance projects, for resale to distributors, or to end-use consumers. Details of how to carry out the testing required to meet such specifications is left to the devices or procedures (often termed standards or test methods) of a third, uninterested party such as ASTM International or similar groups that are listed elsewhere in this chapter. Purchasing organizations may be federal, state, and local governmental agencies and departments, large industries as for example the automotive, petroleum, and pipe industries, public utilities, railroads, retail companies such as Sears and Wal-Mart, universities and other educational institutions, as well as others. However, in certain instances, the standards used to meet the specifications can carry down to the final consumer as sometimes evidenced on certain products, for example the listing of volatile organic compounds on a can of paint. Simplistically, a specification is a precise, though detailed, statement of requirements that must be satisfied by a material, product, system, or service that indicates the procedures—standards or test methods—to be followed when determining whether each of the requirements is satisfied . Paints and coatings used in industrial new construction may be specified in construction documents, while such materials used in maintenance finishes or sold through retail outlets may be described in the particular specifications of the purchasing organization. Engineering departments often specify finishes applied by large manufacturing industries, as, for example, the automotive industry, the appliance industry, and the packaging industry. Those who develop the specifications for large quantities of original equipment, maintenance or other finishes, such as public utilities, transportation organizations, and government agencies, purchase on a specification basis and most often by competitive bidding. Coating specifications set by, for example, the United States Navy and other government agencies will sometimes specify that a coating or paint be manufactured according to a specific formula or recipe that passes the requirements stated in particular, delineated test methods (www.nstcenter.com). If one goes to the “Technical Resources” tab at this site and clicks on “Standards and Specs,” items that are used to specify many products can be found.
Koleske, Joseph V.