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A solvent may be defined as a liquid that is used to bring a solid or semisolid material into a liquid form. The ability to dissolve a material is the distinguishing characteristic of a solvent, the primary performance property. Of nearly equal importance in almost every coatings application is evaporation rate. Direct measurement of these performance properties is not always feasible or convenient. Other tests, therefore, are used to estimate them. There are other important properties, and tests to measure them, that are not concerned directly with basic performance. These include safety of handling, uniformity, purity, composition, and compliance with air pollution laws.