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New Paint Technologies in 2006Posted 5/13/2006
By Rachael J. Mercer
Growth of Waterborne Technology
Although waterborne technology is not new, its growing importance, spurred by new environmental regulations in California and possibly other parts of North America, is driving the need for more waterborne basecoats in the next few years.
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Europe unveiled a new volatile organic compound (VOC)-compliant line of products in Europe last year in an effort to meet new European Union VOC regulations that will take effect Jan. 1, 2007. Besides the reduction in VOCs, waterborne technology is popular for its fast-drying applications, which can help reduce cycle time.
Sherwin-Williams' AWX line of products will soon be in North America and especially California when new legislation takes effect in January 2009. Sherwin-Williams is investing in a comprehensive introduction, conversion and training plan with selected distributors throughout Europe to educate new body shop customers about its products.
"Our goal is to remove the fear of changing from a solvent to waterborne system, avoiding the disappointments shops have encountered with other waterborne basecoats," said Nick Bartoszek, product manager, vehicle refinish for Sherwin-Williams. "AWX will have a low economic impact on body shops as it doesn't require new or specialized equipment.
"The AWX System will be seen in the states in the future as well. This system will become available to body shop owners in the United States prior to new VOC legislation taking effect in California in a few years."
In addition, the company is promoting its new tool, which offers a low VOC and is ISO-free. The NP75 Squeegee Prime is a primer surfacer that is packaged in a cartridge and gun system. Bartoszek said the product saves time and material costs by eliminating masking steps over mixed material. It also offers the flexibility to apply primer surfaces almost anywhere in the shop, he added.
Jay Kaiser, collision product manager with DuPont Performance Coatings, said all three brands will be meeting the needs of refinishers in the United States who are seeking compliant waterborne products.
BASF introduced its Glasurit 90 Line waterborne system in 1992 - the first waterborne refinish system introduced in North America. Its application is comparable to that of solventborne basecoats, says BASF.
U.S. Chemical and Plastics will be unveiling its waterborne product line by the end of 2006 to meet all regulatory guidelines in Europe that will go into effect in 2007.
OSHA Guidelines Drive
As a result of OSHA guidelines to reduce the permissible exposure limits (PEL) for hexavalent chrome, there are several new developments at BASF that address undercoats.
"Although hexavalent chrome is not widely used in popular undercoats, chromated epoxy is the 'gold standard' for corrosion protection when painting bare steel for a high-quality restoration," said Bradley M. Richards, coatings research and development manager for BASF. "Chrome-free epoxies have been available for states and regions that already have effective chromate bans in place. We will see across-the-board improvements in these chrome-free products in the next year, which will allow undercoat portfolios to be completely chrome-free - without sacrifices in corrosion protection."
Spurred by California regulations to meet new OSHA chrome rules, DuPont has introduced a chrome-free etch primer. ChromaPremier CF-22860S allows direct-to-metal adhesion and corrosion resistance to bare metals such as steel, galvanized and aluminum. No sanding is necessary with this product, which makes it compliant throughout California.
Plastic Components Affect
An increasing number of plastic components are being used on cars and trucks, which has increased the use of plastic materials and blends.
"As a result [of this increase], adhesion promoters that worked well on plastics in the past may no longer provide the universal coverage needed for the new materials," said Richards. "The market will see new adhesion promoters that have broader applications for various substrates and are easier to use."
The competitive nature of the collision repair market, combined with insurance company pressures to reduce cycle time, has required automotive coating companies to turn to technology as a way to meet the demands of the 21st century.
Technology Impacts Color Trends for Automotive Coatings
In DuPont's Automotive Color Popularity report released at the end of 2005, it found that silver remains the top vehicle color choice; however, it is being challenged by gray, which is being infused with more colors and a bolder blue.
Karen Surcina, color marketing and technology manager for DuPont Automotive Systems, says technological advancements have made it possible for DuPont to offer a wider palate of colors and finishes than ever before.
"And, in a reverse from the past, the automotive market is inspiring other markets' color choices, especially with its metallic and special effect finishes," she said.
BASF experts believe silver's popularity is due to its ability to convey elegance, technology and power, combined with a sense of stability.
Sandra Mathia, color design specialist for BASF's Automotive OEM Coatings Solutions business in North America, says emerging color trends in North America reflect people's need to relieve stress and their yearning for optimism and self-expression.
Obviously, color innovation is a primary driver for automotive stylists, who seek to respond to - and to some extent influence - consumer color preferences, said Mathia. At the same time, she said, they continue to seek smooth metal and low-gloss effects. These qualities relate to the perceived quality of a car's finish.
In its annual global color popularity survey conducted by PPG Industries, it also found that silver remained the leading auto color.
"We are continuing to explore a variety of advancements and innovations in technology that will bring silver closer to a liquid-metal appearance - the next hottest trend for this hue," said Lorene Boettcher, manager, Global Design and Color Marketing, automotive coatings for PPG.
The PPG Global Design and Color Marketing Team - comprising 20 colorists in North America, Europe, Japan, South Korea, China, Malaysia, India and Australia - developed 130 new colors for consideration by automotive designers for the 2008-2009 model years.
"There is a desire to reinvigorate the automotive palette with color," said Boettcher. "Color preference has been in neutral mode for so long that we're now starting to see a push for more colors to emerge and for technology to put a new twist on classic shades. We're looking to take color to the next level."
Automotive refinishers say other colors to watch for in coming years are bolder blues, blue-green shades, yellows, yellow-oranges and reds.
Information contained in this article is compiled from industry press releases.
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