Axalta Leads Discussion at European Automotive Coatings Conference
Sept. 28, 2015—During the recent European Coatings Conference on Automotive Coatings in Düsseldorf, Germany on Thursday and Friday, Dr. Klemens Bartmann, global technology director at Axalta Coatings Systems, discussed how advanced automotive coatings can favorably affect vehicle performance and fuel economy.
The conference focused on automotive performance beyond the engine and the role modern coating plays in contributing to performance.
The presentation, “Between Standardisation and Differentiation: How Advanced Coating Solutions Meet OEM Market Trends,” looked at three challenges and solutions for the OEM market: lightweight body materials and low-bake systems, process cost reduction with Axalta’s Harmonised Coatings Technologies, and the color differentiation and the role of high chroma colors.
“To protect and to sustain the environment, regulatory requirements and manufacturer initiatives are compelling the automotive industry to reduce emissions and waste, improve energy consumption, and support higher standards of fuel efficiency,” said Bartmann. “In response, the automotive industry is developing lighter weight vehicle materials. In turn, Axalta is leveraging our extensive refinish and industrial expertise to jointly develop ultra-low cure temperature OEM coating methods for these new substrates.”
Lightweight body design and low-bake systems
Low-bake systems are made to be suitable for varying substrates that are most often comprised of plastics and composites, which cannot withstand high temperatures. These substrates are increasingly used on vehicles worldwide. Newer coating formulations have to adhere to novel surfaces while maintaining superior appearance and providing durability. Because these coatings cure at low temperatures, less energy is used during manufacturing.
Process cost reduction and harmonised systems
With Axalta’s Harmonized Coating Technologies, including the 3-Wet waterborne system, paint shop VOC emissions can be reduced. Eliminating or lowering the temperature of bake steps saves time and energy.
“Harmonized Coating Technologies employ alternative resins in the primer layer along with a new rheology control agent in the basecoat layer,” said Bartmann. “These technologies are designed to help improve direct run rates, process stability and transfer efficiency all while achieving premium appearance levels.”
Color differentiation and high chroma color
Axalta’s high chroma tint coats are an effective way to apply transparent pigments in the top layer and achieve noticeable depth and chroma. A transparent top layer allows for higher chroma colors, while the bottom layer provides uniform coverage. Another way to achieve high chroma colors is through Axalta’s dispersion technology. More transparent pigments are produced through high-energy milling and advanced dispersion processes.“High chroma colors provide buyers with increasingly individualised choices and colors to meet consumer preferences,” said Bartmann.