Automotive coatings are applied on surfaces of automobiles to provide protection, aesthetic appeal, and performance. These coatings consist of a blend of solids, including pigments, resins, additives, and solvents. Pigments provide color and help to determine the thickness of the coating, while resins include synthetic cross-linkers and hardening agents. Additives help to stabilize the coating and make it easier to apply.
To determine the quality of an automotive coating, it must be evaluated from many different perspectives. The performance of exterior paint finishes is a major indicator of the car’s durability. A coating’s aesthetic properties are also important. The final finish must be uniform and harmonious with surrounding body panels. The quality of automotive paints depends on the quality of the components and the amount of time and money spent improving them.
The process of applying an automotive coating has evolved over the years. Initially, the process was carried out manually and could take as long as 40 days. However, as technology advanced, the use of automotive coatings increased. By the late 20th century, 10% of all automobiles were electrocoated and over 90% by 1990. Today, the electrocoating process is the most common coating method in vehicle manufacturing.
The automotive coating code must be displayed prominently on the package or container. It must also be legible so that people can easily spot it. In addition, the date of the coating must be visible so that consumers can easily identify it. A label that contains these information must include the year and month of manufacture. In some cases, the date can be displayed on the bottom of the container.
The automotive coating industry in Europe is expected to grow at a 4.5% CAGR through 2026. OEMs in the region are restructuring their manufacturing processes and applying new coatings to vehicles. This growth is driven by the growing demand for hybrid and electric vehicles. Volkswagen, the largest automaker in Europe, recently transformed a large factory to produce electric cars.
Automotive coatings are exposed to a variety of environmental conditions during their service life. These environments vary in intensity and duration, but can cause significant degradation of the coating. Exposure to heat, humidity, and UV radiation can have long-term detrimental effects on the coating. It can also cause delamination of the topcoat. Therefore, it is important to test automotive coatings to determine their durability. To make sure that they are up to par, you can also test their chemical reactivity.
The SpecMetrix coating measurement system is a patented and exclusive solution that allows you to measure the thickness of automotive coatings. The technology can be integrated onto robotic spray tools and can accurately determine the thickness of each layer immediately after application. This allows automotive coating manufacturers to make better-quality products and reduce their costs.