Axalta Coating Systems Discusses New Trends In Consolidated Paint Processes
Axalta Coating Systems，a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, presented the opening address at the 24th annual DFO European Automotive Coating conference, held recently in Braunschweig, Germany, for automotive and paint industry experts. Sven Radek, Application Technology Manager, for Axalta’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, described the company’s selection of Harmonized Coating Technologies™, a line of coating application processes integrating primers, basecoats and clear coats that can cut processing costs, save on material, and reduce environmental footprint for light vehicle car original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Titled Less is More, Radek’s presentation drew attention to the benefits of Axalta’s 3-Wet™, 2-Wet™ Monocoat and Eco-Concept™ Harmonized Coating TechnologiesTM for light vehicle OEM paint lines that can remove oven bake steps or combine layers. The conventional process, used for waterborne paints, requires the application of four paint layers, as well as the use of three curing ovens and one intermediate dryer.
“By contrast, Axalta’s Harmonized Coating Technologies can telescope the entire light vehicle OEM paint process, making it possible to achieve outstanding results with just two ovens, and without either primer applications or sanding, depending on the system being used. This helps to save car manufacturers time, energy, labor, space and material,” Radek said, adding, “By 2018, 20 per cent of all cars are likely to be painted with consolidated processes.”
Axalta’s 3-Wet Process is a recent development whose features Radek explained at DFO. After the standard electrocoat application and oven curing, the 3-Wet process applies an exterior 1K or 2K pre-coat. This gives the final paint surface greater stone chip resistance, high UV protection and produces an outstanding finish. The solid color precoats can be matched to different basecoat color groups to create a uniform color for further application steps. Under the 3-Wet process, there is no need for a primer as the precoat takes over the primer’s job.
As Radek explained, “The post-primer oven curing and sanding are not required either. Instead, the interior and exterior basecoats can be applied to the pre-coat after a short flash-off time.”
One of Axalta’s Harmonized Coating Technologies, known as Eco-Concept and used around the world since 2003, similarly eliminates the need for a primer oven and sanding on OEM paint lines. It provides good stone chip resistance and UV protection with a specially formulated 2K basecoat technology.
“We foresee an increasing global trend by light vehicle OEMs towards consolidated paint processes. In fact, by 2020 we believe the use of ambient flash waterborne 3-Wet processes will have continued to grow,” Radek predicted.
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