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Home  > Publications  > Blog  > Good looks are not everything

Friday, 13 December 2019

Good looks are not everything

Thursday, 26 September 2013 | Posted by: Yvonne Hönemann, European Coatings Journal

As a newcomer to the world of paints and coatings, I find myself asking what requirements automotive coatings must meet nowadays. The very first one, of course, is aesthetics – they should make the car look beautiful and desirable. But aesthetics alone do not make a good car paint.

Probably like many people, when I think of "coatings”, I immediately think "automotive coatings”. Without question, they are one of the most important technological applications for paints.

Yet, what exactly makes a good automotive paint ? What requirements do they have to meet nowadays? What do customers expect?

Colour, gloss and protection are important

First of all, as I said, automotive coatings still need to convey aesthetics and give the car a nice, well kept look. But that's not all.

The demands imposed on modern automotive paints are various: colour and gloss, and protection against UV radiation, moisture, stone chipping, scratches and corrosion are also important. Many buyers aspire to owning a car that has bright-and-shiny metallic paint. That said, you see matte automotive coatings more and more frequently on the roads. But shiny or matte – that’s not the real issue. What is, is that the paint still looks new years on down the road and is still defying the elements and whatever else life throws at it.

Each vehicle contains 8 kg of paint on average

As versatile as the requirements of modern automotive paints are, so too their structure is complex. Yet even I was surprised to read that a car contains about 8 kg of paint on average. That's not an insignificant amount. At 40 µm, the clear coat is not only the thickest layer but also the outermost layer that protects the car against scratches and chemicals (e.g., bird droppings, gasoline and cleaning agents). 

What trends does the future hold ?

 

So what new technologies does the future hold in store for automotive coatings. We’ll be given a sneak peek at the European Coatings Conference "Automotive Coatings", on 12 and 13 November in Dusseldorf (Germany). UV-curable coatings and cellulose-based performance additives for basecoats and clear coats are only two of the versatile topics which will be presented then. Are you curious to find out, too? Then why not join me at the ECC "Automotive Coatings" in Dusseldorf!

You’ll find further information here:

www.european-coatings.com/Events/Automotive-coatings

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Author

Dr. Yvonne Hönemann
European Coatings Journal
Yvonne Hönemann
Editor-in-Training
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