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Thursday, 22 October 2020
Raw materials & technologies, Applications, Automotive coatings

Making automotive finishes more scratchresistant

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A new binder technology should make automotive finishes more scratchresistant.

Less scratches on cars promises the new PUR development

Source: Fotolia/FotoWorx

Less scratches on cars promises the new PUR development

Source: Fotolia/FotoWorx

Evonik Industries has developed an industrial-scale method for producing silanemodified binders for automotive finishes. The advantage of these silane-modified binders: silane groups increase crosslinking density, making it possible to create automotive finishes that are flexible yet harder, leading to improved scratch resistance.

Basic concept was already known

Modifying classic binders with silanes noticeably improves the binder properties. This also applies to the polyurethane binders typically used for automotive finishes. Up to now, however, production of silane-modified polyurethane binders has been complex and expensive that these products have only been made on a small scale for applications such as high-performance adhesives. The breakthrough came when the specialty chemicals company developed its own manufacturing process for the silyl isocyanate IPMS, or (3-isocyanatopropyl) trimethoxysilane. It is the critical building block for producing silane-modified binders.

Providing binders tailored to applications

By using IPMS and selecting the right additional raw materials, the specialty chemicals company can adapt coating binders to the needs of customers. One of the first applications for the IPMS binders is the thin clear coating – only about 40µm thick – that serves as the glossy top layer of an automotive finish. In addition to improved scratch resistance, the new systems are just as resistant to chemicals and the elements as traditional two-component polyurethane coatings. Plus, silane-modified binders are compatible with two-component polyurethane coatings. For car manufacturers, that means being able to use their usual production lines for applying coatings that contain the innovative binder. Evonik aims to open up access to silane-modified binders for other applications too. As examples, the company cites coatings for wood, plastics, metal, and high-tech adhesives. The key criterion is that the silane-crosslinked clear coats cure quickly enough at room temperature.

Design meets function

Sol-gel technology, nano-encapsulation and functionality directly embedded in binders represent the state of the art. The European Coatings Conference Functional Coatings, which takes place from 20-21 May 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany, will focus on the different practical applications of coatings possessing various functionalities and highlights new developments of materials employed in this field.

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