Recent tests conducted at PPG Industries’ Flint, MI application development center have proven that the company’s patented Fast Flash rapid dehydration process can slash coatings flash-off time by 80% and energy costs by two thirds, while ensuring a high-quality, durable vehicle finish.
“This innovative technology can be used in existing automotive assembly plants in the same footprint as current ovens, enabling space-constrained plants to convert from solventborne to waterborne basecoats or to powder clearcoats,” said Don J. Emch, manager, applications and process technology for PPG. “The Fast Flash process can also be incorporated into new plants and requires less floor space and energy than a conventional flash process.”
The Fast Flash process combines controlled infrared radiation and convection to heat car bodies evenly to remove water or solvents from basecoats before a clearcoat is applied. The process helps to eliminate popping and pinholes, which can be caused by improper dehydration, according to the company.
When used in conjunction with the company’s high-solids waterborne basecoats, Flash Fast technology can shorten coatings flash-off time from four to 11 minutes down to 45 seconds, and to 90 seconds when used with PPG’s powder clearcoat, according to the company. Compared to a conventional paint oven, operating expenses associated with the Fast Flash process are also lower. Energy costs are reduced by half for the 90-second process and by two-thirds for the 45-second process, PPG said.