Bartmann’s presentation, titled Between Standardization and Differentiation: How Advanced Coating Solutions Meet OEM Market Trends, delved into three challenges and solutions for the OEM market: lightweight body materials and low-bake systems,
process cost reduction with Axalta’s Harmonised Coatings Technologies™, and color differentiation and the role of high chroma colors.
“To protect and to sustain the environment, regulatory requirements and manufacturer initiatives are compelling the automotive industry to reduce emissions and waste, to improve energy consumption and to support higher standards of fuel efficiency,” said Bartmann. “In response, the automotive industry is developing lighter weight vehicle materials. In turn, Axalta is leveraging our extensive refinish and industrial expertise to jointly develop ultra-low cure temperature OEM coating methods for these new substrates.”
Low-bake systems for multi-substrate, lightweight body materials are designed to reduce emissions and fuel use, thereby contributing to efforts to meet sustainability and environmental challenges. Low bake systems are made to be suitable for varying substrates that are most often comprised of plastics and composites, which cannot withstand high temperatures. These substrates are increasingly used on vehicles worldwide. Newer coating formulations have to adhere to novel surfaces and to maintain superior appearance and durability. Because these coatings cure at low temperatures, less energy is used during manufacturing.
Today, the automotive industry is striving to find efficiencies, to reduce costs and energy use, and to decrease paint shop footprints and associated capital investments. With Axalta’s Harmonized Coating Technologies, including the 3-Wet waterborne system, paint shop VOC emissions can be reduced. Eliminating or lowering the temperature of bake steps saves time and energy.
“Harmonized Coating Technologies employ alternative resins in the primer layer along with a new rheology control agent in the basecoat layer,” said Bartmann. “These technologies are designed to help improve direct run rates, process stability and transfer efficiency all while achieving premium appearance levels.”
Multi-layer color coats are increasing in popularity with OEMs. Axalta’s high chroma tint coats are an effective way to apply transparent pigments in the top layer and achieve noticeable depth and chroma. A transparent top layer allows for higher chroma colors, while the bottom layer provide uniform coverage. Another way to achieve high chroma colors is through Axalta’s dispersion technology. More transparent pigments are produced though high-energy milling processes and advanced dispersion processes.
“High chroma colors provide buyers with increasingly individualized choices and colors that expand the gamut,” said Bartmann.