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3 Top Trends in Automotive Painting

Published on June 12, 2014 by in Blog, CATI

Though it might sound simple, colour is often a determining factor when purchasing a car. North American consumers view cars as an extension of their personalities, and so the right colour goes a long way in giving a car the right attitude and feel. With a used car, there are few things as satisfying as giving an older vehicle a fresh coat of paint and watching it shine.

Thank to advancements in science and technological progress, car paint and the associated technology have improved by leaps and bounds over the last few decades, offering among other things better resistance to corrosion and more environmentally sound alternatives. If you’re trying to become a mechanic or are currently enrolled in mechanic school, it can helpful to know the different technologies being used today and where the market is heading.

Here are three of the latest trends in automotive painting.

1. Eco-friendly Pre-treatment

For pre-treatment before applying car paint, the conventional method involves using zinc phosphate, which warms up the room and produces emissions. In the last few years, we’ve seen a shift in the market towards a nano-ceramic pre-treatment process, which is not only environmentally cleaner, it also can be run “cold,” at room temperature, which represents important energy savings for the company. Another advantage is that the process can be used on multiple types of metal, and requires only minimal wastewater treatment and disposal.

2. Energy on Demand Drying

The car industry has also been hard at work on refining its drying processes to make them more energy-efficient. We’ve seen a number of different approaches in recent years, including optimized heating units, reutilizing waste-heat and routing air through tunnel areas, but the most promising solution is probably energy on demand. The system makes it possible not only to save energy, but also to avoid overheating components of the car. Energy on demand uses efficient air nozzles to warm up parts of the car more quickly and precisely, which then creates a smaller drying zone. It is an ingenious system that shows a lot of promise and should reach full commercial maturity in the coming years.

3. UV Paint Systems

UV paint systems have the potential to revolutionize how we think of car paint. This type of technology has tremendous advantages but still hasn’t fully caught on, as consumers and professionals with Auto Mechanic Training still view UV paint systems as costly. Still, when you realize that UV paint systems are environmentally friendly and make it possible to apply a coat of paint in a few seconds, and that the resultant layer is hard and resistant to corrosion and scratching, the technology is undeniably impressive. Of course, nothing is perfect. It’s still difficult to coat in UV paint an item whose shape is complex or irregular, meaning the technology is better suited for simple surfaces. The problem comes from the need to expose the paint to UV light to complete the process, which creates unique challenges. Still, engineers are working on solutions to be able to use UV paint systems more smoothly and efficiently, so expect to see this type of system gain in popularity in the coming years.

 
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