May 24, 2007

Ford first to use new environmentally friendly paint technology

Avon Lake, Ohio – The Ford Motor Company has become the first automotive company to paint vehicles using a new 3-wet, high solids-based system. The new technology, which took three years of development and a year of in-plant testing, is environmentally friendly and helps cut costs.

The new technology uses a high solids-based paint formulation that produces fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than do water-borne and medium solids-based paints currently used by automakers. The new formula contains more colour pigment and so requires less paint to cover a vehicle. It also allows three layers of wet paint to be applied, one on top of each other, and baked once. This eliminates two paint ovens, resulting in a smaller, more energy-efficient paint shop.

According to Ford’s tests, high solids-based paint provides better long-term resistance to chips and scratches than does water-borne paint. The water-borne formula also requires air conditioning to get the water out of the paint for a high-quality surface, using more energy and releasing more CO2s from the paint shop.

The company will use the new paint on some 400 U-Haul utility vans, which will be monitored over the next year to collect real-world data on the technology.

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