By Jeff Sanford
Cannes, France — June 26, 2015 — The 28th International Conference on Automotive Body Finishing (SURCAR) took place in Cannes, France this week. Dr. Klemens Bartmann, Global Director Technology OEM for Axalta Coating Systems, addressed the group.
His speech focused on the future of coatings and paint. According to Dr. Bartmann, the next wave of evolution in the industry will be in lightweight paint, multi-substrate body design and low bake coatings. The heavy batteries in electric cars will drive these developments.
“With the trend for electric vehicles on the increase, and with other benefits that come from making vehicles lighter, manufacturers are looking for new, lighter materials to counteract the heavy weight of the batteries,” says Bartmann. Lightweight body design, by reducing weight, would also help reduce CO2 emissions. Low bake oven temperatures will help control energy costs. More flexible materials will help increase styling capability.
“We have also established technologies and products, such as vehicle coatings for new substrates, low temperature curing and water- and solvent-based systems for special colours … we are continually exploring new technology options for further developments, such as reducing the curing temperature for e-coat,” says Bartmann.
The potential benefits for OEMs include improved productivity, lower VOC emissions, reduced energy consumption and lower facility investment and operation costs, “while still offering an excellent finish on vehicles,” says Bartmann.
SURCAR is the premier congress on automotive body finishing. It has been held in Cannes and Shanghai for half a century now. This year the conference is focusing on new, lightweight automotive materials and designs and their effect on paint and refinishing.