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Bayer Corporation and PPG Industries Team Up to Provide 2K Clearcoat Finish for GM Astro and Safari Vans

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 11 April, 2001  (Company News)
For automakers and consumers alike, a high-gloss surface finish for vehicles is highly desirable. Unfortunately, vehicle exterior top coating finishes can be marred and spotted by acid rain, bird droppings and other environmental factors.
General Motors has addressed this industry-wide concern by converting its Baltimore facility, which manufactures and assembles the Astro and Safari passenger vans, from a one-component clearcoat finish to a two-component (2K) clearcoat finish that resists etching. The 2K etch-resistant polyurethane clearcoat, which is applied over a solvent base coat, combines a polymer resin from PPG Industries' Automotive Coatings Business Unit with Desmodur« polyisocyanates from Bayer Corporation's Coatings and Colorants Division.

At the GM Technical Center in Detroit, Paint Manager Dick Bracken has been heavily involved in this project for the past decade. 'We made a commitment to resolve the spotting and etching problem in the early '90s in response to our customers' needs,' said Bracken. 'The Astro and Safari van project in Baltimore, part of our continuous improvement process, completes implementation of the etch-resistant clearcoat project throughout our 28 North American plants, while most of our competitors are just getting started.'

Bayer Offers Technical Support and Expertise

The PPG-supplied component (Part A) is a high solids, UV durable, acrylic resin designed to achieve optimum appearance, performance and application properties when formulated as part of a 2K coating. Part B, which contains Bayer Desmodur isocyanates, provides a number of desirable properties, including scratch and mar resistance, etch resistance and film hardness, making it well-suited to a wide range of high-performance applications in the automotive, construction and industrial markets. Formulating the 2K polyurethane clearcoat required close cooperation between the Bayer and PPG technical teams to achieve the optimal ratio of the two components and give GM the highest quality finish, both functionally and aesthetically.

'It was a real benefit to have our coating supplier technical group working side-by-side with us as we tested the new material,' said Keith Johnston, Technical Manager for the PPG/GM OEM team. 'Bayer offered tools such as computer modeling that helped us continuously improve the product as we tested its performance.'

'Bayer played a significant role in converting the clearcoat process at GM's Baltimore facility to formulate a product that resists etching,' said Richard P. Sabatine, Vice President, Automotive, Bayer Corporation's Coatings and Colorants Division. 'This continues our long tradition of providing product solutions and technical support to our customers.'

Bayer also provided technical assistance directly to GM, sending a team of production, health and safety experts to Baltimore to provide training on the safe and effective use of polyisocyanates - such as the 2K system provided to GM - in the manufacturing process.
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