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News

Combined research improves automotive SMC powder-primer performance

Ashland Inc : 25 July, 2007  (Company News)
Automobile industry scientists and Ashland Inc. experienced success recently as they worked to resolve a paint finish problem that occurs when manufacturers use powder primer with sheet molding compound for exterior automobile body panels.
Experts from Ashland Composite Polymers, a business group of Ashland Performance Materials, have developed a new powder prime-capable resin, AROTRAN 610, to address the performance issue.

Powder priming is an automobile manufacturing process that uses a very fine, sprayable powder that, when exposed to heat, melts onto the panel being painted. This process produces an extremely high quality paint finish, and according to automobile manufacturers, can also improve their compliance with air quality standards while reducing waste from overspray. Problems occurred when the SMC was exposed to heat, but through research and testing at the Ashland labs a new resin formulation solved the issue.

“Ashland was part of a consortium of companies called together by General Motors to work on solving a long-standing issue of incompatibility between standard SMC and the powder prime process. The study, led by Dr. Hamid Kia of GM’s Research and Development Center, determined that the combination of moisture and air absorbed by the SMC will outgas during the normal paint bake process resulting in unacceptable surface quality,” said Cedric Ball, global marketing manager, transportation, Ashland Composite Polymers. “Our knowledge of SMC resins and low-profile additives yielded a new formulation, AROTRAN 610, which eliminates the issue while maintaining a Class A quality finish and better bonding performance than other SMC.”

Details of the study that evaluated more than 40 SMC formulations can be found in the proceedings of the JEC Composites Show. Updated presentations of the study will also be featured at the upcoming Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibition.

Ashland Composite Polymers, a business group of Ashland Performance Materials, is a leader in supplying products, processes and technologies to the global marketplace for composites and gel coats.
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