1998-02-23

Durability of Painted Automotive Exteriors Subject to High Pressure Water Jets: Simulation of Touch Free Car wash Environments 980974

The automotive industry in the past few years is experiencing a significant growth in the application of highly engineered plastics, particularly in bumper fascia applications. It is now very common to find one of several variations in Thermoplastic Polyolefins used as the base material (substrate) for bumper fascias. Durability of painted TPO's to various service life conditions is a matter of significant concern to the automobile manufacturer.
Erosion durability of painted plastics (particularly bumper fascias) in a touch free car wash environment, where the surface is subjected to high-pressure water jets cycle is matter of concern to the automobile manufacturer. In addition, there is also a concern in self-serve car wash stations equipped with high-pressure water jets.
This paper reports a part of a major study that was undertaken to address this title subject. We present here, results and analysis based on two carefully designed experiments, termed Material and Manufacturer studies. Novel instrumentation was designed to simulate touchfree high pressure and self-service car wash rinse cycles. This work has led to recommendations for safe operations (Hence Combating Possible Warranty), to the car wash industry in general and specifically to car wash equipment manufacturers. This work will also forms the basis of laboratory test procedures for evaluating erosion durability of painted plastics in high-pressure car wash requirements.

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