Environmental Evaluation of Molding Exterior Body Panels in Color 982121
Painting a vehicle's exterior is an energy and emission-intensive process. Molding exterior panels in color has the potential to reduce both environmental burdens and cost. This study compares the material and energy flows for painting exterior panels (one front and one rear fascia) with those for molding the panels in color at the Saturn manufacturing facility. Molding fascias in color requires the addition of 62,700 kg of color pellets to the injection molding process, but eliminates several painting steps. These changes would result in reducing paint consumption by 500,000 kg/yr, energy consumption by 133 million MJ and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by 150,000 kg/yr.