Novel Methods for Characterizing the Mechanical Durability of Automobile Paint Systems
This paper presents two new methods to quantitatively evaluate the mechanical durability of multi-layered automotive paint systems. The first examines the resistance of the paint system to particle impacts and involves the impact of hard particles against the painted surface, under controlled conditions. The second test examines the resistance of the clearcoat layer in the paint system to surface abrasion, or mar. The test uses a steel sphere which is rotated against the paint surface in the presence of a slurry of fine abrasive particles. These two techniques have been successfully applied to a set of commercial automobile paints, and were found to discriminate well between them and give reproducible, quantitative data. The effects of the bake conditions on both the erosion and abrasion resistance of a full paint system and the abrasion resistance of a range of commercial clearcoats are examined in detail.