Advanced Automotive Paint Technologies

by Derek Kubik on July 31, 2014

A car’s paint could easily be considered just an aesthetic feature and overlooked as an integral part of a vehicle. However, without it most vehicles would not last nearly as long against the elements.

There is a lot that goes into automotive paint to make it not only look good, but to more importantly protect you, your vehicle and its value. Automotive paint has to endure many different conditions – being left out in the sun or rain and debris like rocks, dirt, ice, ice melting chemicals, and so forth. Automotive paint generally consists of three layers: the surfacer (primer), basecoat (paint) and clearcoat (meant to protect the paint).

With such an important purpose, it’s not surprising that there’s cool work being put into paint technology. A current in-use example of an advanced car paint technology is self healing paints. Self healing paints have been around for a while now and there are different technologies for accomplishing this, but they aren’t widely used yet. Some more advanced versions can self repair major scratch damage to the basecoat/paint, while others like Nissan’s Scratch Shield technology allows the clearcoat to self-repair. Scratch Shield is a clearcoat that has been combined with a special highly elastic resin, which gives increased strength and flexibility. This allows the clearcoat to repair fine scratches back to a near original state in anywhere from 1 to 7 days, depending on the scratch and surrounding temperatures. However it is not able to self repair if a scratch goes deep enough to separate the bonds in the clearcoat.

Nissan Scratch Shield combinedImages from www.nissan-global.com

An example of an in development advanced paint technology is Nissan’s self-cleaning paint. The self-cleaning paint has a layer of Ultra-Ever Dry applied to it, this layer is super-hydrophobic and oleophobic – meaning it repels water and oil (iPhones have an oleophobic coating on their screens to reduce fingerprints). This allows the car to practically clean itself!

Nissan Note With Self-Cleaning PaintImage from ca.autoblog.com

Nissan is still early on in testing this coating – how long it can last and how it reacts in different conditions are major points being looked into. Currently Nissan doesn’t have any plans to offer this as a standard feature, but in the near future it could be offered as an aftermarket addition.

Derek Kubik

Junior SEO/PPC Assistant

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina July 31, 2014 at 10:30 pm

This is really cool. I wonder if it’s enough to impact a purchaser’s decision. I’ll be adding this to my list of features to look for when out car shopping in a couple of years.

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Keith Rollans July 31, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Very cool, that will save a lot of money on car washes.

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