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Covestro promotes digital application of automotive coatings

  • Effective, customized production
  • Elimination of overspray and covering steps
  • Reduction of energy consumption

September, 1, 2021 - 2D printing technology offers automotive and coatings manufacturers great opportunities to combine precise digital application of coatings with flexible, customized production. The result is an efficient coating with the quality of a conventional spray application. Covestro supports customers and partners in the transition to the modern process with its expertise in digital printing technology and with Desmodur polyurethane raw materials.

Covestro will showcase the development during Digital Expo 2021, September 14-16.

In conventional automotive OEM coating, multi-layer, 1- or 2-component coatings are typically applied by spray. Polyurethane coatings based on Desmodur hardeners from Covestro used for this purpose feature proven good chemical, scratch and weather resistance, they are high-gloss and represent the state of the art in automotive OEM coatings, Covestro claims.

However, spray application causes overspray and high energy consumption during drying, but above all during conditioning of the process air. In addition, in the case of multicolor painting, the painted body parts have to be masked with films at great expense for protection. If, in the future, paints with different functions are to be applied that are particularly resistant to UV radiation, bird droppings or stone chips, for example, the process becomes even more complex.

Advantage of digital printing

Digital printing makes efficient use of coating quantities, and there is no overspray. Car manufacturers can also dispense with covering steps, thus reducing investment costs for painting equipment. Instead, individual colors and functions can be implemented efficiently. Covestro says that aliphatic Desmodur raw materials ensure non-yellowing coatings with additional, proven benefits.

The project is part of a comprehensive program with which Covestro is systematically driving forward digitalization. One of the three pillars of the "Digital@Covestro" program is the development of new business models and digital technical services. One focus area is a more efficient production at customers and the digitization of entire value chains. The two other pillars of the program are focused on digital operating processes in the company's own production and the development and use of digital chemical trading platforms.

With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro is among the world’s leading polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of polymer materials and the development of innovative, sustainable solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. In doing so, Covestro is fully committed to the circular economy. The main industries served are the automotive and transportation industries, construction, furniture and wood processing, as well as electrical, electronics, and household appliances industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. At the end of 2020, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Source : Covestro