At the year’s most significant automotive engineering exposition, April’s SAE 2008 World Congress held in Detroit, Henkel Corp. showed (on the exhibit floor) and explained (in several technical papers) an array of products and technologies from the minds of its engineers.
Foremost among them was its Aquence autodeposition coating technology, which, according to the company, sets an industry precedent by displacing conventional metal pretreatment and the electrocoat process for an entire automotive vehicle body. Customers using water-borne Aquence can realize a 40% reduction in footprint while reducing capital expenditures and paint shop complexity, decreasing energy consumption, eliminating heavy metal sludge, and improving inside-out corrosion performance.
The technology can be used in automotive manufacturing facilities for coating entire vehicle frames, and also to coat complex parts such as fold-flat seat frames. Aquence autodeposition adheres only to metallic surfaces in a metal-plastic or metal-rubber assembly, according to the company, allowing manufacturers to reduce capital expenditures and paint shop complexities.
Aquence is a chemical coating used in a process where an organic polymeric emulsion chemically deposits on the surface of a clean metal substrate. A unique feature of the autodeposition process is the formation of a uniform film that flows over the entire surface of the workpiece, even in difficult-to-reach areas of complex parts. Unlike coating processes that require a charge to deposit the coating (i.e., where electrical energy is required to “throw” the coating into recessed areas), autodeposition coats tubular, assembled, or intricate design areas uniformly, according to Henkel.
Aquence 925G is a recent addition to the product line. The Aquence 925G coating provides all the performance advantages of autodeposited epoxy-acrylic urethane coating with a lighter coat base for top coating with powder and liquid paints. Applications include any ferrous metal part or structure requiring superior cyclic corrosion protection, thermal stability, and good topcoat ability. The ability of Aquence 925G to provide a lighter color primer base and precise film thickness offers the opportunity for lower paint consumption and better topcoat control.
New for 2008 is Aquence 930, which has performed similarly to cathodic e-coat and zinc phosphate pretreatment on automotive manufacturer cyclic corrosion tests, the company says. This epoxy-acrylic urethane coating has good thermal stability and flexibility.
At the SAE Congress, the company also showcased Bonderite TecTalis, a conversion coating process that the company claims is the automotive industry’s first non-phosphate conversion coating for multi-metal bodies. Bonderite TecTalis is undergoing expanded testing at Ford Motor Co.’s Twin Cities assembly plant in St. Paul, MN. The new coating does away with the problems related to conventional zinc-phosphate pretreatments, eliminating pretreatment sludge (thereby reducing landfill requirements) and simplifying wastewater treatment. It is free of phosphate and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), providing savings in energy as well as possible overall carbon footprint reductions. Applied at room temperature, the use of the coating reduces utilities and natural resource requirements.
With this coating, the pretreatment footprint can be reduced 20 to 40%, according to the company.
“TecTalis was designed to meet the performance standards of our premium Bonderite brand while significantly advancing the process and its overall sustainability,” said Attilio Gatti, Corporate Senior Vice President, Technologies Marketing and Product Development. In addition, the new technology is easily applicable in existing lines.
Bonderite TecTalis decreases labor cost drivers such as handling, analytics, and maintenance, according to the company. Indirect costs, like energy, disposal, or water consumption are also reduced. The process operates at room temperature and generates virtually no sludge. It is free of phosphates, VOCs, CO2, and equivalent emissions. Profitability can be maximized by increased throughput, faster cycle times, and reduced footprint, the company says.
Ford and Kögel have been using the TecTalis process since the beginning of 2008. “We are very pleased with the results we are achieving since the beginning,” said Stefan Oberdörfer, Head of Marketing and Sales Services, Kögel.