Ford, U-Haul launch fleet of eco-friendly painted vehicles on US highways

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials

ISSN: 0003-5599

Article publication date: 23 May 2008



(2008), "Ford, U-Haul launch fleet of eco-friendly painted vehicles on US highways", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 55 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Ford, U-Haul launch fleet of eco-friendly painted vehicles on US highways

Article Type: Industrial news From: Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Volume 55, Issue 3.

Ford Motor Co. and U-Haul launched the industry's first fleet of vehicles painted with Ford's environmentally responsible new technology, which reduces greenhouse gases by 15 percent and cuts Ford's production costs.

More than 200 Ford E-Series trucks painted with this new technology were delivered to U-Haul facilities around the country. U-Haul began renting the units, tagged with eco-friendly decals, to customers this week.

The technology combines an advanced chemical formulation of high-solids solvent-borne paint with an innovative three-wet application process that requires a smaller, less expensive and cleaner paint shop than traditional automotive paint facilities.

In addition to reduced CO2 emissions, the new technology reduces VOC emissions by about 10 percent. The company estimates it can save approximately $7 per vehicle by cutting the time it takes to paint a vehicle by almost 20 percent, as well as reducing the size of the traditional paint shop by nearly 15 percent.

“Painting vehicles has traditionally been one of the auto industry's biggest environmental challenges,” said Mary Ellen Rosenberger, Paint Manager of Ohio Assembly Plant where the new technology was launched (Figure 1). “Ford has found the solution. It's environmentally sound. It's cost-efficient. And it produces beautifully painted vehicles with long-term durability.”

Figure 1 Environmental paint process applies three coats of wet paint to E-Series vehicles at Ohio Assembly Plant

Ford's new high-solids solvent-borne paint formulation produces fewer VOC and CO2 emissions than do waterborne and current solvent-borne paints. Because the new formulation contains more color pigment, it requires less paint to cover a vehicle than water- based paint. Furthermore, the new technology allows for three coats of wet paint to be applied to the vehicle one on top of the other, without drying between coats. This eliminates the prime-coat application and its related processes, which means a smaller, more efficient paint shop.

Furthermore, there is no need for an air-conditioning process or an additional low-temperature oven, which are required in waterborne paint shops to evaporate the water from the paint.

The paint formulation contains new polymers and other additives that prevent running and sagging during the three-wet application process. Ford's laboratory tests show the high-solids solvent-borne paint provides better long-term resistance to chips and scratches than does waterborne paint.

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