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OBJECTIVE:

To protect the body surface and enhance visual appeal by adding color and gloss with efficient and environment friendly techniques. General steps for painting and coating applications include: 1. Substrate surface preparation 2. Application of coating 3. Drying of coating

Substrate surface preparation include following sequence of pretreatment processes: 1. precleaning (optional) 2. degreasing 3. activation 4. phosphating 5. passivation Each process is followed by DM rinse to avoid carryover of reagents in the tank.

Depending on the degree of cleanliness of the body entering the coating line, The legislation demands with respect to cascade rinsing, and the existence of a postrinsing stage, the pretreatment line can have up to 14 stages for a safe and reproducible process.

PROCESS SEQUENCE FOR FERROUS METALS IN PAINT SHOP

LOADING Here,the work piece is loaded on the hangers of the conveying system with mechanical cleaning by brushing with wire brush if it is scaled or rusted. DEGREASING This unit comprises 2 steps : 1. KOD (knock off degreasing) 2. Degreasing The task of degreasing is to remove all kind of contaminations from the metal surface, to achieve a water-break free surface, that is, a continuous water film on the surface after rinsing off excessive degreasing chemicals with water and to obtain a reactive surface which is able to build up the phosphate coating that is, the conversion layer, within a reasonable period of time. Liquid- or powder-type alkaline degreasers are used to feed the tanks. Liquid cleaners are typically twopack products with the builder and the surfactant separate, whereas powder products are typically onepack products.

Alkaline degreasers are composed of inorganic salts, the builder, and organic compounds, the surfactants. The predominant task of the builder is to remove inorganic and pigment contaminants like metal grains and welding pearls. The task of the surfactant is to remove oils, lubricants, soaps, and other organic contaminants. Typical builders used in alkaline cleaners are the following: NaOH, KOH, Na2CO3, K2CO3 to maintain alkalinity silicates to particle removal, inhibitor, buffer orthophosphates to degreasing condensed phosphates degreasing to complexing complexing agents to complexing. Surfactants contain a hydrophilic group, that is, a long chain of ethoxy (EO) and/or chain of propoxy (PO) molecules, and a hydrophobic group, which is typically a long chain alkyl. They are classified into anionic, cationic, nonionic, and amphoteric surfactants. Typically nonionic surfactants are in use today owing to their better environmental compliance. The mechanism of particle removal

from surfaces is shown in Figure 1. Owing to their amphiphilic characteristics, surfactants in solutions reduce interfacial tensions, absorb at solid interfaces, and form micelles. The mechanism of oil removal from surfaces is shown in Figure 2. The surfactants first adsorb on the oil surface, and then try to reduce surface tensions and remove separated droplets containing the oil from the surface. Nonionic surfactants are solubilized through hydrogen bonds between water molecules and the ether group. As the hydrogen bond breaks at increasing temperature, the surfactant becomes insoluble and forms a second phase. This is called the cloud point and the corresponding temperature is specific for each surfactant, depending on the number of EO and PO groups. Nonionic surfactants bove the cloud point have a low tendency to build foam, but are still surface active.

Fig.1 Mechanism of particle removal from surfaces.

Fig.2 Mechanism of oil removal from surfaces. Degreasing solutions are applied both by spray and immersion applications. The advantages of spray application are as follows: short treating times used for parts with simple geometry

excellent for particle removal restricted in terms of low-temperature application (surfactants tend to foam at low temperatures) requires only small bath volume for less investment, less space, low capital cost can be combined with brushing operations, and so on. The advantages of immersion application are as follows: excellent cleaning of areas difficult to access (box sections) requires higher concentration and treatment times compared to spray application higher stability due to greater bath volume Control of degreasing baths is accomplished mostly by titration methods: total alkalinity free alkalinity (optional) conductivity pH (optional). Total and free alkalinity are defined by different titration methods, which are

developed by the suppliers of the pretreatment chemicals. WATER RINSE The main task of rinsing is to remove excessive chemical from the metal surface and hence to avoid contamination of the following stages, which may cause severe problems in the chemistry of the process. It is done by ordinary water. ACTIVATION Activation increases the number of crystallization nuclei on the metal surface. This results in an increased number of phosphate crystals per unit surface area and a reduced coating weight for the applied conversion layer. As the surface will be uniformly covered with crystals in a shorter time, activation treatment also has an accelerating effect in the phosphate process. For activation prior to zinc phosphating, aqueous dispersions of titanium ortho phosphates with a pH between 7 and 11 are typically used. The performance of activating baths diminishes with time, independent of the throughput of parts. This phenomenon varies to a great extent

and depends on the specific product formulation. This can be explained in terms of titanium phosphate colloids being negatively charged and being precipitated out by divalent or trivalent cations, especially Ca(II) and Mg(II) ions, which are contained in hard water. In order to reduce degradation by divalent ions, most activator products contain condensed polyphosphates to form complexes with the aforementioned cations. It is strongly recommended that activator baths be made up using demineralized water and losses be compensated with water of the same quality. Depending on the activator product, the level of contamination in the bath, and the specifications with regard to crystal size and coating weight, activating baths are dumped at fixed intervals. These time intervals may range from about 1 week to about 6 months. Liquid activator products are normally fed directly into the supply tank, although special pumps are required to cope with the high viscosity of these products. When powder products are used, a 5% slurry is typically prepared in a premixing tank and used for product dosage in the working tank. It is recommended that activator baths are stirred

continuously in order to prevent settling of the titanium phosphate dispersion.

PHOSPHATING Low-zinc phosphate is the standard phosphate conversion layer worldwide for processing. Other types of pretreatment like iron phosphate or conventional zinc phosphate, which are used for steel surfaces, and chromating or chrome-free processes on basis titanium/zirconium compounds for aluminum surfaces have been tried in the past, but neither provides the required quality on all substrates, nor are they suitable for multimetal treatment. The initial step in all conversion treatments is a pickling attack of the metal surface by free phosphoric acid. The metal loss on cold-rolled steel sheet, zinc-coated steel sheet, and aluminum is typically in the range of 0.5 to 2 g m-2 The consumption of hydrogen ions leads to a shift of pH

in the diffusion layer adjacent to the metal surface, exceeding the solubility limits, and consequent precipitation of zinc phosphate. Accelerators are therefore added to the zinc phosphate chemicals to speed up the pickling reaction by replacing the unwanted H2 evolution by chemical reactions that take place more easily, like reduction of the accelerators themselves. Zinc phosphate solutions typically contain dihydrogen phosphates of zinc, nickel, manganese, free phosphoric acid, sodium nitrate, fluorosilicic acid, one or several oxidizing compounds like sodium nitrite, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxylamine, sodium chlorate, nitroguanidine (CN4), N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide (NMMO), acetaldoxime, and sodium nitrobenzenesulfonate (SNIBS). The Zn, Ni, Mn compounds and the phosphoric acid along with the ferrous ion (FeII) from the steel surface are the layer forming compounds. All other chemicals have supporting functions like acceleration, oxidation, etching, and stabilization of the bath and the film. Processes for phosphating steel and aluminum surfaces at the same time additionally contain fluoride (hydrofluoric acid, alkali fluoride, or alkali

bifluoride) to generate amounts of about 50250 ppm free fluoride, depending on the type of process and application, that is, spraying or dipping. In patent literature, low-zinc phosphate processes are defined by the low Zn : PO4 ratio in the working solution. This ratio had been set to 1:12 to 1:110 originally, but has been changed to 1:20 to 1:100 as of today. Pickling reaction: Coating formation: Hopeite

Phosphophyllite

ZnMn-phosphate Sludge formation: The sludge generated during the phosphate process has to be continuously removed by filtration

techniques in order to maintain constant performance of the conversion layer. DM WATER RINSE It is used to remove leftovers of phosphating and passivation tank. PASSIVATION In order to improve the corrosion resistance of phosphated and coated metal sheet, the conversion layer can be given a passivation as a postrinse with chrome(VI), Cr(III), or chrome-free solutions. Today, hexavalent chrome has been replaced by zirconium-based solution due to the toxic danger of chromium VI-compounds. Although the mechanism of passivation by zirconium-based solutions is not fully understood, it is generally accepted that the effect of improved corrosion protection is mostly associated with reduction of the pore size by precipitation of insoluble compounds and removal of secondary phosphate crystals from the surface of the phosphate layer by the acidic solution of the passivating agent.

WDO WDO is water drying oven. Dry-off ovens are used to ensure that the body surfaces are absolutely dry before paint application. Sufficient time is provided to allow the body to be heated to about 125-150 0C at which all water is evaporated. Ventilation is necessary to take away the evaporated water. With direct gas heaters, ventilation must be sufficient to provide the amount of oxygen required for the combustion as well to take away the flue gas produced. 3 COAT-3 BAKE OR 2 COAT-2 BAKE PAINTING PROCESS : The outer surface of the body is prepared and painted through 3 coat (i.e. primer surfacer, base coat, top coat) - 3 bake or 2 coat (primer surfacer, top coat) - 2 bakes process. The primer surfacer application is carried out in number of sections of the booth such as

1. wiping off contaminants and an ionised blow-off to eliminate static electricity 2. application of anti-chip coating to lower body area 3. application of primer surfacer to entire body exterior 4. inspection and repair of primer surfacer, if required PRIMER It is used to level the structure of substrate. Firstly, any shot-through to the bare metal must be prevented because perforations inevitably lead to corrosion. At the same time, good adhesion of the top coat is required to ensure minimal detraction from the visual appearance in the event of any chipping. BASE COAT It is the function of the base coat to provide color and durability. A pigment will retain its crystal or particulate structure throughout the coloration process. It will alter the appearance of an object by the selective absorption and/or scattering of light.

TOP COAT To protect these pigments from the environment, a clear coat is applied over the colored base coat. The clear coats offer protection from extensive sunlight, scratches, and all types of chemical attack. After a flash off, the body is moved through an oven for about 30 minutes at about 1700 C for baking of primer surfacer. The bodies before moving to base coat and/or clear coat wet sanded, rinsed, and dried off. A preparation area is used for manual wipe down, compressed air blow-off and deionised air application. Depending on the manufacturers process plans either the body moves through a clear coat application booth or a two-coat (basecoat/clear coat) booth. Between each coat, a flash off is necessary. FLASH OFF ZONES Drying as a flash-off step between two painting areas like the waterborne base coat and the clear coat; in this intermediate drying process, only the solvent in the paint film is removed by evaporating to a certain degree

PAINT BOOTHS A uniform coat of paint is applied manually or automatically in booths. A stable painting environment is the basic necessity for a good booth. Controls in air supply system maintain the desired temperature, humidity and cleanliness of the air in the different portions of the booth. Air from the atmosphere drawn by supply fans placed at outer end of the air supply system passes through air intake grilles, air intake dampers, primary air filters, and the air supply fan. Depending on the climatic conditions of the plant location and the specifications of paints; systems for heating, cooling or air conditioning with humidity control are incorporated in the air supply line. The air supplied by the fan passes through the duct to the plenum chamber, from where the air is divided and passes through the secondary filters placed in the ceilings of the different sections of the spray booth, the entrance and exit vestibules. The air entering the vestibules travels towards the outside ends, and precludes the entry of dust from the outside. It also carries away the dust that might have been brought by the bodies on the entrance vestibules. The quantity of the air supplied must be sufficient to obtain an outward air

movement of approximately 0.5 metres per second. The air entering the spray booth becomes charged with paint overspray and is drawn out through the floor that is flooded continuously with water flow. Various orifices that are suitably located and that create the correct suction at the inlet of their throat. It creates a pressure drop that decides the collection efficiency. In one case, a pressure drop of 80 mm WG results in 99.8% collection efficiency. Higher pressure drop may improve it further. The flow pattern of down draft air also assures good paint transfer efficiency, sufficient air flow stability in the line, and the best application zone dimensions. Through the floor, the paint laden air is drawn through the venturi orifices of various designs located under the sloping water flow plate. The paint over spray is turbulently mixed with the cleaning water carrying the paint deadner. (The deadner is a fast acting chemical agent which denatures the paint and makes float on the surface of the water or sink.) The water is atomised by the air and the water and paint particles get intimately mixed. The atomized mixture travels into the dewatering section where the

water and air are separated. Air that is now clean and free of water droplets moves through exhaust and is generally reused. As the paint mist is killed when it passes through the orifice, no paint buildup takes place. The water enters the spray booth at the top of the water flow plates and is distributed along the whole width of the respective water flow plates. The water is drawn into the longitudinally placed venturi orifice where it mixes with the paint-laden air, extracts the paint out of the air. The water with paint particles is separated from the air in the scrubber. Colour booths may be in various designs: with or without glazing, as sheet metal construction with 2-component interior coating or in aluminium or stainless steel. The water system in spray booth washes the paint overspray out of the paint laden air. The water carries the paint deadner in solution and finally carries the deadened paint in the sludge pit. In sludge pit, the paint rises to the surface and can be collected, while the water is drawn through a filter by recirculation pump and recycled to the booth.

Different methods may be utilised for sludge removal. Conventional method - floatation or sedimentation in a tank Floatation overflow method (based on the principle of coagulation) - The paint-laden water is mixed with an alkaline or chemo-physical coagulant. The denatured paint is separated from a floatation tank. The paint sludge is periodically collected in filter bags. External partial circuit waste treatment (based on the principle of adsorption) - The paint is denatured by the withdrawal of the solvent surrounding the paint particles through the reaction of the specific adsorbing agents, such as aluminium oxide. The reaction is almost spontaneous. Paint sludge separation is from the outside coagulation tank. Precipitating tank can be small. The exhaust air volumes from spray booths are very high and the solvent proportion is low. A process to increase the concentration of the solvent content in

the exhaust air is necessary. In one process, electric wet separator is used to eliminate all paint particles from the exhaust air. In another process, the continuous rotation of rotor with carbon fibre causes adsorption and desorption of paint particles. The hot air volume required for desorption is only a small portion of the solvent-containing exhaust air. Exhaust air purification may be carried out by: 1. Adsorption plant designed with activated carbon fibre mat system with solvent recovery. 2. Thermal purification plant for the combustion of solvent containing exhaust air at high temperatures. 3. Catalytic purification plant for the combustion of solvent containing exhaust air at low temperature. Activated carbon fibre mat adsorption systems provide many advantages: 1. extremely high adsorption power and speed 2. high desorption power and speed 3. better quality of recovered solvent 4. less weight and compact size Paint circulation system

Paint circulation system covers paint delivery, paint mix, paint transfer, paint filtration and the final delivery to the point of paint application equipment. Paint circulation system maintains stable temperature, viscosity and pressure of the paint for the effective functioning of the painting equipment. A fixed rate of paint fluidity and viscosity is preserved with no sedimentation of solids to achieve uniform paint thickness. Optimum combination of paint temperature, car body temperature, and the temperature and relative humidity inside the spray booth facilitates smoothness and gloss finish for the body. Colour spraying may be executed by air atomising, airless spray, electrostatic spraying through manual or automatic equipment or by spraying robot. Conventional air spray guns are still in use, particularly for retouching work. However, the disadvantages are the excessive overspray and resulting waste requiring extremely expensive ventilation system to meet VOC legislation. In airless spraying, a special high pressure hydraulic pump delivers the paint to a spray gun with a

tungsten carbide nozzle- the spray tip. The energy required to atomise the paint comes from the sudden change in pressure as the paint emerges from the spray tip. The absence of air helps the spray penetrate corners and cervices better and substantially reduces overspray. However, heavy wear of nozzles caused by the high speed of the paint leaving the gun and often frequent blockage due to the fine hole of the spray tip; are the problems. Air assisted airless spraying is a synthesis of the conventional air spray gun and airless spraying. A small pump partially atomises the paint by hydraulic pressure. With the Kremlin Airmix system, the paint fan at the gun nozzle is then uniformed and enveloped by the air jets incorporated in the spraying head to give fine atomisation. Overspray is reduced upto 30% in comparison with conventional air spray. It requires a compressed air volume of only one twentieth of that needed by a conventional spray gun, and a paint feed pressure which is lower than an airless gun.

HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) spraying is a logical development of air assisted airless spraying. HVLP version utilises high volume of air (at pressure below 70 kPa) lowers overspray even more than that by air assisted airless version. With improved coating rates, it results in considerably low VOC emission, as the transfer efficiency is in excess of 65%. HVLP is very successful with low viscosity paints. Electrostatic spraying can also be done very effectively. A judicious integration of automated paint finishing machines, robots and automated spray guns may be required to maintain the spraying needs of each section of a car body in highly automatic paint plant In an automatic paint facility, the thick primer surfacer and clear coats are applied by means of electrostatic high speed rotary atomisers. Bonnet, decklid, wheel arches, etc. can be painted with industrial robots that move along side of the body controlled by means of a tracking system. With the optimisation of the spraying system, the air throughflow may be reduced. Some new machines have incorporated the internal routing of the supply lines

as against the outside routing on conventional machines. With no open, loosely suspended cables and conduits above the body, the flaws on the paint finish caused by falling dirt is avoided. Paint and solvent losses during automatic colour changes are considerably reduced, as the colour change devices are located close to the spray nozzles. Quantity of cleansing liquid required to flush the system before the colour change is also reduced considerably. Further, modularity in construction is another feature of these machines that provides flexibility for model change. In a typical metallic spray booth using solvent borne paint, the process sequence may be as follows: 1. Tac rag manual or using ostrich feather machine 2. Inside painting of base coat with robots 3. Outside first base coat with electrostatic paint spraying machine 4. Outside second base coat with paint machines 5. Intermediate blowoff 6. Inside painting -clear coat with robots 7. Outside clear coat with electrostatic paint spraying machine. The paint shop operators are provided a control system that graphically displays and

simulates the operating parameters. For operator, it is easier to set the enormous number of coating parameters and to optimise the system. Paint spray booth is thus a totally integrated system with paint supply system, colour changing system, and painting equipment. Air turbine driven minibells with high voltage block and efficient paint atomisation system are capable of flexible positioning through a 3-axis control. Controls for the conveyors, application equipment, robots and the safety installations are integrated through a control panel mounted into the side wall construction of spray booth.

ELECTRO-DEPOSITION COATING Electro-deposition are of two types: Anodic Electro-Deposition (AED) and Cathodic Electro-Deposition (CED). In electro-deposition, charged particles from the paint emulsion move to Anode (AED) or Cathode (CED) under electrical forces (because of voltage created between the electrodes - one of which is

work piece). It happens during the period the body remains completely submerged in the paint bath. In anodic system, the work piece is made positive electrode. In cathodic system, the work piece is made negative electrode. The direct current established through the bath makes the pigment and resin base of the paint wander towards the body surfaces. Ultrafiltrate (UF) equipment is used for condensation of ED paint ingredients to form film and separation of those not forming film. Filtrates of the ingredients that do not form film are used in a multiple cleaning process as a solution to clean out surplus paint adhered to electro-coated body. As the film formed has high resistance, so further deposition ceases. Coating reaches all the recessed area. Deposited film does not redissolve. However, the undeposited material is rinsed. Neutraliser in the system is controlled. The film is compact almost touch dry with high solids. Deposited film after stoving becomes hard, durable polymeric film. Major advantages of electro-deposition over conventional solvent borne dip primer are: 1. Fully automatic operation, including the facility of controlling film thickness

2. More uniform coating 3. Better coverage in box and interior surfaces 4. Deposition of film of comparable thickness on the inner and outer surfaces of box section 5. Good coverage of sharp corners 6. Better penetration between spot welded surfaces 7. No runs and sag 8. No solvent boil 9. micron dry film buildup 10. Better chip resistance 11. Better corrosion resistance 12. Nearly 100% paint utilisation because of closed loop system 13. Superior in anti-pollution, safety, health hazard Disadvantage of Electro-deposition system of coating is its high capital investment and operating cost. While mild steel is good enough as material for alkali resistant anodic plant bath, acid resistant stainless steel or PVC is used for cathodic tank. Cathodic plant is almost 80% or so costlier than anodic. Electro-deposition was initially anodic. However, over the years cathodic electro-deposition has become universally preferred system in automotive industry. Some clear advantages of

cathodic over anodic systems are the resulting superior quality characteristics. A typical comparison of the results is as follows:

Other advantages of the cathodic elecro-deposition are:

1. Increased throwing power(about 50% more) with better capability for the paint to reach recessed and critical corrosion prone areas, which might not be possible with anodic system 2. Smoother film deposit as the film flows smoothly during baking, and so lesser necessity of rectification work that ensures a smoother final finish 3. With its better corrosion resistance, the film thickness can be reduced(upto half in comparison with the film thickness of anodic paint).

4. Less problem in maintenance of the quality of paint as the cathodic paint has a greater resistance to bacteria 5. Electrodepositing can also be done by spraying. Electrostatic spraying has increasingly been accepted as the best method. The method of atomising the paint may be: 1. By centrifugal force off rotating sharp edge as in high speed rotating bell. The high voltage imparts the maximum electrostatic charge at the edge. 2. By high pressure fluid feed and airless atomisation through a small orifice 3. By air-assisted airless feed with certain clear advantages over 2. 4. By compressed air as in conventional spray gun In the case of centrifugal atomisation, the particles are charged as they leave the rotating bell. Other systems ionise the air at the tip of a sharply pointed external electrode and depend on partial transfer of the charge from air ions to the atomised paint

particles. Paints are generally charged with negative polarity. Close tolerance of electrical resistance is the most critical feature of the paint formulations. The bodies to be coated are earthed to attract all the paint and create a wrap around effect of the paint particles. The method has many advantages over conventional spray finishing: 1. Faster painting 2. Better uniformity once the parameters are established 3. Considerable saving in paint through absence of overspray 4. Less need for comprehensive exhaust facilities Different methods of providing the high potential are used by paint equipment manufacturers and the equipment are available for both manual, automatic, or robotised application. While manual painting can hardly attain 25~35% paint transfer efficiency, automatic painting machines achieve a transfer efficiency of 80~90% with electrostatic bells, and 60~70% with air atomising reciprocating paint machinery. Automated painting also achieves uniform paint deposition over all the surfaces, and the quality is consistent unlike skill-dependent manual spray painting. Water borne paints are

replacing solvent borne ones for better emission Control Application of water borne paints by electrostatic methods require special precautions, as the higher conductivity of these paints provides an earth path via the distribution system. Some major systems have been developed by the paint application equipment manufacturers to meet this requirement of water borne paint. The Internal Charge System uses a paint reservoir situated within the machine and sized to provide sufficient paint for one application. This is filled from the distribution system and then physically isolated before the high voltage applied. The reservoir is finished and refilled for every body painted. The transfer efficiency is same as one with solvent-based paint. Application does not depend on the booth conditions. The paint finishing is excellent. However, the system is not suitable for very fast colour changes.

The Electrode System uses external electrodes. The atomised paint from the high speed bells passes through a corona field created by a system of electrodes arranged around the rotating bell but electrically isolated from the main body of the machine. The system can make very fast colour changes, but the environment in the booth must be perfectly controlled in terms of humidity, temperature and ventilation to achieve the optimum efficiency. In a new system called Accubell, a single tank is fitted as close as possible to the bell. The tank can be filled with the quantity of paint necessary for one job. To change colour, the atomiser travels to a docking station which is connected to the colour changing block for colour change cycle to begin. The tank is first cleaned with water as are the bell and the paint injector, and then all are flushed with compressed air. Finally, the tank is filled with the new colour. The colour change time is short. It prevents paint waste and water consumption is low. The principle for Accubell has also been applied with electrostatic guns. The tank in this case is bigger as the flow rate for a gun is usually higher for a bell and the system is called Accustat. It has to correspond to the multi-

axis robots. The high voltage power unit is integrated into the gun so that only the low voltage cable runs through the arm of the robot.

Baking Oven After every paint coating, ovens are required to cure the coating in addition to drying off the wet surfaces. It also polymerize with the help of cross linking agents. The type of oven system generally depends on the type of paint coat used. Typically in a paint shop, the ovens are: pretreatment water dry-off oven, electro-deposition oven, underbody sealer oven, surfacer coat oven, dry-off oven after wet sanding, finish coat oven, metallic finish coat oven, repair oven. Almost directly after the final rinsing step in the rinsing zone the body enters the baking oven. Some ovens use multistages in continuous lines. They consist of an IR (Infra Red)-heating zone and two or three stages of convection zones with circulating air. Some only have circulating air stages. Even the

convection ovens in general are not very energy efficient compared to IR-ovens, but are mandatory for the baking process because of the complex shape of a other bodies. The state-of-the-art ovens are called A-ovens characterizing the shape of the oven in which the body is moved up to a certain height in the entry area, conducted through the oven and moved down back to the starting level at the exit of the oven. The advantage of this shape is significantly reduced loss of energy due to the fact that warm air moves to the top of the oven, in other words it cannot leave the oven easily. The IR-zone also helps to save energy because it heats up the outside of the body very rapidly, so that the circulation zones can concentrate their air flow specifically on the critical parts of the body. Those are the inner parts and the parts with high masses of steel like rocker panels or the Bcolumns. This is provided by air fans in conjunction with flow apertures and corresponding air speeds of 25m s1 or higher for special tasks. Nevertheless measurements from the temperature/time curves show differences depending on the location of the bodies (Figure 4).

Paint bake ovens are divided in two parts: the heatup zone and the holding zones followed by the cooler. Air seals are incorporated at oven ends. In heating zone, the painted bodies are rapidly brought up to the required baking temperature. The holding zone then maintains the temperature of the bodies for the time required for complete baking of the paint. Layout of an oven with a cooler Convection ovens, radiation heat ovens, or a combination of both systems may be used in paint stoving process. Convection ovens: The body is heated by means of circulating air that sweeps over the surface thus transferring its heat to the body by convection. For a uniform metal temperature, the circulatiing air is blown into the oven at floor level. The air then is made to pass through the oven vertically towards the ceiling from which it is extracted and conveyed back to the heating unit. Radiation ovens: Due to the natural air circulation caused by the heat convection against the radiation panels, there is a tendency of temperature increase just below the oven ceiling in radiation oven. A supplementary air circulation fan is used to exhaust

the hot air under the ceiling and blow it again at floor level to maintain an even temperature inside the oven. Combined radiation-convection oven: The radiation zone is used as a heating zone, as the radiation heating is expected to be quicker than convection heating- particularly for the surfaces exposed to the effects of radiation. Adequate ventilation is provided to eliminate the evaporating solvent and the make-up air is filtered before entry into the oven. Convection zones work as holding zones in which the temperature of the bodies can be kept constant during the full time required for complete baking of the paint. The number of heated zone is dependent on application and capacity. Heating may be indirect or direct with electricity, gas or oil. Oven heat transmission may be through convection. Blast nozzles may be arranged at the top or at the sides. It may be indirect heating in infra-red oven. The bodies pass through a cooling zone where fresh air is directed onto them at high velocity. The fresh air thus heated up is carried away via the exhaust air system.

Coolers at the end of ovens allow the bodies to be handled rapidly and to prevent large quantities of heat from the bodies to escape into the shop atmosphere. Air seal at exit may be designed to work as a cooler for low production. The air seal is provided with an air supply fan that delivers filtered outside air via an intake stack. An exhaust fan removes the used air through another stack. Temperature control of the supply air is achieved by interconnecting the two stacks so that the out going air may be mixed with incoming air in suitable proportions. However, for large production painting oven, a separate cooler is essential besides exit air seal. The principle is same as that for air seal, but longer time and larger air quantity are required. Even and quick heating up of the body, independent of the body shape and material suspension is normally the objective of a sound oven planning. In one case, in drying zones, medium wave infra red radiators allow a controlled heat up within small tolerances. The intensity of the radiation is controlled to a pre-selected temperature of the body.

Detection of the measured values is by contact free radiation thermometers, while the radiator output is controlled electrically. Advantages are: 1. An uniform and quick heat up of the car body, independent of sheet metal thickness and body shape. 2. Optimum drying conditions despite shorter oven length 3. No overstoving due to over temperature reaction e.g. in case of conveyor breakdown. 4. Excessive heating up of plastic, rubber electrical components during repair curing is avoided due to spot heating of the repaired surface. An additional benefit is energy saving. To guarantee the specified film performance it is mandatory to control these data on a regular basis. The minimum metal temperature has to be reached at all points for example 10 minutes over 170 C. Sensitivity to overbake has also to be considered while this is not such a critical factor compared to underbake. Owing to the already mentioned fact that cathodic electrocoats based on their chemistry split chemical components the air flow also has to

manage this material load. Depending on the zone the share of recirculating air changes in the different stages. The last stage can have higher recirculating air compared to the first and middle ones in case of a three stage oven. Considering the weight loss of between 8 and18% for most electrocoat materials based on the type of coatings and air dried deposited films this results in the concentration of organic emissions in the oven air of several grams per cubic meter. This is well above the value limits specified in the regulations of most countries in the world. Therefore the waste air, that is replaced by preheated fresh air, normally goes into an incineration unit to fulfill the VOC-emission regulations. Other methods like adsorption on activated carbon beds are used rarely. Because the thermal energy generated in the incinerators can also be used for heating air, thermal incineration systems are often an integral part of the oven system. Gas- or oil-fired-boilers are normally used for heat generation, which is then transferred by a heat exchanger to the recirculating oven air. If natural gas is used the heat exchanger can be dispensed and the hot fuel gases can go directly into the oven. In some cases this can lead to film

performance deficiencies like adhesion failures to the primer surface Figure 4

DEFECTS As is usual in the coating technology processes, paints have to blend together to provide a stress- and defect-free coating result. If defects occur it is not always easy to identify the source of the problem immediately as related to the process or to the paint. Types of defect: Dirt Dirt is one of the most common recurring problems of coating processes, however

this is not the case for electrocoats. If dirt appears it may be caused by insufficient cleaning cycles of the conveyor, dirt or other particles in the body, broken filters, or paint stability. Craters Craters in amorphous films are caused by surface tension differences of inhomogenic particles with very low surface tensions (<20mN m1) supported by a low critical micelle concentration in the paint dispersion. After deposition these particles are randomly distributed in the films. The poor wettability of the electrocoat film generates a crater by not wetting those particles during film formation. Avoiding craters means careful housekeeping to protect the electrocoat tank from any type of contaminants and selecting approved, that is auxiliary materials like lubricants, working clothes, gloves, cleaning solutions and so on

Surface Roughness Unusual surface roughness exceeding the specification may have many different causes. First rough steel surfaces result in rough and structured electrocoat surfaces. The countermeasure in these cases can only be replacement of the respective coils. The residual ripple of the recti.ers being too high may be another reason for rough surfaces. Normally this can be corrected by adjustment of the rectifier. An application voltage that is too high and close to the rupture voltage starts the general deterioration of the surface smoothness of the electrocoat before heavy local defects and ruptures occur. Correction of bath temperature and voltage to . Film Thickness/Throwing Power The film thickness and the .lm thickness distribution on a complex body for cars and trucks are the most important qualities defining the property of the electrocoating. The film thickness of the inner segments of the body is characterized

by the throw power. It is often not possible to compare the throwing power of the different paints of different suppliers on cars, but in lab tests the potential of an electrocoat material can be judged. On the basis of physical application data of the respective paints and defined body sections calculation programs exist which are designed to forecast the .lm thickness and material consumption of an automotive body From a practical point of view, to reach the specified film thickness and the throwing power, the anode to cathode ratio, the appropriate bath temperature, the solid content, and conductivity as well as the voltage programs and sometimes even the feed ratio of the resin and paste dispersions have to be optimized for each specific tank. The performance of the process parameters has to be monitored at least daily, in tanks with short turn over several times a day. This includes the appearance of the applied and cured film as well as .lm thickness data on de.ned

spots on the body, outside and inside. In cases where the .lm thickness increases or decreases without changing the process parameters one should carefully analyze the analytical bath parameter. Increasing solid and solvent levels and decreasing degrees of neutralization that is increasing pH may be one of the reasons for .lm thickness increase. Countermeasures have to be discussed with the paint supplier. The pH is not a sensitive indicator for changes in the degree of neutralization because the electrocoat behaves like a pH buffer system. So the acid and base numbers have to be specified for best operation and have to be checked frequently. Other Defects Related to the sensitivity of the paint formula to process parameters there are issues such as hash marks, water spotting, boil outs, and pinholes that may appear causing a lot of manual work and related costs for repairing those defects.

POWDER CLEAR COAT Powder clear coat is an environmental friendly technology, as it does not emit any organic solvent during its application Besides this, powder clear coat has the following other advantages: 1. direct recycling: the collected overspray powder can be directly used for the original coating process. 2. no waste, waste water, or paint sludge from the clear coat application. 3. no use of solvents for cleaning of application equipment o spray booth: just vacuuming. 4. reduction of total energy: air supply to spray booth can be reduced by higher recycling rate, no VOC, very low toxic aspects.

5. same film thickness and similar appearance on horizontals and verticals. As in a standard application process using waterborne base coat, the powder clear coat is applied after a heated flash off of the base coat at 6 minutes and 60 0C. To achieve good flow and appearance, clear coat film builds must be 6070 m. The melting and cross-linking of the powder clear coat is done at 20 minutes and 145 0C.