Today, plastic add-on parts – such as bumpers and fenders – are often painted in the respective car color. In addition to the color, the visual appearance must also match the metal body. One solution is for the plastic add-on parts to undergo the complete painting process of the metal body. Only very few plastic materials can withstand the temperatures of up to 200 °C that occur in this process.
With the aim of sustainably promoting the use of plastics in car exteriors, the inpro partners decided around the turn of the millennium to jointly develop strategies for inline, offline and online painting of plastic add-on parts. In basic research, the suitability of various plastics for electrostatic painting was demonstrated and the influence of conductive primers was investigated.
Conductive primers increase the conductivity of plastic surfaces and thus facilitate electrostatic painting. Their use makes it possible to modify the optical properties of the surfaces in such a way that the appearance in many cases meets the high requirements of automotive production. In addition, conductive primers – as has been demonstrated – ensure increased process reliability.
The development work at inpro was a building block in many other studies by universities, research institutes and the shareholder groups. They contributed to the fact that today there are established solution concepts for the use of online and inline coated plastics in automotive series production.