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BASF has introduced DynaSeal, a new dual-cure (UV and thermal) sealer for coating sheet molded composite (SMC) materials used in automotive applications.
SMC is extensively used in automotive applications because of its favorable weight-to-strength ratio and ability to be molded into complex parts. However, SMC has been difficult to paint with standard automotive coating systems due to “”out-gassing”” of volatile materials from the substrate during the curing process. This situation, known as “”porosity,”” usually causes high repair rates at molders and automotive assembly plants. As such, SMC’s viability for use in exterior class A body panels was limited.
“”DynaSeal prevents porosity defects in automotive coating layers by sealing the SMC surface,”” explained Ray Nix, Director of Sales and Services, Automotive Components for BASF Corporation’s Automotive OEM Coatings Regional Business Unit. “”This is achieved by curing the sealer with an ultraviolet (UV) light followed by a thermal cure, which delivers the necessary performance properties for coatings like adhesion and stone chip resistance. Using this new technology allows the SMC surface to be sealed by the UV-induced polymerization before the part experiences any heat. The UV-polymerized film prevents `out-gassing’ from the part when the subsequent paint layers are cured.””
The innovation for DynaSeal sealer originated in BASF laboratories at the company’s Automotive Campus in Southfield, Michigan. BASF also has done research and development work on UV coatings for many years in Europe. BASF currently supplies DynaSeal coatings to Meridian Automotive Systems facility in Kansas City, Kansas. At this location, more than 700 rear fenders (also referred to as “”box side outers””) are produced daily for shipment to the nearby assembly plant of Ford Motor Company, where they are used on pickup trucks.
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