Vehicle Research

Ford Improves Paint Durability for Transit Van

May 22, 2014

Photo courtesy of Ford.
Photo courtesy of Ford.

Ford's 2015 Transit van will carry paint with improved durability that will retain 90 percent of its gloss for four years when ordered in white, Ford has announced.

When the first Transit vans arrive in June, they will have a new two-wet monocoat paint process developed by the automaker and its paint suppliers.

The new process reduces painting time and energy use by cutting the number of paint applications from three to two and the number of drying procedures from two to one.

Ford tested the paint for its resistance to chipping and scratching, pollutants and sun exposure. Advanced weathering testing indicates that paint applied with the two-wet technology retains 90 percent of its gloss at four years in service compared to 1 percent gloss retention for paint applied using a conventional monocoat process.

The two-wet monocoat process uses a primer coat that requires a few minutes of open-air drying time before the color coat is applied. The color coat is formulated with the same appearance and protection properties of the clear coat, which eliminates the need for a separate clear coat.

The painted body is fully cured in an enamel oven after the color coat is applied. The total process removes one paint application step and one oven drying step when compared to conventional paint processes.

The new paint procedure is being used for white vehicles, which account for 80 percent of Ford Transit production at Kansas City Assembly Plant. As each color must be developed uniquely for the two-wet monocoat process, other colors will be considered based on demand. A conventional three-wet process of primer, base coat, and clear coat remains in use for metallic-colored vehicles.

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