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automotive paints and coatings

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It is now over 10 years since the first publication of ‘‘Automotive Paints and Coatings’’ in 1996. The original publication was made possible thanks to the untiring effort of Gordon Fettis to bring out a book dedicated to automotive OEM coatings. In a changing business environment, the automotive industry is always reevaluating its core competencies and has transferred many technical developments and manufacturing tasks to the supplier industry. Painting, so far, has remained one of its core competencies and is a ‘‘value added’’ process in the car manufacturing industry. 

This fact underlines the necessity for a new and completely revised edition of the book. We thank Mr. Fettis for taking this up, and giving us the opportunity to publish this book. We also thank all the contributors for their articles that demonstrate the expertise of each of them in his respective field.

 The book covers the painting process of passenger cars and ‘‘light trucks’’, as they are called by the American automotive industry. These vehicles are mass manufactured and therefore their coating requirements in terms of processing and coating performance are similar in nature. The key performance drivers in automotive coatings are quality, cost, and environmental compliance. 

Quality, in this context, relates to corrosion protection and long lasting appearance. Quality and cost are addressed by more efficient coating processes and a higher degree of automatization. This has led to reduced use of paint and lesser waste per body. With the widespread use of high solid, waterborne, and powder coatings, solvent emission from paint shops have been reduced by more than 50% over the last ten years.

 We are proud to contribute to this development by publishing the second edition of ‘‘Automotive Paints and Coatings’’, in which we try to describe the state-of-the-art technology of automotive coating processes and the paint materials used in these processes.

 Automotive coating processes represent the cutting edge of application technology and paint formulations. They are the most advanced processes in regard to volume handling, sophisticated body geometries and speed in mass production. Colored coatings offer mass customization and product differentiation at an affordable cost.

This second edition may help many readers to understand these high-performance coating processes and the related materials, and also appreciate the scope for new ideas and innovations. 

The contents and the main focus of this edition differ from those in the first edition. Processes, technology, and paint formulations have been weighted equally, reflecting that legislation and cost were the driving forces of the past. We hope that not only experts but also technically interested readers will find this book useful.