International. One of the four layers of car paint, known as primer, is now significantly thinner than before thanks to innovative technology. This change offers significant savings in material.
"At Škoda Auto, we are constantly working in close coordination with our partners to further reduce the carbon footprint of our company's operations. In the meantime, we are also reviewing established methods and relying on innovative and environmentally friendly materials, such as those used in our paint shop," says Christian Putz, Head of Vehicle Exteriors at Škoda Purchasing.
"By applying a thinner layer of paint, we save 720 tons of material a year without compromising on quality," he adds.
According to the company, the savings will eliminate approximately 50,000 kilometers that would otherwise be traveled by trucks carrying material from the supplier.
It maintains that the resulting paint retains the existing first-class quality in terms of appearance, durability and protective function.
"Needless to say, the new technology has been rigorously tested," the company said in a statement saying that for ten months it exposed the vehicles painted in the new shape to direct sunlight, dust and gravel impacts, simulating a wide range of weather conditions during testing.
Tests confirmed that the new material is at least as durable as the previous solution. In addition, it established that the new thinner layer meets the extreme demands of durability and quality, which according to the company is due to the fact that it is a new material.
"In principle, the new primer does not differ from the traditional ones as it has the usual ingredients (e.g. pigment, binder, putty and solvent), but the recipe for mixing them all together is completely new," says Škoda Auto.
For the Czech company, as before, the primer is also soluble in water (water is the solvent). The use of this type of material helps to reduce the environmental impact of car production.
"We are already using the new material in all our plants in the Czech Republic. We are using high-tech processes in our production plants and are constantly developing them," says ŠKODA's head of automotive production, Marek Jancák.
"For example, our paint shop, which was launched in 2019 in Mladá Boleslav, is an industry-wide benchmark in terms of sustainability and cost and process efficiency," Jancák adds.
However, ŠKODA's paint innovations do not end with the thinnest primer layer: the company's experts are also working on other innovations.
For example, they are testing the possibility of using a base color without the need for a primer, investigating the use of new and more effective waxes, and addressing the possibility of using a thinner layer of transparent layer. They also plan to use more biomaterials in the painting process.