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UV-Cured sealer stops SMC paint pops. (Keeping up with Composites).

A new way to minimize "popping" defects on painted surfaces of large SMC auto body panels has been devised by Meridian Automotive Systems in Kansas City, Kan., with the help of two partners. Meridian uses a new uv-curable, two-component polyurethane sealant from BASF Coatings, Southfield, Mich., and high-intensity uv-curing equipment from Fusion UV Systems, Inc., Gaithersburg, Md. The first commercial use is fender panels for current Ford pickup trucks, although numerous other applications are on the horizon.

The new approach is said to be "an order of magnitude" more effective than in-mold coating in preventing paint pops, and it eliminates about 30 sec of molding cycle time needed for IMC. BASF's Dynaseal liquid coating is sprayed on parts after molding and then quickly cured with a 20-lamp configuration of Fusion UV's microwave-powered F600 equipment. A second, low-temperature heat-curing step is also required to cure a few "shadow areas" remaining after uv curing. Surface quality of parts is said to exceed that obtained with inmold coating.

Meridian began using the new approach in mid-2001 for pickup truck fenders, but it has since expanded its uv-curing line in Kansas City to include a wider range of part sizes and shapes. The line has experienced zero downtime in a year of operation. The partners are convinced that the new approach has broad applicability in other automotive panels and in large parts for agricultural and recreational vehicles and heavy trucks. BASF (248) 304-5702,; Fusion UV (888) 276-8600,
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Comment:UV-Cured sealer stops SMC paint pops. (Keeping up with Composites).(Brief Article)
Publication:Plastics Technology
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2002
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