Session 7: Decorative Automotive Considerations
Offers an introduction to a new matte or gloss finish for aluminium that seeks to alleviate many of the carbon and VOC issues associated with paint. Cirrus Paint-Free Colour™ is an innovative surface finishing technology that generates wide range of colours on light metal alloys or 3D-printed components from a sustainable cost and energy effective process. The coloured coatings are thin but provide effective corrosion and scratch resistance.
Advances in Surface Finishing Technology
Light metal alloys, such as aluminium, have the high strength-to-weight performance that is important to the architectural, automotive, and aerospace sectors. Applications in these sectors often require a coloured protective finish. Conventional paint and similar organic coating processes are energy intensive, often require hazardous chemicals, emit volatile organic compounds (VOC), and have the potential to cause environmental contamination requiring costly containment measures. Industry requires an environmentally sustainable process to produce protective surface finishes having vibrant colours.
Cirrus Paint-Free Colour™ is an extension of Cirrus Hybrid™ technology which develops nanostructured aluminium surfaces to support adherent functional coating deposition. Unlike the conventional approaches, which use paints or dyes to create colour, Cirrus Paint-Free Colour™ develops visible light resonant nanostructures using a low temperature and low power process that eliminates virtually 100% of VOCs. Building on Hybrid technology, the tightly interlocked nanostructured alumina and metal deposits are much more adherent than conventional paint.
The nanostructures are tunable to produce a wide range of vibrant colours from a thin coating, typically between 3 and 15 microns which provides good corrosion protection and scratch resistance. Cirrus Paint-Free Colour™ for aluminium is 75% thinner, lighter and five times more energy efficient than traditional painted surfaces and offers a disruptive new sustainable coating system for light metal alloys and 3D-printed components. This presentation provides an update on paint free colour technology development.