Knowing how the bacon gets made rarely entices us and, in the same vein, the same usually goes for knowing about how new cars get painted. But in both instances, however, quality – or a lack thereof – is instantly obvious. In terms of the latter, Ford is showing off its new paint quality process with 3D Dirt Detection Technology to find imperfections in vehicle paint more easily and more quickly.
If you've ever wondered how automakers know their paints will stand up to the test of time, a field in Florida may have your answer. Manufacturers routinely turn to Q-Lab, a facility situated on a 20-acre open field just outside of Homestead, Florida for durability testing. There, the company's engineers apply automotive paint to twelve-inch by 4-inch metal panels and leave them to bake in the unforgiving sun. The facility's location next to Everglades National Park is ideal for testing paint fa
When it came to paint colors on new cars, for ten years, silver was the one hue to rule them all, not just extending its lead through 2009 and 2010 but doing so in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The revolution came in 2011, when white took over as the top color in the States and black claimed the number one spot in Europe, silver maintaining its hold in the Orient.
Every summer we're stuck with the same dilemma. We can park the car out in the sun, which will inevitably will lead to scorching hot interior temperatures. The alternative is to park under a shady tree, where birds will undoubtedly poop all over our freshly washed ride. We usually opt for the sun out of auto vanity, but at least we don't have to worry about bird poop messing with the paint.
BMW is working on a new type of paint that will effectively make those weekend wash and wax chores obsolete. The technology was first introduced on the BMW M Coupe concept at last year's Frankfurt's show. Don't expect the technology to be available any time soon, though. Says Timo Gobel, project manager for the coupe, "It is a big technical challenge. There are many changes necessary, from the factory paintshop to caring for the finish. We have no idea yet on how we will be able to repair it." C
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