DaimlerChrysler is using Soliant Fluorex(R) Paintfilm on trim components for the new Mercedes C-Class. Both the roofing strips and greenbelt mouldings are extruded with Fluorex(R) paintfilm giving the trim components a high gloss black appearance combined with more durability and style. Very good chemical resistance, high UV resistance, high gloss in combination with very good values of short wave and superior scratch resistance are the technical advantages of Soliant paintfilm for this application. Scherer Trier based in Michelau, Germany is the tier-1 supplier who provides the greenbelt mouldings. The roofing strips are supplied by Silvatrim based in Monaco.
"Using Fluorex(R) paintfilm on the trim components enables us to provide added value by improving part performance," said Volker Heinel, Head of Marketing for Kunststoff-Technik Scherer & Trier. "Among others we are using this technology to produce complicated extruded profiles with a body-colour finish in a cost effective way," continues Heinel. Scherer & Trier is an international automotive supplier with locations in Germany, USA, Mexico and Sweden.
Paintfilm Provides Added Durability
Soliant Fluorex(R) paintfilm is gaining popularity amongst automakers looking to improve vehicle exterior quality with more durable finishes. Gravelometer laboratory tests and field tests show that paint film is much more chip resistant and weather resistant than paint. This gives automakers more value and less warranty issues.
Paintfilm Drives Cost Savings
In addition to offering greater durability, Soliant Fluorex(R) paintfilm is also driving major manufacturing cost saves. An immediate cost save results as automakers save a step in the manufacturing process as paintfilm parts are finished right out of the mold. Soliant Fluorex(R) paintfilm is compatible with Extrusion, Thermoforming, Injection Molding and Compression Molding enabling multiple parts to be processed with one film. The versatility of Soliant Fluorex(R) paintfilm also gives automakers the ability to achieve multiple looks and decorating options with the same tool and process. The biggest cost save results in new plants as there is no need to install or maintain a painting facility which can be millions of dollars. Further cost saves result as there are also no environmental compliance issues.
Paintfilm is Environmentally Sound
Soliant Fluorex(R) paintfilm is an environmentally sound sustainable technology. Paintfilms are thermoplastic and are recyclable, so any scrap can be reground into the resin stream. Soliant won the Environmental Award in the "Emerging Technologies" category at SPE-GPEC 2006 (Society of Plastics Engineers - Global Plastics Environmental Conference), for their paintfilm process. Soliant demonstrated a 98% reduction in VOC emissions based on an analysis of the production and use of their product compared to traditional vehicle painting. As a frame of reference, this means that if paintfilm were used on just 5 million cars per year, the VOC reduction would be the equivalent of eliminating the current emissions of Atlanta, Georgia and several other similar sized cities. Soliant met all GPEC Award Criteria including leadership in plastics and the environment, generating significant economic value, and creating new markets (paint alternatives) that will benefit the environment and the quality of life. The environment and consumers benefit as use of Soliant Fluorex(R) paintfilm encourages the use of lighter weight materials on automotive vehicles which results in better fuel economy.
Soliant has a 20-year history as a producer of paintfilm products for automakers that are capable of covering all decorated surfaces. Their paintfilm products are used by all OEMs on numerous vehicle models. Over 40,000,000 parts with paintfilm have been in the field over the last 5 years without issue. Soliant currently offers 140 colors under the Fluorex(R) brand name for automotive vehicle interior and exterior applications and will match any color and create new ones to help customers differentiate their offerings. Over 1,400 different colors have been produced or matched to date. Uni- , metallic or pearlescent colors are available to the same standards as current spray-paint systems.