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GM develops new solvent-free part painting technology

Claiming to solve what it calls an "industry-wide challenge", auto giant General Motors is introducing a flame treatment technology that lets paint stick to plastic vehicle parts like instrument and door panels without using primers that...


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August 26, 2011 by Canadian Plastics

Claiming to solve what it calls an “industry-wide challenge”, auto giant General Motors is introducing a flame treatment technology that lets paint stick to plastic vehicle parts like instrument and door panels without using primers that contain potentially harmful solvents.

According to a GM press release, the flame treatment technology uses an energy-efficient, robotic system to create a molecular change to the surface of the plastic, making it bond with the paint.  The process eliminates the need for an adhesion-promoting primer.

The automaker says the technology – currently being used on the Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic and Volt – improves efficiency and achieves return on investment in four months.

In the press release, GM said suppliers that use the process on parts for the Cruze vehicle have reduced solid and liquid waste by 47 tons a year, decreased air pollutants from 810 tons a year to 80 tons and eliminated landfill waste, like paint sludge and painted scrap metal, from 25 tons to nearly zero.

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