Axalta explores future of printing

Dr Michael Koerner, research fellow at Axalta won the SURCAR Technology Achievement Award in recognition for his presentation entitled Exterior Colorcoats for Digital Printing.

The presentation explained research combining coating technology with digital paint application. The award was received at SURCAR’s inaugural North America conference in Detroit, Michigan.

As the demand for multi-toned and customised vehicles increases, automotive OEMs continue to show interest in digital printing for exterior colourcoat applications. Michael and his colleagues at Axalta are working on applications that could provide the automotive coatings industry with the ability to print various coatings and colours directly onto a vehicle body, which would increase OEMs’ accuracy, styling capabilities and effectively help to eliminate the waste that happens with current atomised spray application techniques.

‘Digital printing technology has the potential to impact multiple facets of the automotive industry from reducing OEMs’ energy and material consumption, to precision paint application for the autonomous vehicle market, to customer-driven customisation during the car buying process,’ said Michael. ‘We have made good progress in understanding how to control jetting for precise drop targeting, however, paint is not ink and vehicles are not made of paper, so the coordinated development of advances in both new paint formulations and applicator design are essential to making this technology a reality.’