New painting technology is environmentally friendlier

New painting technology is environmentally friendlier

ŠKODA is always on the lookout for innovations that improve sustainability. Most recently, the Czech carmaker introduced a new, environmentally friendlier painting technology that makes it possible to use thinner coats.

20. 9. 2022 Škoda World

One of the four layers of the car’s paintwork, known as the primer, is now significantly thinner than before thanks to an innovative technology. This change delivers significant savings on material.

“At ŠKODA AUTO, we are consistently working in close coordination with our partners to further reduce the carbon footprint of our company’s operations. Meanwhile, we are also reviewing established methods and relying on innovative, environmentally friendly materials, such as those used in our paint shop,” explains Christian Putz, who is responsible for vehicle exteriors in ŠKODA Purchasing. “By applying a thinner layer of paint, we save 720 tonnes of material per year without making any compromises in terms of quality,” he adds. The savings will eliminate approximately 50,000 kilometres that would otherwise be covered by trucks carrying material from the supplier.

Christian Putz
ŠKODA Purchasing

The important point is that the resulting paintwork retains the existing first-class quality in terms of appearance, durability and protective function. Needless to say, the new technology has been rigorously tested. For 10 months, the company exposed vehicles painted in the new way to direct sunlight, dust and gravel impacts, simulating a wide range of climatic conditions during the tests. The tests confirmed that the new material is at least as durable as the previous solution.

A new recipe

That the new thinner layer meets the extreme demands placed on durability and quality is due to the fact that it is a new material. In principle, the new primer does not differ from the traditional ones as it has the usual ingredients (e.g. pigment, binder, filler and solvent), but the recipe for mixing them all together is completely new. And secret, of course.

As before, the primer is also water soluble (water is the solvent). The use of this type of material helps to reduce the environmental impact of car production. “We are already using the new material in all our plants in the Czech Republic. We are using high-tech processes in our production plants and are consistently developing them. For example, our paint shop, which was commissioned in 2019 in Mladá Boleslav, is a benchmark for the entire industry in terms of sustainability and cost and process efficiency,” says Marek Jancák, Head of ŠKODA car production.

marek-jancak-skoda-copy_7fc3d72e Marek Jancák
Head of ŠKODA car production

ŠKODA’s paintwork innovations do not end with the thinner primer layer, though: the company’s experts are also working on other innovations. For example, they are testing the possibility of using a base colour without the need for a primer, researching the use of new, more effective waxes, and addressing the possibility of using a thinner layer of clear coat. They also plan to use more biomaterials in the painting process.

ŠKODA presents roadmap for sustainable mobility. Read more.