New low-bake technology reimagines the automotive painting process, cutting energy losses and boosting quality along the way.
A car’s paint may not seem like a priority when it comes to automotive technology. However, manufacturers and auto body shop owners alike should invest in quality paint to lift safety standards, boost performative wear, cut drying times, and drive industry sustainability.
Nearly 15 years ago, Ferrari became one of the first automakers to begin using waterborne paint on its cars — which has fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than solvent-based paints and is therefore friendlier to workers and to the environment.
In line with its dedication to innovative, environmentally-friendly automotive and auto paint technologies, Ferrari introduced a new low temperature automotive paint system in early August developed in partnership with PPG. Low temperature auto paint, also known as low-bake paint, serves not only to create more beautiful, lasting color, but also to generate significant energy cost savings.
The Low-Bake Process
Ferrari’s new low-bake paint system involves a two-part process that includes a clear coat designed with advanced temperature technology allowing the car to be baked at 100 degrees Celsius — as opposed to the 150 degrees required by traditional auto body paints.
The second component of the system involves low-cure resins containing a newly-designed hardener. By reinforcing the chemical and mechanical resistance of the paint’s coating, the new hardener protects the paint against long-term wear.
Benefits of Low-Bake Paint
Low-bake auto body paint offers a number of advantages over traditional paint options.
Since the clear coat allows the vehicle to be baked at significantly lower temperatures, the technology slashes energy costs — which increases the overall sustainability of the painting process and can help mitigate a business’ environmental impact.
Another major advantage comes from the new hardener technology in the resin layer, which improves the paint’s durability while enhancing its resistance to water and other contaminants. In fact, PPG’s low-bake auto paint resin is engineered to minimize water permeability and boost chemical hydrophobicity.
A low-bake paint system like the PPG one adopted by Ferrari will also enable automakers and auto body shop painters to bake both compost and carbon fiber components within the body’s shell, guaranteeing color uniformity across body parts. According to the Prancing Horse, the process promotes better cross-coat linking, too, which can further cut the paint’s water permeability.
If increased energy savings and contamination resistance weren’t enough, the low-bake paint technology allows the creation of a breadth of colors spanning the rainbow. Thanks to a process enabling the combination of a metallic base coat with either a gloss- or matte-finish clear coat, Ferrari has already introduced 61 unique base color options.
Low-Bake Auto Paint and the Sustainable Future of Auto Body Work
Ferrari’s announcement serves as testament to the Prancing Horse’s commitment to reliability and environmentalism. New developments in automotive paint technologies across the industry may pave the way for more sustainable, safe, and efficient auto body practices in the near future.
Like Ferrari, Mattei is also committed to sustainability, durability, and performative excellence. That’s why we not only outfit the industry’s top automotive manufacturers with our revolutionary rotary vane air compressor technology, but also invest in some of the biggest names in racing. We’re excited to see what comes of new, more sustainable technologies across the automotive industry.