WILMINGTON, DE - DuPont Co. unveiled a white-pearl automotive coating system that the company says allows the finish to be applied in three layers without an intermediate bake step. A Volvo S80 finished with the waterborne coating system was recently displayed at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Willy Dutt, a DuPont chemist who led a joint development project with Volvo in Europe, said a white-pearl waterborne coating system of the type introduced by DuPont traditionally requires an intermediate bake of the initial white ground coat. The pearl layer then would be applied in a wet-on-wet process with the clearcoat. The DuPont "tricoat" system allows a wet-on-wet-on-wet process, with all three layers applied in a single pass through the spray booth.

Bill Kings, Color Marketing manager for DuPont Herberts Automotive Systems, said the new system is seen as "a very important step for Volvo Cars and DuPont." He said white pearl tricoats "consistently rank among the top three colors chosen by consumers of luxury cars in North America."