NEWARK, DE -- DuPont Automotive announced the commercial introduction of its "Super Solids" coatings-application technology, allowing what the company is calling "ultra-low" VOC emissions in the application of clearcoat finishes. The technology is being employed at a DaimlerChrysler assembly plant in Newark, DE, DuPont Automotive said.

DuPont said the technology reduces clearcoat VOC emissions by 25% as a result of an increase in the solids content of the coating to 65% from a conventional industry level of 50%. Edward J. Donnelly, Group vice president of DuPont Coatings & Color Technologies, said the Super Solids technology "represents an entirely new way of formulating coatings products."

Donnelly said keys to the development of the technology were reductions in molecular weight and particle size of the coating solids to give the solids more liquid-like properties. The patented Super Solids technology also provides improved scratch and mar resistance, the company said.

Robert Matheson, manager for Strategic Technology for DuPont Performance Coatings, said the Super Solids technology is based on "fundamental molecular engineering research" and the development of analytical equipment used in the R&D process.

"The basis of the work is to change the nature of oligomers that are defined as small polymer chains with few structural units and giving them structure by changing their reactivity with each other," Matheson said. The technology is expected to allow solids-content increases to greater than 80%, he said.