Carbon Motors Corporation is a homeland security company focused on a highly specific mission: developing, manufacturing, distributing and servicing the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement patrol vehicle. The Carbon Motors ‘E7’ law enforcement vehicle will be the world’s first car with a 100% paintfilm thermoplastic exterior developed with Fluorex® Paintfilm from Soliant, LLC. The homeland security company announced plans to develop a production facility in the United States, and the vehicle was exhibited in several cities in the latter part of 2008 on a tour that continues in 2009. Soliant’s Fluorex Paintfilm that will be used in the vehicle’s production is on over 50 million components worldwide, demonstrating excellent durability as well as chip, weather and chemical resistance.
“Our law enforcement officers deserve the best technologies, and we have to be both fiscally responsible and environmentally conscientious with our manufacturing,” said Alan J. Bratt, Executive Vice President and Chief Production Officer of Carbon Motors Corporation. “Including Soliant Fluorex Paintfilm technology in our supply base brings added value to our vehicles, streamlines production and enhances environmental sustainability.”
Virtually every major automotive original equipment manufacturer uses Fluorex on exterior components such as fascias, door steps, rocker panels, stone guards, body side moldings, A pillars, roofing strips and window surrounds. This is the first time an entire automotive exterior surface with paintfilm will be produced, primarily because legacy automakers have infrastructure for traditional paint and may be reluctant to change.
The exterior body panels for the Carbon Motors E7 law enforcement vehicle will be produced with combined technology from Soliant, the world leader in paintfilm technology, and BASF, a leading global chemical company. The thermoplastic body panels will include an enhanced UV-cured film technology with added scratch and mar resistance, allowing for the coating of a vehicle to be held to a minimal cost with less of an environmental impact.
Paintfilm Enhances Vehicle Quality and Exterior OptionsPaintfilm is very durable. It will not fade or peel over time so the appearance of the vehicle exterior is preserved. Paintfilm is also chip resistant, as it has an adhesive layer bonding it to the plastic substrate. Gravelometer tests comparing paintfilm panels to paint panels exemplify the substance’s durability in extreme abrasive conditions.
Paintfilm enables Carbon Motors to easily offer an infinite number of color options, including two-tones, metallics, pearlescents, special effects and finishes including chrome and brushed chrome. The depth of image of paintfilm is impeccable, avoiding the orange peel effect frequently seen with paint.
Paintfilm Enables Manufacturing Cost Savings
Paintfilm Saves EnergyPaintfilm uses less energy than paint. “Our calculations indicate that the electrical power savings achieved using paintfilm instead of paint is 150,000 MW hours per year, which is the equivalent to the power consumption of 17,000 average U.S. homes,” said Bratt.
Another manufacturer using paintfilm estimated saving 23 GW – hours of energy, which is equal to 13,200 barrels of petroleum. Their water savings in a year using paintfilm was 115K ton.
Paintfilm Wins Environmental AwardsSoliant won the Environmental Award in the “Emerging Technologies” category at the SPE-GPEC 2006 (Society of Plastics Engineers-Global Plastics Environmental Conference) for their paintfilm process. Soliant demonstrated a 98% reduction in VOC emissions based on an analysis of the production and use of their product compared to traditional vehicle painting. As a frame of reference, this means that if paintfilm were used on just 5 million cars per year, the VOC reduction would be the equivalent of totally eliminating the current emissions of Atlanta, Charlotte and several other similarly sized cities. Soliant also won an environmental award for its Fluorex bright film (chrome alternative) at the March 2008 SPE GPEC.
Carbon Motors Corporation is developing and will manufacture, distribute, and service the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement patrol vehicle. You can learn more at www.carbonmotors.com.
Fluorex Paintfilm and Bright Film (chrome alternative) can be used with a variety of plastics including TPO, ABS, PC, PVC and PVC/ABS. Processing applications include thermoforming, injection molding, insert injection molding, compression molding, extrusion and embossing. They can also be used on a variety of metal substrates including stainless steel and aluminum. Both products are gaining popularity in automotive, marine, consumer electronic, building and construction markets. Visit www.paintfilm.com.