Automotive coatings and the processes used to coat automobile surfaces exemplify the avant-garde of technologies that are capable of producing durable surfaces, exceeding customers’ expectations of appearance, maximizing efficiency, and meeting environmental regulations. These accomplishments are rooted in 100 years of experience, trial-and-error approaches, technique and technology advancements, and theoretical assessments. Because of advancements directed at understanding the how, why, when, and where of automobile coatings, the progress in controlling droplets and their deposition attributes, and the development of new technologies and paint chemistries, a comprehensive and up-to-date review of automobile coatings and coating technologies was considered to be of value to industrial practitioners and researchers. Overall, the critical performance factors driving the development and use of advanced automotive coatings and coating technologies are (a) aesthetic characteristics; (b) corrosion protection; (c) mass production; (d) cost and environmental requirements; and (e) appearance and durability. Although the relative importance of each of these factors is debatable, the perfection of any one at the expense of another would be unacceptable. Hence, new developments in automotive coatings are described and discussed in the following review, and then related to improvements in production technologies and paints. Modern automotive coating procedures are also discussed in detail. Finally, an extrapolation into the future of automotive coating is offered with a view of the developments and technologies needed for an increasingly efficient and more sustainable coatings industry.
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