Mazda and Nippon Paint Company have developed a new electrodeposition (e-coat) basecoat process that raises the paint’s electrical resistance, allowing the paint to better adhere to the inner surfaces of the vehicle body, while reducing the amount of electricity used during the body dipping process. The automaker says the new e-coating system improves paint thickness and increases rust protection via a more uniform paint thickness throughout the vehicle body. The process also provides environmental benefits, including a 50% reduction in volatile organic compound emissions. Mazda also expects CO2 emissions during painting to be reduced by 8.8 tons per year, along with a 10% reduction in the volume of basecoat materials used during the paint process.
The new e-coat system follows the introduction of Mazda’s “Three Layer Wet Paint System” at all of its plants in Japan. That process combines the primer, base and clear coats into one painting process and is another critical piece of Mazda’s plan to become a more environmentally responsible carmaker.
Mazda launched the new e-coat process at its Ujina (Hiroshima, Japan) No.2 plant–which assembles the Mazda3, Mazda2 and Demio–in May, and plans to roll it out at its other production facilities by the end of the year. Ujina No.2 reopened in May 2004 after a 32-month hiatus due to weak vehicle demand.