Verwys, N., Fritcher, J., and DeMass, T., "Improved Scratch Resistant Clear Coat for High Gloss Interior," SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-0733, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-0733.
Dark, high gloss decorative finishes (i.e. piano black) are gaining increased application and demand in vehicle interiors; due to interior stylists' desire for this look. One significant concern with this trend is that scratches, and other appearance related defects such as orange peel (waviness), are more apparent to the customer.To address this issue, a highly scratch-resistant 2K clearcoat formulation was developed to minimize visible surface scratches, while also yielding minimal orange peel and exceptional DOI (distinctness of image); all while being applied using typical application techniques in the part finishing market. This output was accomplished by first benchmarking the consumer electronics market for appearance and scratch resistance, and then setting targets through that research. The target-setting activity was then followed by a comprehensive screening of various resin technologies to evaluate overall automotive durability, with emphasis on scratch and appearance performance. The goal of this activity was to determine an optimal performance-appearance balance and establish the foundation of the formulation. This formulation then required the development of an appropriate rheology and additive package blend to achieve these properties with production line feasibility. It was through these steps that a new formulation was established that yields (1) sufficient out-of-the-oven hardness balanced with high flow characteristics, and (2) scratch-resistant properties; thus allowing designers to apply piano black finishes in high, of the vehicle interior, while mitigating customer concerns.