When the new full-size Ford Transit van reaches North American dealers later this summer, it will sport a new kind of paint job said to retain 90% of its gloss after four years in service, according to the manufacturer. Company durability testing shows that comparative conventional paint would only retain 1% of its gloss over the same service life, Ford reports.
Initially the new process will be used only for white Transits, which Ford says it expects to account for 80% of its production. Other colors, which much each be developed separately for application by the two-wet process, will be considered based on demand, according to Ford. A conventional three-wet paint system will be employed for metallic-colored vans.
Claimed to be an industry-first use of a newly developed coating technology, the paint is being applied in a two-wet monocoat process at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant. Not only will it be more durable, but the Transit paint reduces painting time and energy use, helping cut plant CO2 and particulates emissions and water use.
The new two-wet process uses a primer coat that only needs a few minutes of open-air drying time before the color coat is applied. A special formulation for the color coat eliminates the need for a preliminary oven drying and separate clear coat, removing one paint application and one oven drying from the coating process.