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Axalta Develops Coatings for Automobiles Using Lightweight and Carbon-fiber Materials

Published on 2016-08-01. Author : SpecialChem

Axalta Coating Systems, one of the leading global manufacturers of liquid and powder coatings, is working with automotive manufacturers in their quest to make vehicles lighter in order to reduce emissions and fuel consumption by replacing standard steel with composites such as carbon fiber. Axalta applies the technology behind its OEM coatings and refinish paint brands, including one of its three premium global refinish brands Spies Hecker, to develop effective coating systems for car manufacturers using carbon fiber and other light-weight substrates.

Coating Systems for Car Manufacturers

automotive coatings
Alastair Gibson's "Carbon King" piece, which is made from
carbon fiber and finished with Axalta's Spies Hecker.

But the Axalta coating technology has, for one artist, even wider applications. Mixing artistic skill with a heavy dose of engineering expertise, artist Alastair Gibson draws on his 15 year’s of experience in Formula One to create his carbon fiber sculptures, each impeccably finished with Spies Hecker.

“All the time that goes into the pieces before the coating process - and that can be as much as four weeks – would be wasted if we couldn't get a gorgeous finish from Spies Hecker to show off the weave of the carbon fiber,” says Gibson.

While Gibson has established himself at the cutting edge of carbon fiber sculpture in the eight years since becoming a full-time artist, his career is steeped in motorsport. After seven years in lower racing formulas, he spent 15 years in Formula One, first as lead mechanic for the Benetton F1 Team, and then as race team chief mechanic for the BAR and Honda Grand Prix teams.

And Gibson’s carbon fiber sculptures cleverly incorporate titanium Formula OneTM parts, each of which has a production and part number that can be traced back to a specific car and race. These titanium components form the eyes of the Racing Piranha and the spine of the magnificent Carbon King, which is based on a lion’s skull. Many pieces are displayed on a section of perma-glass under-floor planks that have been part of Formula One cars.

About Axalta Coating Systems

Axalta is one of the leading global companies focused solely on coatings and providing customers with innovative, colorful, beautiful and sustainable solutions. From light OEM vehicles, commercial vehicles and refinish applications to electric motors, buildings and pipelines, its coatings are designed to prevent corrosion, increase productivity and enable the materials we coat to last longer. With 150 years of experience in the coatings industry, the 12,800 people of Axalta continue to find ways to better serve our more than 100,000 customers in 130 countries every day with the finest coatings, application systems and technology.

Source: Axalta
 

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