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50 Years of Epon Resins

SpecialChem / Apr 5, 2003

Epoxy resins, particularly Epon® resins, played a role in improving the performance of automotive finishes during the last half of the twentieth century. Automotive finishes have undergone continuous improvement from the time the "Horseless Carriage" was introduced. Each improvement was the product of research and development by raw material suppliers, paint chemists, application equipment manufacturers and automotive engineers. The following summary of major developments in the resinous component of auto finishes illustrates the extent of improvements over the years, with no slowdown in sight. Similar strides were made in pigments - some readers will recall maroons, blues and grays that chalked prematurely - and in application systems, from brush to spray to powder. The first auto finishes were slow drying oleoresinous varnishes, a carry-over from the days of horse-drawn carriages. Fine carriages were finished with up to 16 coats of varnish, requiring six to seven weeks to complete. Fast drying nitrocellulose lacquers, introduced in the early 1920s, significantly reduced time required to "paint" an auto.

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