Automotive OEM Coatings

Our additives and resins enable the use of high-performance, low-VOC waterborne, solventborne, and high solids automotive OEM coatings by optimizing the automotive coating formulation, application process, and final coating system, thus improving coating performance and environmental friendliness while reducing cost. Our products provide benefits to all layers of automotive OEM coatings: electrodeposition coating, primer/surfacer, base coat, and clear coat.

Recommended downloads for automotive OEM coatings

To see a complete list of product recommendations, click the product finder link at the bottom of this page.

Electrodeposition (ED) coatings

Electrodeposition (ED) coatings provide critical adhesion and corrosion protection to the vehicle. The application process consists of several steps that include cleaning, the ED dip, rinsing, and baking. The ED coating consists of film-forming resins, pigments, and additives. The composition and process are critical to the success of the ED coating and the entire automotive coating system.

Industry advancements - such as thinner film thickness, lower bake temperatures, and heavy-metal-free formulations - place even greater demands on the coating system and process. For performance and economic reasons, it is critical to avoid any defects, which include craters and surface roughness.

Top Product Recommendations for Automotive OEM Electrodeposition Coatings

FUNCTIONALITY

WATERBORNE (ONLY)

DEFOAMING

DEAERATING (ANTI-PINHOLING)

FLOW

PIGMENT STABILIZATION / ANTI-SETTLING

SUBSTRATE WETTING / ANTI-CRATERING

WETTING & DISPERSING

RHEOLOGY CONTROL

MATTING

* Available in different solvent cuts. New low-VOC SURFYNOL® 104 Z now available.

** SURFYNOL® DF-110 BC also recommended, depending on solvent requirements.

Product benefits in electrodeposition coatings

  • Dynamic wetting
  • Defect-free defoaming
  • Low-surface-energy substrate compatibility 
  • Efficient wetting of dirty substrates or oil-leaking joints
  • Good intercoat adhesion  
  • Non-reactive chemistry
  • Recirculation stable
  • Excellent pigment wetting/grinding, dispersion, and stabilization

Primer/Surfacer

The primer (or primer/surfacer) provides the critical bond to the ED coating and adhesion between the primer and base coat or topcoat. The primer layer also protects the ED layer from UV degradation and provides stone chip resistance.  

Some newer coating systems combine the functionalities of the primer and base coat into one coating to decrease layers and the associated costs. Maintaining coating performance while reducing film thickness and minimizing raw material and application process costs is a common challenge. It is critical that the primer flows, levels, and adheres well to the underlying ED coating while providing good adhesion to the base coat with absolutely no defects. Defects will not only detract from the primer, but will cause the entire coating system to fail. The primer must completely cover and protect the ED layer. 

Top Product Recommendations for Automotive OEM Primer/Surfacers

FUNCTIONALITY

WATERBORNE

SOLVENTBORNE

HIGH SOLIDS /

SOLVENT-FREE

DEFOAMING

DEAERATING (ANTI-PINHOLING)

FLOW

PIGMENT STABILIZATION/

ANTI-SETTLING

SUBSTRATE WETTING/

ANTI-CRATERING

WETTING & DISPERSING

RHEOLOGY CONTROL

MATTING AGENTS

CO-BINDERS

* Available in different solvent cuts. New low-VOC SURFYNOL® 104 Z now available!

**** Especially for high solids/solvent-free

Product benefits in primers/surfacers

  • Dynamic wetting
  • Defect-free foaming
  • Low-surface-energy substrate compatibility
  • Increased popping limit
  • Supports film formation 
  • Allows lower VOC formulations
  • Good intercoat adhesion
  • Excellent pigment and filler wetting
  • Non-reactive chemistry
  • Long-lasting, recirculation stable defoaming

Base Coat

Base coats and topcoats provide color and durability to the coating system. Appearance is a premium property of automotive coatings. Therefore, it is critical that the base coat has exceptional pigment dispersion, color development, and stability (with a large variety of color, specialty and metallic pigment flakes); excellent gloss; and distinctness of image - with no defects.  

Waterborne base coats are now state-of-the-art technology in automotive OEM and refinish coatings. Our products are specifically tailored to address the needs of base coat applications.

Top Product Recommendations for Automotive OEM Base Coats

FUNCTIONALITY

WATERBORNE

SOLVENTBORNE

HIGH SOLIDS /

SOLVENT-FREE

DEFOAMING

DEAERATING (ANTI-PINHOLING)

FLOW

PIGMENT STABILIZATION/

ANTI-SETTLING

SUBSTRATE WETTING/

ANTI-CRATERING

WETTING & DISPERSING

RHEOLOGY CONTROL

CO-BINDERS

If you have difficulty dispersing AEROSIL® R 972, our next recommendation is AERODISP® WR 8520.

* Available in different solvent cuts. New low-VOC SURFYNOL® 104 Z now available!

*** Not recommended for high solids/solvent-free.

**** Especially for high solids/solvent-free.

Product benefits in base coats

  • Dynamic wetting
  • Defect-free defoaming
  • Low-surface-energy substrate compatibility 
  • Elimination or decrease of popping / pin-holing
  • Better metallic paste preparation and flake orientation in coating
  • Promotes film formation
  • Allows lower VOC formulations
  • Good intercoat adhesion
  • Allows wetting of clear coat over base coat
  • Non-reactive chemistry
  • Long-lasting, recirculation stable defoaming
  • Pigment dispersion and stabilization
  • Improved color development and acceptance

Clear coat

Clear coats are the outermost layer of the automotive coating system. They provide a number of critical attributes, including exceptional gloss, distinctness of image, film smoothness and toughness, chemical resistance, and UV protection. Of all the layers within an automotive coating system, the number of chemistries utilized for clear coats has the widest variation: from powder coatings, to medium- and high-solid solventborne formulations, to waterborne. All of these technologies require high-performance ingredients to provide the best quality at low costs. 

Top Product Recommendations for Automotive OEM Clear Coats

FUNCTIONALITY

SOLVENTBORNE

HIGH SOLIDS /

SOLVENT-FREE

DEFOAMING

DEAERATING

(ANTI-PINHOLING)

FLOW

SUBSTRATE WETTING/

ANTI-CRATERING

WETTING & DISPERSING

RHEOLOGY CONTROL

MATTING

CO-BINDERS

*** Not recommended for high solids/solvent-free

**** Especially for high solids/solvent-free

Product benefits in clear coats

  • Dynamic wetting
  • Defect-free defoaming
  • Low-surface-energy substrate compatibility
  • No negative impact on residual water from base coat
  • Higher gloss
  • Supports film formation 
  • Allows lower VOC formulations
  • Good intercoat adhesion
  • Good intercoat adhesion
  • Excellent wetting of clear coat over waterborne base coats
  • Non-reactive chemistry
  • Recirculation stable

FUNCTIONALITY

UNIQUE FUNCTIONALITIES

WATERBORNE

SOLVENTBORNE, HIGH SOLIDS & SOLVENT-FREE

PRIMER/SURFACER

POLYURETHANE THICKENER

BASE COAT

ALUMINUM FLAKE ORIENTATION

ALUMINUM FLAKE DISORIENTATION

GRINDING RESINS

CLEAR COAT

SILICONE RESINS

SLIP

** Use SURFYNOL® 107 L if you experience handling issues.

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