Henkel Corporation

Aquence® Autodeposition and Co-Cure Paint Process

Henkel developed an autodeposition process using a chemical bath to replace e-coat for the anti-corrosion coating of vehicles and parts. After low-temperature drying, a topcoat is applied and both coats are cured and cross-linked in a single drying oven. This process uses less paint, less energy, less floor space, and gives better corrosion resistance than comparable wet-on-wet processes using an e-coat base, and with 70-80% lower capital cost. The ability to mix polymers in the emulsion used for deposition gives superior corrosion resistance. Any surface that is wetted is coated, which with the right paint formulation, gives better corrosion resistance in holes, on edges, and in odd-geometry cavities. Because chemical deposition stops at the right thickness when the reaction is complete, a more uniform coating is obtained using simpler paint equipment and controls. In addition, with water-based paints it reduces volatile emissions to near zero and eliminates the sludge attendant upon phosphate pretreatment for e-coat, which also reduces operating cost and downtime. The process with two coats is in production at several locations. Autodeposition with co-cure is believed to be a superior platform from which to achieve the goal of the industry, a three-coat application with one curing oven for all three.