Posted 23 Mar 2022

The most common paint defects in a body shop

Mistakes during the painting process can spell trouble for any auto body shop. Regardless of one's level of caution or experience, issues like paint cracking, orange peel texture, drips, peeling, or inadequate coverage are always lurking.

The most common paint defects in a body shop

The causes behind these imperfections are diverse and often intertwine. However, the silver lining is that no problem is insurmountable. With some sound advice and the right technology, it's possible to mitigate these flaws effectively.

Cracking

Referred to as wrinkling, cracking manifests as visible fissures within the layers of paint, resembling cracked skin. Typically, these cracks arise from tensions between layers, which may stem from improper hardener or thinner selection, excessive hardener use, incorrect mixture ratios, extreme paint thickness, or a lack of flexibility in the surface product compared to the underlying layer. Additionally, regulating factors like temperature and humidity in the spray booth and adhering to correct application times and quantities can help avoid such errors.

Orange Peel Effect

This common defect presents itself as small, relatively deep pits on the surface, akin to the texture of an orange peel. Typically, this texture results from improper painting techniques or errors such as incorrect hardener choice, rapid thinner evaporation, or human mistakes during the painting process, such as incorrect spraying distance, insufficient pressure causing poor atomization, incorrect product temperature, or poorly sized nozzle.

Dripping

Dripping, another prevalent defect, manifests as thickened paint forming wave-like undulations on one or more points of the bodywork. Causes may involve inconsistencies in surface thickness, incorrect distance from the metal surface, or asymmetrical movements by the painter. Consideration must also be given to the quality and concentration of the thinner used, particularly in cases of widespread dripping defects.

Peeling

Similar to the peeling process in cosmetics, paint peeling occurs when layers detach from the surface beneath. While incorrect surface preparation, such as inadequate sanding or degreasing, is a primary cause, unsuitable product choices like hardeners or thinners incompatible with the substrate can also lead to peeling. In some instances, excessively wet or dry paint applications may contribute to this long-term defect.

Inadequate Coverage

This defect arises when, despite sufficient thickness, the paint fails to conceal the base color or substrate, leaving visible stains. Unlike opacity issues, inadequate coverage stems from factors such as incorrect hardener and thinner selection, improper paint or substrate temperatures, or the use of improperly sized nozzles.

The introduction of EPS (Easy Paint System) 2.0 offers a promising solution to mitigate these defects in auto body coating processes. Developed in collaboration with manufacturers, EPS 2.0 is a painting assistance software that suggests the most efficient process in real-time, setting appropriate times and temperatures based on simple queries about materials and products.