Painting Plastic without Primer: GM Suppliers See Efficiency

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Beyond Now - General Motor's blog
General Motors is introducing a flame treatment technology that lets paint stick to plastic vehicle parts like instrument and door panels without using primers that contain solvents and can foul the air.

The use of solvents in paint primers is an industry-wide challenge. We’re committed to reducing emissions throughout our operations and supply chain, so we manage solvents through recycling, energy conversion and superheating the gases to break them down. However, these efforts are costly.

The new flame treatment uses an energy-efficient, robotic system that creates a molecular change in the surface of the plastic, allowing paint to bond with it.

“Once I understood the potential of this process, we worked to connect the right GM engineers and our suppliers,” said John Bradburn, GM’s manager of waste-reduction efforts. “As we strive to design all of our vehicles for the environment, we can create requirements for our suppliers. I

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