What are those Small Spots on the Car?

Car with Spots

You noticed some noticed some small spots on the surface of your new cars. You tried to wipe them off. Unfortunately, it seems like the spots are there to stay forever. And you think, what exactly are those spots on your cars?

Acid Etch Marks

Fret not, you are not alone. One of the world’s leading suppliers of automotive clear-coats and their automotive OEM also faced this problem. They noticed some small, permanent spots appearing on cars arriving through shipping ports near Jacksonville, Florida.

They then determined that the spots were acid etch marks caused by air pollution in the area. Besides that, acid rain is also a more common and serious of these etch marks on coatings. It comes in the form of dusty deposits that binds to the surface of the paint. If left aside, it becomes permanent.

Recreating the Harsh Conditions for Testing

To remove these stubborn acid etch marks, one needs to recreate the pollution conditions to conduct experiments and discover solutions.

Through a joint effort between Q-Lab and the customer, a secondary spraying system was developed for the Q-SUN Xe-3 to accommodate an acid solution that recreates this acid etch problem. The Q-SUN Xe-3 tester’s near horizontal flat array format (vs. vertical rotating drum machines) eliminated runoff of the solution, allowing it to remain on the surface and simulate the real-life application.

Hence, a test protocol was developed that mimics the harshest 12 weeks in Jacksonville, in an accelerated laboratory test of only 400 hours.  This has allowed the customer’s scientists all over the world to quickly formulate and retest specimens in their efforts to find ways to resist the acid etch problem.

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