Cars with two-tone colors are pleasing to the eyes. However, it’s no secret that painting cars with two-tone colors will need masking in order to avoid overspraying, which means an initial spray has to be made, then the parts near the color boundary needs to be masked manually, then the second layer will be applied. The process is time-consuming and will cost materials, which means additional cost for the manufacturer. This is true most especially on vehicles with contrasting colors, like in some SUVs and crossovers, or in the Audi R8.
Audi aims to solve that problem with its new overspray-free painting process. The German marque claims that this brand new process will be able to finish a two-tone car in one spraying process without the need to mask the parts.
How does this work, you ask? The overspray-free painting process uses a robot‑controlled high‑precision instrument to measure the laser-brazed seam between the roof and the side panel frame before the painting process begins. The applicator will then apply the paint directly on to the body in individual strips with accuracy up to 1mm. It will place the strips of paint with sharp borders and, of course, without oversprays.
Audi is now testing the method in a pilot paint shop in Ingolstadt with car roods in contrasting black paint. With less paint to use and no masking materials needed, the process is projected to save time and money, as well as give benefits to the environment. The marque is planning to put this process into production as early as 2019.
Gallery: 2013 Audi A1 Quattro
Contrasting paintwork in just one spray process:
Audi tests overspray free painting
Two colors, one process: Audi is expanding the spectrum of its painting methods with the addition of overspray‑free painting. This technology allows specific surfaces of a car body to be painted in a different color – all in one spraying process. This is economical and very resource friendly. In a pilot paint shop at the plant in Ingolstadt, Audi is testing a method that is unique in the industry with car roofs in contrasting black.