Issue: Dec 2008


Dürr and Henkel cooperate on innovative dip coating technology



by Steve Barclay

Best quality, lower energy consumption and lower costs: all of this is achieved with Aquence®, the autophoretic dip coating process that needs no heavy metals whatever and thus reduces impact on the environment. Henkel and Dürr, both long-established companies, have now joined together to further develop this innovative technology.

These two pioneers in the field of large series paint finishing will commence their cooperation in the non-automotive field, where Henkel has already successfully introduced utilization of its patented Aquence® process. Dürr’s PSI (Paint Systems Industrial) product line and Henkel will closely coordinate their efforts to realize optimization potential not only in the chemical process but also in plant and equipment technology and in streamlining the process. Aquence® technology replaces the combination of pretreatment (PT) and electro-dipping (ED) with a single stage process.

Behind the name Aquence® lies an innovative chemical “auto deposition” process that generates corrosion protection coatings of variable film thicknesses. Autophoretic deposition occurs, without the need to electrically charge the parts, out of an aqueous organic emulsion directly onto degreased material surfaces. No special form of pretreatment of the parts, such as phosphate or chromate coating, is necessary. When applied, the Aquence® process generates coating of surfaces containing iron only, plastic materials remain uncoated. This makes it possible not only to coat complex structures evenly, both internally and externally, but also complete assemblies of parts made of different materials.

The high environmental compatibility of Aquence® also stands out. The process is completely free of heavy metals and emits virtually no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). With Aquence® waste is thus reduced considerably. Energy consumption is also a positive aspect of the new technology – it replaces the classic ED process, which works with electrical charging, with a non-electrical process. Aquence® makes its contribution to lowering the cost of painting by reducing the number of process stages and streamlining the process – and does so while maintaining equally high quality standards.


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