A Finish Repelling Dirt on Your Car

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Normand Cormier is the North American Classroom Training Manager for Axalta Coating Systems [email protected]. Photo Normand Cormier

What if your car was covered with a body finish that repels mud, rain, bird droppings, oil and tar?

For many people, washing a car is a long and tedious process. You need a good place to do the work, but also all the other necessary items: bucket, soap, etc… The other option is to go to a car wash to have the work done. Simpler, but also more expensive. What if you never had to wash your car again?

A few years ago, Nissan tested a finish that repels water and oil on a Versa Note in Europe and on a Leaf in North America. The goal was to eventually offer this type of finish on its vehicles. It is the only manufacturer to date to have explored this type of finish. It is quite easy to find videos online where a white Versa Note has one side treated with this technology while the other side keeps its original finish. The vehicle then goes for a ride through puddles and mud. The treated side remains immaculate while the original finish becomes dirty very quickly.

Ultra-Ever Dry

Nissan used a technology called Ultra-Ever Dry. This product is marketed by Nano Labs and is derived from a commercial application product. The principle is to create an almost imperceptible film of air on the surface. To do this, nanotechnology is used.

Tiny particles are present on the surface and create a relief that is imperceptible to the naked eye. This reduces the contact area of contaminants with the surface, preventing them from clinging to it. This phenomenon can be found in nature on the leaves of certain plants or the wings of insects. Surfaces treated with this revolutionary finish are rendered waterproof, but it also provides anti-corrosion protection and prevents ice build-up.

Limited protection

When could we have access to this finish on our vehicles? It’s hard to say. At the time of testing, only the body panel finish could benefit from this protection. Tires, rims, grill and other accessories needed to be washed in a conventional manner. It would take technology applicable to all components to make the product attractive to consumers.

Nissan did not really follow up on the announcement made at the time. Several questions remain. Although Nano Labs offers the product in a wide variety of colors, will it be possible to have a metallic paint? Would the factory application be different? What would be the cost of this option when purchasing the vehicle? Will repair shops be able to apply a similar finish following an accident repair?

Technologies are evolving at an incredible speed and the day may not be far off when we will be able to store our items to wash our vehicle and enjoy a little more rest time during the weekend!



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