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Mazda Develops Eco-Friendly Paint System

June 16, 2009

TOKYO, JAPAN --- Mazda Motor Corp. said its newly developed Aqua-tech Paint System for vehicle body painting features new technology limiting emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) contained in paint as well as carbon dioxide (CO2) gas generated from the energy consumed during the vehicle painting process.

The Aqua-tech Paint System maintains the same low CO2 emissions volume as the Three Layer Wet Paint System, the automaker's paint system currently installed at all of its production facilities in Japan, and reduces VOC emissions by a further 57 percent, Mazda said.

Water-based paints tend to produce far lower VOC emissions than solvent-based paints due to their low VOC content. However, drying water-based paint consumes much more energy because the water must be evaporated through a drying process. The large amounts of carbon dioxide produced during this process have long been an issue associated with water-based paint systems. Mazda said it has solved this problem with the introduction of new coating technology.

The Aqua-tech technology includes the introduction of an improved paint shop air conditioning system and a new evaporation system that removes the water contained in the paint. In addition, Mazda has consolidated the coating processes by developing top coat paints with additional properties usually provided by the primer paint. These include brightness, durability and resistance to chipping and light damage, Mazda said. As a result of these technical breakthroughs, the paint system achieves extremely low VOC emissions without increasing CO2 volume.

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