Protecting the environment. It's on everyone's mind these days with global warming and the human population growing. One of the very few industries that seem to not care is the Automotive industry and all facets of it. From assembly, to driving, refueling, cleaning, and repair.
But it simply isn't true. Manufactures are using stronger more readily available materials in construction of your vehicle. Even building fully electric vehicles. Fuel companies are using detergents in fuels to reduce emissions. and improving on the processes for refining fuel.
Here at Sterling Autobody we do our part by using Sikkens Autowave waterborne paint system. Gone are most of the harmful chemicals and products that were used "in the good old days."
Water borne paint is best compared to latex house paint. Although chemically different its essentially the same. A latex tint is suspended in a water medium and is atomized as its sprayed. Allowing the color particles to settle to the bottom while heated air is blown across the surface of the paint to evaporate the water. Leaving just the color of your vehicle on the surface.
This is followed by a clear coat achieving the same effect that the acrylic clear coat achieves with nail polish. It allows the color to show through while protecting the color from fading, weather damage, and the occasional accidents of everyday life.
In order to provide you with the highest quality color match for you repair Sikkens has developed "Paint Chips" to help us match the finish of your vehicle.
The chips are stored in books by car brand (Chevrolet, Toytota, Porsche).
We use the paint code from you car and enter it into our computer system. The system then provide us with a deck number and a card number. We then proceed to find this deck in our library and open the deck to the card number indicated.
The cards are in the book as shown. This color is Toyota code 844. There are 11 possible variants to just one color. The variations are any thing from Lighter to darker, Cleaner to dirtier (think looking through a clean window vs a dirty window) Redder or Bluer (the base color has a redder tint vs a bluer tint) and of course for the metallic or pearl colors Finer or coarser (the pearl and metallic are small flakes in the paint that reflects the light at different angles.)
In our efforts to maximize the quality of the color match we have obtained a Automatchic Vision spectrometer. This allows us to "take a picture" of your paint (after we polish it up and get it looking a whole lot better). Then we plug it into our computer and the program finds the closest match to the color. The program is sophisticated enough to tweak a preexisting (but closest) formula to match the original paint the best it can. We spray that formula on a "spray out card" and if it still doesn't match then we would combine the original formula along with the tweaked formula. Tweak those and get even closer.
But we have never had to go that far with this system, save for custom colors or unknown colors.