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Where are all the Rusting Cars? Gone, Thanks to Corrosion-Fighting Technologies!

    March 25, 2015

Americans today drive their vehicles much longer, keeping them for nearly two years more than they did a decade ago, according to IHS Automotive. This means that maintaining cars and trucks and keeping them in good shape is now more important than ever before.

Managing rust can be a large – and costly – component of that maintenance plan. Based on a 10-year survey released by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration in 2001, car owners spent $6.45 billion annually on repairs and maintenance made necessary by corrosion.

The good news is that on newer vehicles, corrosion simply isn’t as widespread. Why is this, especially when rust catalysts in our environment like oxygen, salt and water haven’t changed? 

It’s the technology that automotive suppliers and OEMs have developed to address corrosion. But don’t be fooled – advancements in vehicle material development hasn’t made corrosion prevention easier. It’s made it increasingly complicated. In fact, as more materials (steel, aluminum, magnesium and zinc-coated substrates) are integrated into vehicles – often as a result of efforts to produce lightweight vehicles in order to meet 2025 CAFE standards – the risk of corrosion only increases, as simply putting two dissimilar metals in contact with one another can alone cause corrosion over time.

Here are a few of the technologies Henkel has developed to help address corrosion on light and mixed-metal substrates:

  • BONDERITE® MGC, used on magnesium, allows for better application of paint, which stops peeling and reduces chipping, both of which expose metals to corrosive elements.

  • BONDERITE® M-NT 1800, an all-aluminum coating, is a pre-treatment that increases the corrosion resistance of painted metal surfaces.

  • BONDERITE® Flex Process, another aluminum pre-treatment, allows for flexible paint shop operation – integral for the vehicle manufacturing process – and better corrosion resistance. 

All of these technologies protect lightweight metals so that they can be introduced into vehicles, which will help achieve CAFE 2025 standards.

Thanks to technologies like those above, the average corrosion resistance performance for most car bodies is expected to be 10 years or more today. Even though consumers do not see the surface treatment technologies when buying a car, the prevention of corrosion will help save drivers a lot of time, money and make it possible to resell cars more easily – which is why so many organizations like Henkel are developing environmentally sustainable solutions which enable superior surface protection and rust prevention. 

Interested in seeing these technologies firsthand? Come visit Henkel’s North American automotive headquarters in Madison Heights, Michigan.

About the Author, David Caro

David Caro is Head of Global Engineering Transport and Metal SBU at Henkel and has more than 20 years of international experience in automotive. After joining Henkel in 2001, he held roles in the company’s operations in North America, Germany and Spain. David has degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Polytechnic University of Barcelona and in Business Administration from IESE Business School, University of Navarra.

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One response to “Where are all the Rusting Cars? Gone, Thanks to Corrosion-Fighting Technologies!”

  1. Raghvendra Gopal says:

    The article is really good. We would like to have more details on regular steel bodies protection.

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