Wet application and simulation technology

Analyses, further developments and tests on painting processes (with a focus on spray painting) are conducted at Fraunhofer IPA under realistic production conditions. We have a well-equipped surface technology centre, which even contains paint application robots. This allows us to conduct tests in order to assess the operating efficiency of application and drying systems – as well as their peripheral equipment – on all types of coating materials, in particular for applying innovative (e.g. nanoparticle) coating systems.

We also have a special piece of equipment, MicroCoat, for selectively applying paint without the need for masking. Its precise robotics allow us to use a wide range of application modules to apply paint to highly-specific points or areas.

We implement optical measurement techniques (LDA, PDA, Fraunhofer spectrometry, laser split beam) to analyse atomized (sprayed) paint. Our equipment includes measurement devices for characterizing the coatings applied and measuring layer thicknesses.

The complete coating process chain can also be virtually modelled with the aid of numerical simulations (especially fluid dynamics). This enables real tests conducted in the technology centre to be supported by computer simulations.

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Simulation of paint film leveling

Appearance is one of the most important criteria in the evaluation of coating quality. In case of incomplete flow, the surface of the lacquer layer shows a more or less strong "orange skin structure" after drying. Simulations help paint raw material manufacturers, paint manufacturers and paint processors to accelerate the task of "flow improvement" and thus save development costs. The Fraunhofer IPA supports you in characterizing the progression-relevant coating properties and coating process conditions and derives improvement possibilities with simulations.


Numerical simulations

By simulating all coating sub-processes, we are in a position to make systematic developments and optimizations, generate reliable information at an early stage in product and system design and also understand processes better.


Selective coating without the need for masking

Selective coating means that overspray can be avoided and also that specific areas of a product can be decorated or functionalized without the need for a masking step.


Testing facility for coatings

We use our painting line to conduct feasibility studies, development co-operations as well as fundamental research.