19-22 June 2024

Spot Modern Technologies for Plating, Spraying, and Coating of Electric Vehicles


• The overall design of an EV has three basic areas where coatings are useful: battery pack, energy conversion components, and electric drive system.

• Relevant key technologies include advanced corrosion resistant coating, environmentally friendly coating materials, thermal coating, customized coating, smart sensing coating, electromagnetic Interference (EMI) shielding, and fire protection coating.



Let's take a deep dive into the cutting-edge technologies that are shaping the direction of plating, spraying and coating for EVs in 2024.


1. Corrosion resistant coating. Aluminum alloy, high strength steel, and titanium are used to make EV parts, and the surfaces made from these materials often require coatings to improve corrosion protection and adhesion for paints or powder coatings. One of the main challenges for makers of electric cars in regions with harsh weather conditions or high salt exposure is corrosion. Therefore, there is a rapid increase in the development of advanced anti-corrosion coatings. Manufacturers take advantage of nanotechnology and innovative alloy formulas to create coatings that not only protect the vehicle body but also their components such as batteries and electrical connectors. This is because humidity, chemicals, and other hazards can affect the battery's lifespan. This technology helps increase the longevity of electric cars which contributes to overall sustainability.


Meanwhile, the ceramic coating acts as a strong shield to protect vehicle surfaces from harmful UV rays, oxidation, and severe weather conditions. It helps preserve the appearance of the car and increase the lifespan of the paint. It also creates a protective barrier that reduces dirt so the electric car looks clean.


An interesting example of advanced corrosion resistance coating technology is TE Connectivity's TENDUR surface plating which developed surface plating technology for EV charging ports. They company uses a combination of silver and graphite to provide strong electrical conductivity and abrasion resistance which allows for continuous, high-performance charging. Another case comes from the researchers at Berkeley Lab in California which recently unveiled a new polymer coating to improve the performance and life cycle of lithium-ion batteries for EVs.



2. Environmentally friendly coating materials. Environmental awareness is a top priority for today's consumers. As a result, the EV plating, paint spraying, and coating industry is shifting more towards environmentally friendly materials. Water-based and solvent-free coatings are becoming popular because they reduce the environmental impact associated with traditional coating processes. Additionally, bio-based and renewable materials are being explored as alternatives to traditional coatings. This is in line with the EV industry's commitment to sustainability.


3. Thermal coating. This type of coating refers to special materials or coatings applied to various EV components such as batteries, electric motors, and electronic devices to increase their thermal regulation. It plays an important role in managing the heat generated during the operation of an EV because effective heat management is essential for the overall performance, safety, and longevity of EV components. Extreme temperatures can compromise EV batteries, Therefore, proper coating with thermal regulation ability is indispensable.


4. Customization. As the market for electric cars continue to grow, drivers are becoming more conscious on decorating and customizing their cars to add personalization and uniqueness. Plating and coating technologies such as Nano coating and special effect coatings have been developed to meet this demand. It gives automakers the tools to create bold, eye-catching designs that not only increase the appeal of EVs but also help differentiate their brands in a highly competitive market.


5. Smart sensing coating. This coating has the ability to detect early abnormalities. As the automotive industry as a whole, including EVs, shifts towards autonomous driving and connected vehicles, the role of smart sensing coating is also gaining prominence. 2024 will see the integration of sensors and smart coatings with functionality that goes beyond protection and beauty. These coatings can provide real-time information on parameters such as temperature, pressure and damage detection. In addition, smart coatings are being developed to support autonomous vehicle technologies such as traffic paint that can communicate with EVs and photonic pigments that can guide autonomous vehicles. For example, coatings that can interact with traffic signs and improve object recognition are being developed to increase the safety of autonomous vehicles. This trend is in line with the amazing concept of self-monitoring smart vehicles and reinforces the industry's commitment to developing EV capabilities.


6. Electromagnetic (EMI) Shielding. This coating is used to protect sensitive electronic components in EVs from electromagnetic interference (EMI), which can cause malfunctions in the driving system. EMI shielding is extremely important as it helps protect batteries and circuitry from EMI, improving performance and extend longevity. EMI shielding coatings can be made from a variety of materials, such as metallic inks consisting of copper, nickel or chromium alloys. These inks can be sprayed onto a surface to create a shielding effect. Nickel-filled acrylics provides cost effective EMI protection for plastic parts or electronic enclosures. Silver-infused polyester provides excellent EMI protection with very thin dry film thicknesses, for example.



7. Fire protection Coating. This coating helps increase visibility in the event of a fire accident. This makes it easier for emergency responders to identify and locate potential hazards, thus reducing the risk of fire or prolonging the evacuation time for drivers and passengers inside the electric vehicles.


DIGITIMES Research estimates that global EV sales will exceed 18 million units in 2024, growing at an annual growth rate of 29.6%. This means that related industries such as plating, spraying and coating technology will have the opportunity to grow exponentially.


To keep up with interesting news in technology and innovations regarding coatings, plating and spraying that are environmentally friendly and sustainable, don’t miss our future editions of "Surface and Coatings Blogs". Also, get ready to visit Surface & Coatings 2024, the 10th edition of ASEAN's most comprehensive technology and solutions exhibition for surface treatment, paints, and coatings, from 19 - 22 June 2024, at BITEC, Bangkok.