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There are many natural enemies threatening the car body at every street corner: It must resist stone chipping from gravel, ward off rain and hail, and defy rust even after scratches expose the substrate. The automotive industry uses zinc as an effective protective agent against corrosion.

There are various zinc-coating procedures in a range of qualities on offer – but thyssenkrupp Steel Europe is the only steel producer that also offers all common automotive coatings in outer paneling quality. Moreover, ZM Ecoprotect® and ZM Primeprotect® are true innovations. The zinc-magnesium coating is also suitable for exposed car body parts – and it reached market maturity ahead of schedule.

“Our project team had been working very hard on this product refinement since January 2013,” explains Project Manager Frank Vennemann from Technology & Innovation. “We had actually scheduled product maturity for September 2014, but actually already attained it in February.”

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Significant improvement to corrosion protection

ZM Ecoprotect® and ZM Primeprotect® offer several impressive advantages compared to pure zinc coatings, one of which is eco friendliness. “The zinc-magnesium coating only requires about two-thirds the thickness of conventional coatings, thanks to significantly increased corrosion protection,” says Dr. Jörg Lewandowski, Head of Product Introduction at Sales Automotive. “And this helps to save resources, reducing the amount of zinc by more than two kilograms for each mid-sized car.”

The coating offers an optimized surface. “The benefits include superior forming characteristics in the press as well as a premium paint finish,” continues Lewandowski. “And, if required, even without the need for a filler. This means that the colored coating is directly applied to the primer, which saves time and money and helps protect the environment.” The zinc-magnesium coating delights manufacturer and end customers alike.

One team for two innovations
One team for two innovations (from left to right): Claus Wieczorek, Gernot Nothacker (both FBA 8), Meiko Gil (Engineering Dortmund), Frank Vennemann (Project Manager), and Heiner Meyring (FBA 8).
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