New zinc-magnesium coatings offer all-round protection for the entire car body – thinner coatings save resources

thyssenkruppThe world’s first zinc-magnesium coatings in outer skin quality for the automotive industry: With ZM EcoProtect and ZM PrimeProtect, ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe is the first steel producer in the world to offer two highly effective zinc-magnesium-based corrosion protection solutions that meet the high surface requirements for exposed body panels. These innovative products were developed by research teams at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG in Duisburg and Dortmund.

ZM EcoProtect and ZM PrimeProtect offer several advantages over established pure zinc coatings – and can now provide all-round protection for the entire car body. As zinc-magnesium coatings offer significantly higher corrosion protection, coating thicknesses for ZM EcoProtect and ZM PrimeProtect can be reduced by roughly a third compared with conventional solutions. That helps protect the environment, conserves resources and lowers costs. For an average mid-size car the zinc saving is two kilograms and more. The improved corrosion protection applies not only to flat surfaces, but above all to cut edges and creep around scratches, both of which are high-risk areas. As a result, the new zinc-magnesium coatings are ideal for components exposed to particularly high corrosion risks.

Optimized corrosion protection and simplified processing
Sheets with the thin zinc-magnesium coatings also offer enhanced processing properties. Thanks to the hard surface, there is less abrasion in the die, which means more parts can be produced on the press between cleaning intervals. The thinner coating also makes body parts easier to weld. As a result, OEMs benefit from optimized production processes. Moreover, the auto industry can switch to these new corrosion protection solutions without difficulty. ZM EcoProtect coatings offer the same surface finish as high-quality hot-dip galvanized parts. So it is no problem to start by just producing a few parts with the new coating and fitting them in the body. Car buyers will see no difference in the paintwork.

ZM PrimeProtect goes a step further, offering all the advantages of ZM EcoProtect with an even better finish. Press plants and paint shops benefit from improved long waviness and a higher peak count. Combined with good forming behavior in the press plant this results in a premium paint finish – if necessary even without filler; the paint is applied directly to the primer. That saves time and money and benefits the environment.

With the development of ZM EcoProtect and ZM PrimeProtect, ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe is the first steel producer worldwide capable of offering all common automotive coatings also in outer skin quality. These world-first zinc-magnesium solutions were developed by the company’s Technology & Innovation unit. In combination with equipment optimizations, this unit works continuously to improve the properties of coatings for automotive customers. ZM EcoProtect and ZM PrimeProtect are the latest examples.