Automotive Focus Group Launches E-Training Module at I-Car Event

Forty five people representing a cross section of the collision repair industry participated in the formal launch of the product of cooperation between two not for profit associations, RadTech NA and I-CAR. The attendees were in Scottsdale AZ on the evening of July 24 as they were preparing for I-CAR’s annual meeting the following days. They represented body shop owners & managers, painters, insurance company representatives, suppliers to the repair industry and instructors. The event was held at Ford of North Scottsdale Collision Center.

Hertz Corporation volunteered to transport attendees to and from this auspicious event. The group was greeted with pizza and refreshments compliments of BASF Corporation while guests took an opportunity to network. Following this social time, event attendees were lead into the mechanical hall of the repair center for formal presentations.

Co-Chairman of the Automotive Focus Group, Bradley Richards, welcomed the guests and gave an introduction to RadTech and its mission to support the safe use of UV energy in many different industries including printing & packaging as well as wood coatings and miscellaneous industrial coating operations were speed and high quality are important. Mr. Richards noted that RadTech committed to spreading the news about UV curing potentials in the repair industry by commissioning I-CAR to develop the online module recently added to the library of training modules available from I-CAR.

Jason Bartanen, I-CAR Technical Director, was introduced and proceeded to make a 25 minute presentation on UV curing coatings for the collision repair industry. Very early Mr. Bartanen emphasized safety and highlighted this by distributing copies of RadTech’s Refinish UV Safety Guide to the group. Many of the graphics for Mr. Bartanen’s talk were pulled directly from the training module. Jason concluded his presentation by outlining the basics of the training module (available at and announcing that approximately 100 people had already accessed the course, taken the accompanying test and been credited for continuing education which is required to maintain gold or platinum I-CAR status for themselves and their shops.

The formal presentation wrapped up with a lively Q&A session where attendees posed serious questions on process, environmental and quality issues. Answers were provided by paint experts, lamp representatives and I-CAR staff present. Those with questions were rewarded with a free redemption code to take the on-line UV training.

Following the Q&A session, attendees were invited to watch demonstrations of UV curing of products from three coatings suppliers. Before entering the Paint Department, all attendees were given a pair of safety glasses compliments of Bayer Material Science, emphasizing the concern for safety shared among I-CAR, RadTech and RadTech member companies.

Spencer Caldwell, local Sales Manager for Transtar Autobody Tech presented a glazing putty which requires no measuring and mixing of a catalyst solution into the heavy paste of a basic putty. The UV putty comes ready to apply. And conventional putty starts reacting immediately as the two components come together, meaning application time is critical before the putty stiffens up too much to spread. The UV putty has no reaction until exposed to the UV radiation, so the perfect fill of a divot can be achieved before curing.

The second demonstration was made with UV primer supplied in aerosol cans. This application was made over a small repair spot by Jesse Coatney assisted by Kevin Beemer, both Territory Managers for PPG Industries. The aerosol delivery is convenient and does not require post-application cleaning of any shop equipment. The aerosol works well when spot priming small repair areas. Three coats of aerosol were applied to a prepared panel, the solvent was permitted to flash off for a few minutes and the film was cured by two minutes exposure to UV-A at a distance from lamp to repair area of 8-10 inches. Upon conclusion of the cure, the unreacted surface layer of the film was removed by a prepared wiping cloth containing solvent. The resulting finish was ready for top coating.

Mike Manion, local sales representative for BASF‘s Automotive Refinish Solutions, concluded the demonstrations with application of a primer-surfacer from a standard spray gun. This product can be applied from familiar spray equipment and can be used for small spots or larger surfaces that need priming. Like the other products demonstrated, this primer-surfacer is a single component product and needs no measuring/mixing. In a single coat, Mr. Manion prepared a film that was declared to be at least 4 mils (100 microns) thick, attesting to the high solids potential of UV cured products. After a solvent flash off of about four minutes, the primer-surfacer was cured for two minutes under the UV-A lamp. Upon finish of cure, Mr. Manion immediately started to block sand the repair, demonstrating the true speed advantage of UV cured products. In comments during the cure cycle, it was pointed out that the primer-surfacer could be held in the gun for an extended period of time if the cup of the spray gun is light impervious.

During all the demonstrations, Dan Maloney of H&S Autoshot fielded questions on proper operation and maintenance of the UV-A lamps used in the demonstrations. All lamps have an hour counter which should be used to guide replacement of the bulb before the spectral output falls off and cure is obtained only by longer exposures than specified by the formulating company.

As the evening’s event wrapped up two hours after starting, the attendees declared they were quite pleased with what they saw and learned. Many were impressed by the significant reduction in waste that these single component products permitted.

RadTech would like to thank Bill Ledbetter of Ford of North Scottsdale Collision Center for providing the venue for the event, Hertz for providing transportation to and from the event and the I-CAR team including Jason Bartanen, Brandon Eckenrode, Tom Lantz and Bob Mickey for logistics and presentations at the event. Also thanks to representatives from H&S Autoshot, BASF, PPG, Dedoes and Transtar for donating materials, equipment and time for both the event and the production of the e-learning module. And a special thanks to Mike Dvorchak and Bayer Material Science for providing printouts of presentations and RadTech’s Refinish UV Safety Guide as well as the safety glasses for all attendees. And finally a note of gratitude to BASF for donating the food and refreshments the attendees enjoyed.

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