Friday, May 8, 2020

Ford Tests Its Paint Against Bird Poop


With not much driving going on (and car detailers closed), cars may experience one problem: getting struck and stuck with bird poop. That is, unless you’re in a Ford.

While bird poop has serious implications for a car’s paintwork, Ford’s paint is tested for this with the help of, get this, artificial bird poop.

The laboratory-developed synthetic droppings are so realistic that they can accurately reflect the differing diets—and subsequent different acidity of droppings.

Applied to test panels as a spray, sample pieces are aged at varying temperatures—40, 50, and 60 degrees Celsius in an oven to replicate customer use in extreme heats, pushing the paint corrosion protection to its limits.

The “bird poop test” is just one of the ordeals paint samples are put through. Ford also sprays phosphoric acid mixed with soap detergent, and synthetic pollen on panels before aging them in ovens at 60 and 80 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. The test guards against airborne particulates such as pollen and sticky tree sap.

Summer is an especially dangerous time for paint because it softens and expands under intense sunlight. When it cools at night, it contracts and any grime, including bird droppings, attaches to the surface. If left on the vehicle, it can leave a permanent impression that requires specialist treatment to remove.

Leaving bird poop on any car is never a good idea. The advice for any car owner is simply to regularly wash your vehicle with a sponge and lukewarm water containing neutral pH shampoo, and gently remove harmless looking substances from the paintwork immediately. Waxing painted surfaces once or twice a year helps ensure new paint finishes can better resist harshest attacks, while staying shiny for longer.

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